Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education (ACIE)

    Overview

    The Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education (ACIE) is an initiative bringing together organisations that share a commitment to advancing inclusive education across state and territory education systems, including government and non-government schools. Our coalition comprises hundreds of people with disability and their families, teachers, lawyers and academics, representing a huge source of expertise in this specific area.

    Image description: ACIE logo is a multi-coloured donut shape above the acie acronym and the words australian coalition for inclusive education.

    Our pledge for inclusive education

    “We pledge our support for the goal and principles of inclusive education as a fundamental human right of every person, and will work towards an inclusive education system and the elimination of barriers and discrimination against children and young people with disability in education and in society as a whole."

    Latest news from ACIE

    Inclusive education during a time of crisis

    We acknowledge this is an extremely challenging time for all education systems, early childhood services, schools and post-school education providers in delivering education and support for all students, and that many are doing their best to include all. In the current climate and moving forward, it is imperative that stakeholders that protect and promote the rights and interests of children and young people with disability have the opportunity to come together to address the serious issues these groups encounter.

    Key concerns

    Below are the three key themes of the concerns that have been raised with us since the pandemic began, in relation to education and learning for students with disability:

    1. The provision of reasonable adjustments and supports for students with disability, to enable them to access the general curriculum and their class lesson content on an equal basis while learning at home. Many families report that the support they are offered is inadequate or unsuitable.
    2. The loss of vital social connection for students with disability with their class peers, regular teachers and support staff, which is critical in ensuring ongoing engagement and wellbeing during this time of crisis. Many families report difficulty in maintaining these relationships in the current environment.
    3. The longer term adverse impacts of social and academic disconnection and the necessary measures to mitigate these and support re-engagement in class learning, and the re-establishment of relationships with teachers, support staff and peers once students return to school.

    ACIE has developed an advocacy document for government, Providing inclusive education in a time of crisis: Principles and Recommendations.

    This document has been provided to all education ministers across the states and Commonwealth and it outlines principles and recommendations to ensure inclusive education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    We have also developed a resource for families and young people with disability, Learning at home during a time of crisis: COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

    Members of ACIE

    Chair and National Convenors

    CYDA, the national representative organisation for children and young people with disability, is the Chair of ACIE and a national Co-Convenor. All Means All – The Australian Alliance for Inclusive Education (All Means All) is the other Co-Convenor.

    Core Members of ACIE

    The Core Members of ACIE steer its work and comprise the following national, state and territory-based organisations:

    Supporters

    Our supporters are organisations that have endorsed Our Pledge for Inclusive Education and support ACIE’s mission. They include:

    ACIE’s guiding principles

    ACIE is guided by a human rights and evidence-based approach to inclusive education. We look to the principles embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the most authoritative expression of the human rights of people with disabilities, including the right to inclusive education under Article 24 and General Comment No. 4 (Right to Inclusive Education).

    When we talk about inclusive education, we mean the delivery of education to all students grouped by relevant age range in general education classrooms, in a way that:

    • addresses and responds to their diverse characteristics as learners
    • provides reasonable accommodations and supports to ensure an equitable and participatory learning experience
    • respects their fundamental human rights, including, in the case of students with disability, the right to an inclusive education in accordance with Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and General Comment No. 4.

    Inclusive education does not include the delivery of education:

    • in separate, segregated or self-contained environments
    • in programs designed or used to respond to particular or various impairments or learning difficulties
    • in isolation from students without disabilities, either in school or in community-based learning opportunities, including in separate educational institutions, separate classrooms or subsections of classrooms.

    Click here for more information about CYDA's advocacy on education or you can contact us.

    Resources