Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Friday, 24 July 2020

Covid on the Margins

Pic courtesy The Conversation


For nearly thirty years I worked in the principalship of a range of specials schools, in locations up and down the Queensland coast.

For the most part, these were wonderful years, and I found them both challenging and enjoyable, particularly when I had the privilege, on two separate occasions, of opening schools.

With that in mind, I must admit frankly that I am very glad not to be in a the position of leading a special school community in the teeth of the current pandemic.  I was reminded of this when I saw this article.

For students with disabilities, a whole range of factors complicate the situation for both parents and schools. In the first place, there is a requirement for additional physical care for most students in special schools, and close physical contact with staff is always a component of this care.

In addition, for students with difficult behaviours, especially those on the Autism spectrum, management against the background of social distancing is extremely difficult.

Then there is the reality that many of these children have compromised health, either because it is part of their impairment, or because they are inactive or have limited mobility. If you're stuck in a wheelchair a lot of the time, it is difficult to maintain good health simply because you were designed to move.

In most of the special schools I managed, we ran transdisciplinary programmes, involving physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and special care often incorporating gastrostomy feeding. All of these therapies require special protocols that pay no attention to social distancing.

Setting them up so they are safe and practicable must be concentrating the minds of teachers, parents and therapists all over the country. 

There has been a silence in the media about this issue. 

That's nothing new, of course. Marginalised individuals (whether the marginalisation is a product of race, disability, or socio-economic status) rarely get a mention unless their situation effects mainstream populations.

So give a thought to these children, their schools and their families.

Right now, they probably need as much help as they can get.

Comments closed.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob, what evidence do you have that children with special difficulties are NOT getting the required amount of assistance?
The article you link to is all about the fear of this happening, no actually occurring.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to determine if this article is about kids with disabilities or all about you, Bob.

Anonymous said...

It appears you got moved on a lot Bob.
Any particular reasons for not staying at one school for too long?

1735099 said...

Bob, what evidence do you have that children with special difficulties are NOT getting the required amount of assistance?
I listen to their parents.

1735099 said...

It appears you got moved on a lot Bob.
I wasn't "moved on".
I was appointed to my schools on a merit application process.

Anonymous said...

"I listen to their parents."
So just anecdotal then. No real evidence at all.

Anonymous said...

Growth in NDIS expenditure has gone from close to $1.1 billion in 2015-2016 to $11.9 billion in 2018-2019.
The number of people with disability benefitting from the NDIS has grown by over 100,000 (62%) in the past year to close to 300,000 participants as at 30 June 2019, up from 183,965 participants at 30 June 2018.

Your anecdotes are considerably at odds with the official statistics. The people you call "marginalised individuals" are actually far better today than your writing would lead us to believe.

Anonymous said...

Bob, what evidence do you have that children are getting COVID-19 from their carers, specialist teachers and aids?
Without that evidence your complete article is baseless.

1735099 said...

Your anecdotes are considerably at odds with the official statistics. The people you call "marginalised individuals" are actually far better today than your writing would lead us to believe.

Thanks to the NDIS, they're far better off now than when they were when I started working in the field back in the 70s, when they weren't guaranteed schooling. Whitlam's reforms fixed that.
As I recall, the same voices critical of mainstreaming back then, are still complaining now.

There's still a long way to go.
Look at employment statistics for people with disabilities.
People aged 15–24 with disability (20%) are more than twice as likely as those aged 25–64 (8.8%) to be unemployed. 30% of working-age people with disability are unemployed for at least 1 year, (15% for those without disability).
See -https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia/employment/unemployment

1735099 said...

Bob, what evidence do you have that children are getting COVID-19 from their carers, specialist teachers and aids?
Without that evidence your complete article is baseless.

Where, in my post, did I say they were?
Unless I did, your comment is simply gratuitous.
Read it again.
I was pointing out the complexities involved in managing the virus in a special school setting.

1735099 said...

No real evidence at all.
Evidence of what?

Anonymous said...

So you are NOT saying that social distancing protocols during the current pandemic are hurting marginalised individuals?
You ARE saying that it's just difficult and the media are quiet about this problem?
Have I got it right?

If so, then my original premise is correct - the article is all about you.

Anonymous said...

