Mental health days are for morons, says Calare Public School principal Christian Cundy

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Calare Public School, Orange / Picture: Jeff Death
Principal calls mentally ill children “morons” and “idiots”
Refers to kids with “two heads” and “webbed feet”
School community voices disgust at abhorrent spray
Principal counselled but not sacked
THE primary school principal who outraged parents and disability groups by referring to students who have mental problems or have been bullied as “morons”, “nut cases” and “village idiots” has apologised to parents of children at the school.

The government school principal had even suggested staff attempting to identify students to participate in a mental health and social skills program look for children with “two heads” and “webbed feet”.

In a tasteless newsletter to staff at Calare Public School in Orange, Christian Cundy said: “I will send out a well-scripted letter in week 4 starting off — Have you bred a moron? You might like to access the services of Calare’s new initiative, ‘Operation Nutcase’. Sign on the dotted line or leave your thumbprint if you cannot write.”

The principal’s comments provoked anger and disgust, and prompted a complaint to the Education Department. They were also condemned by anti-bullying and disabled children’s groups.

But today he sent an apology to all parents and carers after heavy media attention to his original letter to staff.

Mr Cundy’s apology letter to parents and carers at Calare Public School.
“I have apologised to staff. My attempt at humour was misguided and inappropriate,” Mr Cundy wrote.

“I apologise for any hurt or grief I have caused anybody in the school and wider Calare community.”

Mr Cundy was reprimanded, made to apologise and counselled. Education Minister Adrian Piccoli would not comment yesterday.

In his newsletter “Lizard Tracks — Principal Communication”, Mr Cundy was informing staff of an all-day program to be conducted at the school by a professional company.

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Part of Principal Cundy’s letter.
The principal said in his newsletter: “If you are a bit of a nut yourself you might want to squeeze in a session between the kids and lie on my couch …

“Seriously, please start identifying students at our school with the following characteristics — suffering from undue anxiety, lacking any resilience, poor socialising skills, two heads, webbed feet, village idiots. I would like to start Operation Nutcase in week 5 but this might be a bit ambitious. All victims, er candidates, must have a signed form from parents before we commence.
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Christian Cundy, principal of Calare Public School, Orange / Picture: Supplied
“We will have groups roughly of 10 (but in the two-headed group there will only be 5).”

Anonymous complaints about the newsletter were made to the department and to The Daily Telegraph.

The Telegraph has been told that the jokes, at the expense of children with disabilities or mental health issues, have greatly upset some members of the school community. A department spokesman yesterday said: “The principal appreciates that the material was unacceptable and apologises for any offence it caused.

“He has undertaken not to include any material of this nature in future staff newsletters. He has been formally counselled by the department.

“The department stresses that the material is contrary to the values of public education and the school’s track record of support for students with disabilities and other learning needs.”

The newsletter went out to about 50 people, including present and former staff, but not to the wider school community.

Autism Advisory and Support Service founder and president Grace Fava said she was angered by the “shameful” comments and called for stronger action against the principal.

“You do not joke about this — he is supposedly the head of a school filled with kids who have special needs,” Ms Fava said.

“This is the culture among a small number of principals and I do not understand why.

“We need principals who have a culture of open-­mindedness, acceptance and tolerance so our kids can fulfil their potential. A reprimand is not enough, a slap on the wrist is not enough.”

Alannah and Madeline Foundation chief Dr Judith Slocombe said the key to the success of programs to help children with problems “starts right at the top”.

Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron said the union supported “high-quality, sophisticated anti-bullying and mental health programs”.

“They often make a critical difference in a child’s life — that is why student welfare is (and should always be) taken very seriously by the teaching profession,” he said.

Manhattan physicians group, Group of what? unprofessional dolts, stupidity really does trickle down from the top.

Well a lot of people think large groups of doctors under one roof make care convenient, one stop shopping if you like?
Or a collection of incompetent idiots all in one building you hope for the first fear the latter.

I grew up spoiled in the medical field my GP(Internist) is almost 90 and still practicing, and when I visited BJ recently after a 15 year gap when I was home he could from his memory alone recite every treatment he ever prescribed and every medication and dosage I had ever been on yes the one and only BJ Cormie of north east rd. medical practice campbelltown Adelaide south Australia.
Then there was my neurologist, SIR James(jim) Manson the head of pediatric neurology for the royal Adelaide children’s hospital (now the women’s and children’s hospital) in Adelaide south Australia. He was a world recognized genius in his field and he also treated me and my son who was also born with epilepsy. The gentlemen above cared, they were the best in their field yet both worked by choice in a small town in Australia with a population of less than one million.

