Thursday, 31 May 2012
Below is a press release, available in PDF format, in regards to the Simcoe County District School Board's use of Blocker Pads. Please read and distribute.
CANADIAN DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY TAKES A STAND
IN SUPPORT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society encourages the Simcoe County District School Board to cease the use of Blocker Pads
SIMCOE COUNTY, ONTARIO- May 28, 2012 – The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) and its members would like to join the many groups supporting students with disabilities who attend Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) schools.
It has come to the attention of the public that the SCDSB has been making use of martial art blocker pads as “classroom tools” to protect staff from students with autism. This act is dehumanizing and will unfairly increase public misconceptions, fear, bullying, and disrespect for people with disabilities.
CDSS’s Position on Education is as follows:
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society works to ensure equitable opportunities for all Canadians with Down syndrome by fostering a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity, worth and equal rights for ALL people.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society asserts inclusion as the best model for education of all students, including students with Down syndrome; In this way, ALL students learn together, diversity is valued, personal growth and citizenship enhanced, and equity experienced.
The use of blocker pads with students with autism in the SCDSB is an obvious violation of the dignity and human rights of these students.
To ensure that the practices of the SCDSB reflect the Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s Position on Education, as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario Human Rights Code, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we ask that the Ontario Ministry of Education expedite a resolution to this injustice. Rather than using blocker pads in this manner, the SCDSB needs to adopt personalized safety plans for students that support academic and social growth, and development with dignity.
CDSS encourages you to sign a petition to support ceasing the use of blocker pads in SCDSB schools. This petition can be found at https://www.change.org/petitions/school-board-bullies-children-with-autism-takes-their-dignity
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is a vital resource linking individuals, parents and professionals through advocacy, education and providing information. The mission of CDSS is: To empower Canadians with Down syndrome and their families. We raise awareness and provide information on Down syndrome through the prenatal, early childhood, school years, adulthood, and retirement stages of life. Our vision is: All people are valued, fully participating citizens.