Bob, what evidence do you have that children with special difficulties are NOT getting the required amount of assistance?
I listen to their parents.
So just anecdotal then. No real evidence at all.
Evidence of what?

The required amount of assistance.

Anonymous said...

How many people with disabilities did you employ at your schools?
In excess of the national average I would assume.

1735099 said...

Evidence of what?

The required amount of assistance.

At this stage, no education authorities have ever provided the required amount of assistance.
What is regarded as "required" varies with state education budgets.

1735099 said...

How many people with disabilities did you employ at your schools?
In excess of the national average I would assume.

Yep.

1735099 said...


You ARE saying that it's just difficult and the media are quiet about this problem?
That's about the size of it.
There's not a lot of interest in the issue unless you happen to be the parent of a child with disabilities.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you use your own blog to ostentasioulsy proclaim your high degree of compassion.
Heavens forbid if you went to another site to proclaim your superior moral compass.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you use your own blog to ostentasioulsy (sic) proclaim your high degree of compassion.
Heavens (sic) forbid if you went to another site to proclaim your superior moral compass.

The word you were after is "ostentatiously".
And it's "heaven", because there is only one.

1735099 said...

Thanks - you saved me the trouble...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad my grammer can be attacked but my key argument can't.
Try harder, team.

Anonymous said...

205,000,000.
You claim that marginalised individuals rarely get a mention in the media.
Wrong.
A quick Google search for race found two hundred and five million mentions in newspapers alone. I didn't bother looking for mentions in electronic media, nor disability and socio-economic status.
Perhaps your myopia prevents you from seeing the truth.

Anonymous said...

Up and down the Queensland coast, Bob?
Didn't you have the courage to work inland?

Anonymous said...



It's grammar.
You don't have a key argument.

1735099 said...

Didn't you have the courage to work inland?
I'm not sure that it required any more courage than anywhere else, but at various times I worked in Mount Isa, Roma and Longreach.

Anonymous said...

"It's grammar."
Hook, line, and sinker.

Anonymous said...

It takes forever to get comments moderated here. What's going on?

Anonymous said...

Many, many years spent in Principal positions Bob.
Why not any progression further up the bureaucracy?

Anonymous said...

It takes forever to get comments moderated here. What's going on?

Tell it to the Padre...

Anonymous said...

I wish that your compassion Bob was evident in Quentin Bryce when she put her career in front of her disabled daughter. Handing her over to someone else to raise was not the mark of a caring mother.

Anonymous said...

"Tell it to the Padre..."
Bob are you trolling your own blog?

Anonymous said...

Still too busy on Catallaxy to respond to your readers here, Bob?

Anonymous said...

Bob, you are prolific on Catallaxy but absent from your own vanity blog.

Anonymous said...

"Tell it to the Padre..."
The use of ellipsis tells me that "anonymous" is actually Bob in disguise.

Anonymous said...

Bob, are you really suggesting that low levels of media attention mean that the disabled are not front of mind of the general public?
The huge amount of taxpayer dollars going to help the less fortunate is quite a telling reflection of the support they receive from Australians in monetary and practical ways.
Your sanctimonious posturing glosses over the goodness shown by the vast majority of people.

Anonymous said...

"Marginalised" is an over-used and emotive term.
Just because a group of people are in a minority does not mean they are on the fringes of society. The increasing value of assistance from NDIS is testament to the Australian public and their willingness to help the disadvantaged.

Anonymous said...

Your support of the BLM movement, violence included, is in direct contrast to your position that race leads to marginalisation.
The press have been all over BLM in America and Australia yet you say some races are marginalised and don't get a mention.
Thats so very wrong.

1735099 said...

I wish that your compassion Bob was evident in Quentin Bryce when she put her career in front of her disabled daughter. Handing her over to someone else to raise was not the mark of a caring mother.
Quentin Bryce has five children, including two daughters. None of them has a disability. She and her husband raised all of them. Check your facts before you post. The internet is forever.

1735099 said...

The increasing value of assistance from NDIS is testament to the Australian public and their willingness to help the disadvantaged.
The NDIS isn't perfect, but it does help improve the quality of lives of people with disabilities. It costs the federal budget about the same as old age pensions. As to "willingness" - Pauline Hanson has described it as a "rort".

Anonymous said...