So one would think if you could get that standard of care thirty years ago in a town of less than one million people, then in 2014 in New York with a population of over 8 million it would be base level for standard of care? Right.
Now I have lived here 16 years and have had
1/a surgical resident who thought a pre op transsexual was pregnant

2/a surgical resident who thought a week old cat scratch was fresh surgical scar from vein surgery

3/ a gastroenterologist who ordered surgical tests for possible cancer for a patient on magnesium when a first year med student knows magnesium causes diaharea and she was ordering the tests because of that.

4/ A doctor who wanted to prescribe Viagra to a post op transsexual

5/ a doctor who asked a paraplegic if they could walk to x-ray
and the list could go on for years.

This Monday past after over 4 weeks of waiting for a call back that would always be promised within hours, I received an appointment for a urologist that was so far away in a non-accessible subway area I had to roll 8 miles in a manual wheelchair to get there. Now the appointment was 2.30 so I got there at 1.30 to see if there was a cancellation, I was told no but she was running on time.
I had Zeus with me so the entire staff gathered around and cooed and restrained themselves from patting him barely.

Also to back track a little to do due diligence we went online to check out this practice and rang them to get their exact address. We were told 215 east 95th st east side Manhattan and on their website a beautiful up market building entrance is shown and on the phone the woman said “come to the door of 215 east 95th st and were right there”!
So I get to 215 and attempt to enter and no less than 4 burly security guards stop me, they demanded to know what I wanted in their building. I told them I had an appointment, they informed me that there were no doctors they were an upscale apartment building. I got out my I-pad and showed them the website, and the picture. Sure enough the picture and the address was the apartment building not the medical practice building.
So after ten minutes of muscle show they told me the medical practice was in the basement but had their own entrance on the next street and their number was not 215. So I was lead down the garbage elevator past the rooms with the buildings equipment and staff locker rooms, down a hundred yard passage way to a waiting room that was actually on 96th st and left.
There was no reception, no staff so I asked another patient and was pointed down another hallway which took me all the way back up the hill I had just come down but underground from reception to a room marked Q. So yes I had to roll past 17 other medical practices to find them, it had taken 22 minutes from entering the building where I was told to find them ! That should have been my warning.
Every 15 minutes I asked and was told dr trop was on time, during the wait a Russian woman came out and heard me speaking Russian to Zeus so she sat down in nurses scrubs and we chatted, she never told me she was the practice supervisor.
So Ella got there and it was appointment time, now at 2.25pm we were told she was running five –ten minutes late then suddenly at 2.30pm we were told she was running 2-3hours late and we should just sit and wait?
We asked to see the practice supervisor and who should appear but the Russian woman who had been telling 5-10minutes late right up till 5 minutes before, and according to her the three hour wait happened every day and we should suck it up?
Ella read them the riot act got their corporate number and address and we left. So Tuesday Ella walks to their midtown office and tells them what happened ,their first response was big deal why shouldn’t someone told 5 minutes suddenly have to wait 3 hours!now remember this isn’t a public emergency room this is an expensive private practice.
After Ella finished with them they had found a replacement doctor 25 blocks closer (only 6 miles to roll this time) and assured us the practice was informed the appointment book rearranged and a doctor had been read in and I had an appointment for tomorrow which is Friday?
Sounds good right

So that was Tuesday, Wednesday we get a call confirming in the morning ,then in the afternoon we get another call “that doctor never practices Friday you have to reappoint” ???

So not only does incompetence and stupidity trickle down from the top, so does lying? No doctor was read in or spoken to, no appointment book was cleared they just used the old “lie to them ” to get them out of the building.
yeah Hippocrates would have rolled over in his grave at this representation of medicine.

So, we have *medical practices who steal someone else’s front door for their website

* lie to you about where they are

*they suddenly after you have been there an hour tell you to sit down and shut up and wait 3 hours

*then their management lies to you
1/THEY set up appointments with doctors who know nothing about IT
2/they make arrangement on days their not there But you get called the troublemaker?

