Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Annual Interactive Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Australian Statement

19 March 2014


Australia thanks the High Commissioner for her report on the right of persons with disabilities to an education.

Australia believes that all people, including persons with disabilities, have the right to an education. Australia considers that the right to education must be free from discrimination on any grounds and delivered in a supportive environment which values and encourages participation by all students, regardless of disability.

Australia sees providing a fully inclusive education system as fundamental to the right to education. The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 ensures that students with disabilities are given equal opportunity to enrol in mainstream education and participate in a safe and supportive educational setting. Australia’s National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 seeks to ensure that people with disabilities are able to participate in a fully inclusive, high quality education system which is responsive to their individual needs.

Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act 1992 requires educational facilities make reasonable adjustments in order to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, where doing so will not cause unjustifiable hardship. Adjustments include modifying infrastructure to make facilities fully accessible to people with disabilities, modifying modes of teaching and the curriculum, as well providing individual, needs-based support to students.

Australia believes that to provide a fully inclusive education system, students must feel welcomed, valued and respected. This involves addressing bullying and violence in schools, including through the implementation of anti-bullying and harassment strategies.

Australia would like to ask the panel whether they could recommend measures to ensure inclusive, high level tertiary and adult education for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.