Math Lesson For State Education Department: $35,000 Is Less Than
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 14, 2005
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--The mother of a deaf elementary school student has brought a discrimination suit against the state of Victoria's Education Department for failing to provide her son with a competent sign language interpreter in his classroom.
According to The Age news service, Dylan Beasley was using Auslan, the only recognized sign language in Australia, before he started at Pearcedale Primary School. His mother, Robyn, claims that once her son started school he was not able to understand what was happening in class because many of his teachers did not know how to sign adequately or, in some cases, could not sign at all.
Mrs. Beasley is asking the department to provide compensation, along with a full-time interpreter trained in Auslan.
Beasley's attorney estimated that the government would likely spend about $500,000 in legal costs to defend the case, while the costs of providing the supports Dylan needs would be around $35,000.
The case is one of several disability discrimination cases pending against the state's Department of Education. Recent cases elsewhere in the country have forced schools to provide Auslan, The Age noted.
"$500,000 to fight deaf boy in the courts" (The Age)