ONLY IN AMERICA

Adelaide’s blind apprentice chef breaks down vision barriers

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PHOTO: Apprentice chef Alex Kolberg and head chef Kristian Livolsi prep for service in the restaurant’s kitchen (ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)

The only lack of vision Adelaide’s blind apprentice chef is limited from is from those who did not employ him according to Alex Kolberg’s new boss.

For two and a half years Mr Kolberg searched for employment, only to be told time and time again that he was unemployable due to his limited vision.

Finally one Adelaide restaurateur gave him a chance and they now both believe it is the best move they have ever made.

The smile does not leave 20-year-old Mr Kolberg face as he sits outside his workplace and talks about his job.

Mr Kolberg was born with a genetic disorder that left him legally blind, but he has always loved cooking.

After leaving school, he completed a Certificate 3 in Hospitality.

He worked with the Royal Society for the Blind’s employment services to achieve his goal of becoming a chef.

“Every employer I went to didn’t want to give me a chance and a couple of them even said straight out ‘you are just not capable’,” Mr Kolberg said.

“I didn’t agree with that so I just kept going.”

I see him as a gift to our business
Chef Kristian Livolsi
He volunteered at a cafe for one year to prove that he could work in the industry.

“Giving up doesn’t solve anything – if you want to get somewhere in life you have to take the steps.”

Six months ago Mr Kolberg met Kristian Livolsi, owner and head chef at The Taxpayer restaurant in Adelaide.

From the first day Mr Kolberg was training to prepare dishes.

“Within a month or two I was cooking the food,” Mr Kolberg said.

‘I think people are gutless’

Mr Livolsi does not mince words when he talks about why he believed it took two and a half years for Mr Kolberg to gain employment.

“People have stereotypes … it just shows you how shallow people are,” Mr Livolsi said.

Mr Livolsi said at first he had some occupational health and safety concerns placing Mr Kolberg in a small kitchen, surrounded by cookers and sharp knives.

“There are challenges, but in the same token he is challenging himself so I am challenging myself to bring him through the ranks.”

Mr Livolsi laughs about the occasional bump he receives from Mr Kolberg as they shuffle around the deep fryer.

“This kid has everything against him and everyone at work loves him for that reason and he actually influences the rest of the culture.

“I see him as a gift to our business and it is a massive loss for those people who didn’t give him a chance before.”

Australian Labor party to block payment scheme for intellectually disabled workers

The Australian Labor party is seeking to amend the legislation to allow workers to accept a payment without giving up their right to pursue other claims. Photo: Jessica Hromas
Labor will oppose Coalition proposals which would require intellectually disabled workers to waive their right to make discrimination claims in return for a payment.

The Senate is considering Abbott government proposals for a scheme to provide payments to workers whose wages were calculated using a tool which the Federal Court found discriminated against people with intellectual disability.

Under the scheme, in return for a payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their owed wages, workers, some of whom were paid less than $1 an hour, would give up their right to sue the government for back pay.

But Labor will seek to amend the legislation to allow workers to accept a payment without giving up their right to pursue other claims.

Labor will also seek to strengthen safeguards around provisions which would allow the secretary of the Department of Social Services to appoint a person to accept a payment on behalf of a worker.

The government announced the payment scheme proposal in January after law firm Maurice Blackburn lodged a class action to recover lost wages for the 10,000 workers.

If the government does not accept its amendments, Labor will vote against the bill.

“Labor wants to ensure people with disability can find work and receive fair pay for the work they do,” Labor’s spokeswoman on disability reform, Jenny Macklin said.

“Labor urges the government to get on with putting in place a long-term solution that will see people with disability receive fair pay, and ensure people with disability have every right to work.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield said late on Wednesday that Labor had not circulated its amendments, but he hoped it was not seeking to scuttle the bill, and deprive people with disability of the choice to receive payments from the proposed scheme.

“This would leave them with no option but to participate in a potentially lengthy legal battle with an uncertain outcome,” Senator Fifield said.

Senator Fifield has previously warned there was a risk of job losses if the payment scheme was blocked, because disability enterprises had raised concerns about the potential financial threat arising from accruing contingent liability.

The Greens appear likely to also vote against the scheme, but it could still pass with the support of the Palmer United Party and other crossbench senators. The Palmer United Party’s position was unclear late on Wednesday.

Groups including People with Disability Australia, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, the National Council on Intellectual Disability, and Disability Advocacy Network Australia this week sent a letter to senators urging them to reject the bill, and calling on the government to negotiate a compensation settlement with the workers.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has granted the Commonwealth an exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act to allow disability enterprises to continue paying workers wages assessed using the discriminatory tool until April next year.

