Topics: Disability, Special education, Resource room Pages: 25 (6349 words) Published: November 8, 2014

Title of module: Understanding Special Needs

Code of Module: 5N1709

Title: Legislation

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Legislation, according to information from Wikipedia (2013), (or "statutory law") is law which has been promulgated (or "enacted") by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it. (Another source of law is judge-made law or case law.) Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as "legislation" while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to proscribe, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to declare or to restrict. Legislation is regarded as one of the three main functions of government, which are often distinguished under the doctrine of the separation of powers. Those who have the formal power to create legislation are known as legislators; a judicial branch of government will have the formal power to interpret legislation, the executive branch of government can act only within the powers and limits set by the law. Source: www.wikipedia.org

Policy and legislation
According to Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (2013) there is significant legislation and public policy relevant to Universal Design in Ireland. The following is an introduction to the legal and policy framework in this area, not a legal reference. It should not be interpreted as guidance or direction on legal matters. Many European Union Member States, including Ireland, have estimated that approximately half of their legislation is derived from European Union membership, so policy and legislation at both an international and national level is relevant. Key policy areas include Human Rights and Equality, Disability Rights, Social Inclusion, and Sustainable Development.

Ireland is a member state of the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe (including the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field). Irish legislation is therefore directly influenced by recommendations and legislation at the international level.

The Disability Act 2005
The Disability Act 2005 is a positive action measure designed to advance and underpin the participation of people with disabilities in everyday life. It establishes a statutory basis for: an independent assessment of individual health needs and educational services for persons with disabilities over age 18 years; access to mainstream public services and actions to support access to public buildings, services and information; sectoral plans to be prepared and published in six key sectors outlining positive actions measures to be implemented; obligations on public bodies to be proactive in employing people with disabilities and the monitoring of compliance with those obligations; the establishment of a Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in the National Disability Authority. The Act defines Universal Design, stating it:

1. the design and composition of an environment so that it may be accessed, understood and used 1. to the greatest possible extent,
2. in the most independent and natural manner possible,
3. in the widest possible range of situations, and
4. without the need for adaptation, modification, assistive devices or specialised solutions, by any persons of any age or size or having any particular physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual ability or disability, and ii. means, in relation to electronic systems, any electronics-based process of creating products, services or systems so that they may be used by any person.

The Universal Design include also: NDA Code of Practice, Accessible procurement, Accessible ICT, Procurement Regulations 2006, The Employment Equality Act 1998, The Equal Status Acts 2000 & 2004, Planning and Development Act 2000,...

Bibliography: Association for Higher Education Access and Disability, 2013, ‘Disability Legislation’, from: http://www.ahead.ie/inclusiveeducation_legislation_2005act.php
Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, 2013, ‘Policy and legislation’, from: http://www.universaldesign.ie/exploreampdiscover/policyandlegislation
Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2013, ‘Child Protection Guidelines’, from: http://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=%2Fdocuments%2FChild_Welfare_Protection%2Fchildfirst.htm
Flood, E., 2010, ‘Assisting Children with Special Needs An Irish Perspective’, Dublin 12: Gill & Macmillan
National Council for Special Education ‘Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Síolta, The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education Audit: Similarities and differences’, Information Booklet, September 2009
National Council for Special Education ‘Children with Special Educational Needs’, Information Booklet for Parents September 2011
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, ‘Legislation’, page was last modified on 30 April 2013, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislation
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