Journal Article

Allegations of Unlawful Discrimination in Education: Parents Taking Their Fight for Auslan to the Courts

Linda Komesaroff

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 9, issue 2, pages 210-218
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enh022
Allegations of Unlawful Discrimination in Education: Parents Taking Their Fight for Auslan to the Courts

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This paper examines the use of the Disability Discrimination Act (Commonwealth of Australia, 1992) by parents seeking access for their deaf children to native sign language in the classroom. It reviews a number of cases in which Australian parents have claimed indirect discrimination by educational authorities over their children's lack of access to instruction through Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and discusses the outcomes of such litigation. The policies endorsed by deafness organizations are contrasted with those of state educational authorities. The author discusses the limitations of a complaints-based system to address systemic discrimination and suggests the need for legislation to protect the linguistic rights of deaf children.

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Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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