Senator Fifield last week announced $173 million in funding to help disability employers move to new wage arrangements.

London cyclists ‘collide with 25% of guide dogs’ working in the capital

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There are 41,060 people registered blind or partially sighted in London

Blind ‘trapped’ by poor pavements
Guide dog owners’ anger over access
A quarter of guide dogs working in London have been hit by a bike, according to the organisation Guide Dogs.

A survey involving a fifth of guide dog owners in the city also found 70% had experienced a near miss with cyclists on pavements or jumping red lights.

Rob Harris from Guide Dogs said some visually impaired people were “fearful” about going out which was “worrying”.

The London Cycling Campaign said every cyclist had a “duty of care”.

Charlie Lloyd from the organisation said: “Any crash or a close pass which frightens or intimidates a pedestrian is unacceptable.

Cyclist reminders
“Far worse when that person is blind, partially sighted or in any way less able than we are.”

Guide dog owner Deborah Persaud said she was involved in a collision with a cyclist on the pavement while she was walking home in Islington.

She said: “My dress was torn, the contents of my handbag damaged and I was left with damage to my shoulder and hip.”

As part of the campaign, Guide Dogs said it was reminding riders to use a bell or call out to owners waiting to cross the road to let them know they were on the road and to remind cyclists not to ride up behind a guide dog in case it startles them.

It added that cyclists should always dismount if using the pavement.

There are 41,060 people registered blind or partially sighted in London with just over 320 using guide dogs in the city.

No Coffee shop restaurant union sq. Manhattan manager an Abel bodied person being kicked in a crowd and a wheelchair user being knocked around are not the same.

For the last three and a half years I have told readers on this blog and all my social media how great the coffee shop restaurant union square Manhattan was and how great Carlos the manager was, that stops now. They are bigoted uninformed and will always take the word of the trendy rich customer over the one with wheels under their asses. Let me explain-
Yesterday after a botched doctor’s appointment where I had to roll 97blocks(8 miles) one-way to get there I decided I needed a friendly face so I rolled into the coffee shop chatted with Carlos ordered lunch and a beer so far so good.
The bar at the coffee shop is wave shaped (imagine a snake) it is a series of horseshoe shapes connected that jut out into the room so I always choose the inside of the shape so Zeus won’t be trod on nor my chair kicked.
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About a half hour after I sat down and settled zeus on the floor
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Three white gentlemen and a African American gentleman all expensively dressed sat behind Zeus and I, and from the moment they sat down Comments about “fatfuck in a wheelchair” and “cow tipping”started almost immediately. Every time they stood up or went to the bathroom and some of it I think was for no other purpose than to kick my chair I was repeatedly kicked without apology. Sometimes tthe kick was so violent my wheels lifted off the ground.
In the past I have said something and was told “get over it this is New York” so I have learned to sit and take it for the most part.
Yesterday I had taken the precaution of being out of the walk way there was no need for me to “get over it” So finally after hearing comments of “points” and “That’s worth a drink” every time I was knocked I finally twisted in my chair when kicked and said to the well-dressed African American “really dude is kicking me necessary? No apology? what am I a drinking game?” he stopped and said laughingly “you’re right I am sorry, sorry your such a fat fuck in a chair” and laughed.
I turned my chair back and someone behind me swiped at my head I moved my head to the side it happened again and I blocked the arm I turned and with the superior position told the asshole what kind of disgusting pig finds the abuse of the disabled a game he tried to attack me again and Zeus growled suddenly security was all over us.
The manager who I thought was a friend and some woman whose only job was to scream and abuse me started in on me, I told them what had been happening, their words were “everyone gets knocked all the time get over it”? Sound familiar? I tried to talk to Carlos but she kept screaming over me, I eventually at my wits end told her to shut up and I said to Carlos that under the Americans with disabilities act my chair was my body an attack on a wheelies chair with them in it if deliberate is deemed assault. The loudmouth woman screamed “SHOW ME THIS ADA? I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT”
As I was being screamed out and told I was wrong, the people talking to me were signaling the men’s bill be comped and another round on the house.
I was told I have no rights to speak to another customer even if they’re abusing me, even if they’re assaulting me, even if they have made both of the above a drinking game based on their perverse version of cow tipping?
Coffee shop I now see is everything people told me it was and I was too naïve to see, nothing more than a gathering place for the immensely emaciated the overly inflated egos of the fashion industry and glitterati staffed for the most part by failed models who all look like their two fingers away from their next bulimic episode.
Well folks wheels under our asses does not mean we deserve less treatment than the latest top model, yes Zeus is cute and you all loved to coo over him but I am at the other end of the leash and I am actually the one with the money who ordered the food.
So folks the coffee shop restaurant is neither a good coffee shop or restaurant it more resembles a waiting room for group therapy for those with eating disorders and a waiting room for wannabe models. So if your waist is bigger than size zero and you actually want to feel good about yourself I suggest the restaurant at the W hotel just across the square, they care for everybody and they discriminate against nobody and people are allowed to speak to other people and yes even say “please don’t kick my chair” and the only drinking games are between the sports team staying in-house and it’s about football not the disabled. Tell the musclebound doorman at the main entrance Mia and Zeus sent you.

