Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

School Discriminated By Failing To Provide Sign Language Interpreter, Tribunal Says
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 23, 2006

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--An administrative tribunal has determined that the State of Victoria's Department of Education discriminated against deaf primary school student Dylan Beasley by failing to provide him with a competent sign language interpreter in the classroom.

Dylan was using Auslan, the recognized sign language in Australia, before he started attending Pearcedale Primary School in 1999. His mother, Robyn, claimed in a lawsuit 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.

When the suit was filed last September, Mrs. 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 needed would have been around $35,000.

The Age news service reported that this week's Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruling agreed with Mrs. Beasley's allegations.

"His opportunities for discussion, question-and-answer with the teacher were more limited and he had less time to complete written work than did the hearing children," the tribunal wrote of Dylan's situation.

The case is one of several disability discrimination cases pending against the education department. Recent cases elsewhere in the country have forced schools to provide teachers or interpreters fluent in Auslan.

"Deaf boy succeeds in school case" (The Age)
"Math Lesson For State Education Department: $35,000 Is Less Than $500,000" September 14, 2005 (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.