For all children, September 1 rhymes with going back to school. all of them ? Not really. According to Unapei, the federation of associations of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, too many young people with intellectual disabilities are still not enrolled in school or only benefit from “a few hours a week” of classes at the beginning of the year. school year 2022.
For the first time, Unapei tried to quantify the shortcomings. For this purpose, it compiled a sample of 7,949 children or adolescents with disabilities supported by its local branches throughout France. Of this total, 18% “have no teaching hours per week”, a third between 0 and 6 hours, 22% between 6 and 12 hours and only 27% benefit from at least 12 hours of teaching per week.
“Once again”, students with this type of disability “are invisible, forgotten” and “their rights are always violated”, condemns Luc Gateau, the president of this federation, quoted in the press release. Inadequate or insufficient school attendance has “dramatic consequences” for families, who are often “exhausted”, Unapei condemns.
Progress according to the government
For its part, the government draws attention to the annual increase in the number of disabled children admitted to school. There will be more than 430,000 at the start of the 2022 school year, up from nearly 410,000 last year, according to figures released by the National Education and Disability Departments in early August. This number has “tripled in less than fifteen years” and does not take into account the approximately 67,000 students educated in hospitals or specialized structures such as medical education institutes (IME), the same sources said.
At the school, the measures introduced by the government “do not focus on the quality of education”, which assumes sufficient teaching time and support adapted to the needs of each one, but emphasizes AFP Sonia Ahehehinnou, vice-president of Unapei. In particular, the Federation demands better training of teachers and adjustment of the number of classes that accept students with disabilities.
Some families wait years for a satisfactory solution, the association points out, citing the case of a 6-year-old girl whose parents had long hoped to benefit from the Home Support Service (Sessad). After two years of waiting they got nothing and ended up being referred to an IME with… a four year wait. “We’re starting from scratch,” desperate parents, Unapei quotes.
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