As a member of the Federal Government’s working body on dyslexia and an ambassador for the 2010 International Day of People with Disability (who happens to be dyslexic and the mother of two dyslexic sons) I’m thrilled Abbott has laid off the asylum seekers long enough for dyslexia, a condition that affects 10% of Australians to become an election issue.
My take? About bloody time. But pathetic and tokenistic.
Over 2 million Australians suffer dyslexia and the issue effects many, many, more in both devastatingly negative and incredibly positive ways.
I spend $60 a week per child on tutoring in addition to thousands of dollars a year in additional educational supplies and expenses. This rebate will be a drop in the ocean for the minority of children fortunate enough to be have been accurately assessed and identified. A few pennies for the lucky few who have parents wealthy enough to pay for tutors and informed enough to understand the importance of assessment and support. Funding needs to got straight into schools, teacher education, classroom support and extra resources. Not into rebates.
Bill Shorten and the Labor Government began tackling dyslexia over a year ago with a long term broad reaching view. Not throwing paltry rebates at it to give the illusion of tackling this debilitating condition, that when addressed and supported results in a disproportionate amount of Nobel Prize winners, billionaires and community leaders.
And no, not enough is being done by either party, or fast enough. Dyslexics have been discriminated against and been overlooked for too long. Enough.
But on personal I wouldn’t vote for Tony Abbott if he offered me a full-time house keeper, a fridge full of cash and a promise we would never see Hey Hey It’s Saturday on our screens again. Because he’s a racist, sexist, homophobe who believes in an imaginary friend in the sky who does magic tricks.