"Check your facts before you post."
Then who was the high profile Australian who gave away her disabled daughter?

Anonymous said...

I got the wrong leftist woman - it was Gillian Triggs who gave away her "severely retarded daughter" (Triggs, 2013)
No "human rights" for that marginalised child.

Anonymous said...

"Pauline Hanson has described it as a "rort"."
PHON is a minority party. My point still stands - Australians vote for parties which look after the marginalised.
If you spent one moment researching, you will find many examples of NDIS rorts such as carers trips to Disneyland.
Our Pauline was right.

Anonymous said...

"The internet is forever."
Wrong again.
Only approved messages are forever.
An example of disappearing facts - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube recently took down a video of a press conference discussing a coronavirus cure. It was shared by President Trump.
Doesn't fit the leftist narrative? Shut it down, delete all references, and ban it from all sources on the internet.

Anonymous said...

In the context of your statement "marginalised individuals rarely get a mention", I see Alan Jones gave plenty of air time tonight to a NSW government minister to explain how disadvantaged people are being given access to public sector jobs. In addition, companies who contract to the government have to include disabled people on their staff.
A very high rating show doing exactly the opposite of what you claim.

1735099 said...

A very high rating show doing exactly the opposite of what you claim.
Good for Jonesy - the exception that proves the rule.

1735099 said...

"The internet is forever."
Ever heard of a screen shot?

1735099 said...

If you spent one moment researching, you will find many examples of NDIS rorts such as carers trips to Disneyland.
Hardly a rort.
Many people with disabilities cannot visit places such as Disneyland without carers.
In the bad old days they simply missed out.

1735099 said...

I got the wrong leftist woman
So the ex-Governor is a "leftist" now.
That's just one of the many labels applied to successful women.
She'd be surprised to know that, given she appointed Stephen Brady, former foreign affairs adviser to John Howard, as her official secretary.

Anonymous said...

Gillian Triggs is the quintessential leftist Bob.
Evidence:
1. Kept secret Cindy Prior's 18c complaint from the young students at QUT.
2. waited until the Liberals were in power and actually emptying detention centres before calling an inquiry into children in detention
3. waited until the boats were stopped and no more people were drowning before launching a full-on assault on the management of our borders
4. verballed the Immigration Minister in a report, falsely claiming he’d admitted detaining children had no part in stopping the boats.
5. in a report at times presented allegations of sexual abuse of children in detention as provenfalsely
6. falsely linked the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to the Government’s border policies.
7. recommended record amounts of compensation, including $350,000 to a PNG “refugee” held in detention who’d beaten his Australian wife to death with a bicycle.”
(h/t Andrew Bolt)

Triggs was labor and leftist through and through, and she had a cosy relationship with Labor ministers. Her campaign against the LNP and the right of politics was astounding.

Anonymous said...

The ex-governor is also a leftist through and through.
Evidence:
1. support for gay marriage whilst still GG.
2. support for a republic whilst still GG.
3. appointed to both governor positions by ALP.

A blatantly political woman. Leftist and proud of it - not good in a GG.

Anonymous said...

Bob, do you prefer the treatment of the marginalised in communist countries to that they receive in Australia?
Of course there would be no reporting of such treatment under dictatorial rule.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the marginalised are reported on much more frequently in Norway.

Anonymous said...

"Ever heard of a screen shot?"
I can just see you taking a screen shot of every single web page of importance to you plus all those which you want to preserve just-in-case.
Millions.
No way.

1735099 said...

Bob, do you prefer the treatment of the marginalised in communist countries to that they receive in Australia?
The only Communist country I have visited recently was Cuba.
I didn't see any beggars or other marginalised groups whilst I was there.
On the other hand, there were beggars on just about every street corner in New York and Washington, many of them with signs saying they were war veterans.

1735099 said...

support for gay marriage whilst still GG
Like 61.6% of her fellow Australians -https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/datablog/ng-interactive/2017/nov/15/same-sex-marriage-survey-how-australia-voted-electorate-by-electorate
According to your measure, 61.6% of Australians must be "Leftists".
I strongly doubt you have any real understanding of the political spectrum in this country, or for that matter what constitutes mainstream opinion.
Catallaxy, and blogs like it, are echo chambers for extremists.

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