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Children: Disabled

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will develop a national strategy for the inclusion of children with disabilities into society, based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (289213)

The Government have taken action to promote an inclusive society in which disabled children will play a full part. We ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons on 8 June. Further, we outlined in the Children's Plan our desire to make Britain the best place for all children and young people to realise their full potential, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

We have legislated to ensure that disabled children and young people are not discriminated against and are actively encouraged by their school to participate in school life and in the local community. We amended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to require public bodies (including schools and local authorities) to increase access to the curriculum and school premises over time for disabled students by making reasonable adjustments.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 has also been amended to place a general duty on all public bodies, when carrying out their functions to have due regard to the need to: promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people; eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; eliminate harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability; promote positive attitudes by disabled people in public life; and take steps to meet disabled people's needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment. Additionally, public bodies have a specific duty to work with disabled people to develop, implement and publish a disability equality scheme outlining how the general duty will be met.