BC accessibility law by 2017? Columnist Caune says maybe

Mia’s thoughts- Below is another story from my activist colleague from British Columbia Canada Paul Caune. To the government of Canada and all it’s provinces, the disabled are citizens. It’s simple,if you take their tax money then you fill their needs! They elected you, they can un elect you.
The world over disabled rights are on the forefront of the human rights fight, catch up now or watch from the sidelines as someone else does it for you. be warned.

Plenty of precedents for BC accessibility law in USA, Europe

There should be a BC accessibility law by 2017. Premier Christy Clark has said with regard to passing accessibility legislation: “we aren’t starting from scratch.”

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BC Premier Christy Clark. Photo: Handout.
The Premier is right: BC can benefit from the lead taken by Australia, Ireland, Manitoba, New Zealand, Ontario, the United Kingdom and the USA.

At the June 16 Accessibility Summit, at which the Provincial government announced how it will make British Columbia the most progressive place in Canada for disabled voters, Premier Clark said: ”We will look for options for a made-in-B.C. approach with legislation that will improve access for persons with disabilities. It’s important that we don’t see that as a way to increase red tape, but there is a way to do it, a way that makes sure it’s doable and that it works for people who need it. And it’s important to note as well that we aren’t starting from scratch here.”

To repeat, Premier Clark is right that “we aren’t starting from scratch.”

The BC Government knows other so-called comparable jurisdictions have accessibility legislation. For example: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by the Congress of the United States of America and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. This means there is twenty-four years of experience in a nation of over 300 million people for us to learn from. The US Congress amended the ADA in 2009 to rectify some flaws in the original law which had unintended negative consequences for Americans with disabilities. BC can learn from the Americans’ willingness to correct their own mistakes.

There are laws other than the ADA which can guide us on what to do, and what not to do, in British Columbia.

For example: USA’s 1980 Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Australia’s 1992 Disability Discrimination Act, the UK 1995 Disability Discrimination Act, the UK 1996 Direct Payments Act, the Republic of Ireland’s 1999 National Disability Authority Act, New Zealand’s 2000 Public Health and Disability Act, Ontario’s 2001 Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Republic of Ireland’s 2005 Disability Act, Ontario’s 2005 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Australia’s 2006 Disability Act and Manitoba’s 2013 Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

All these laws were passed by small-c conservative, liberal or social democratic parties within the Western mainstream. Each of these parties concluded that their societies needed legislation to guarantee the full inclusion of disabled voters.

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Beacon columnist Paul Caune.
I’ve proven that Premier Clark is right that we don’t need to start from scratch in regards to the accessibility law she has committed to pass. The relevant experts working for the BC Government have no doubt already made cost/benefit studies of each of the laws I referred to above and given executive summaries of these studies to the relevant ministers.

We already know what some world-class disability experts have recommended: Spinal Cord Injury British Columbia and the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing have both told the Government that BC needs a BC accessibility law similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Rick Hansen Foundation told the Government it “should develop a legislative framework to buttress and support its [disability action plan] and ensure its adoption and implementation.”

And since 2009 Civil Rights Now has pushed for a BC accessibility law similar to the UK’s 1996 Direct Payments Act to give disabled voters the power to make the providers of taxpayer-funded disability services genuinely accountable and for a law similar to the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act.

Given the fact that so many comparable jurisdictions already have accessibility legislation and that Premier Clark has made a commitment to pass legislation to improve access for disabled voters, I think it’s reasonable for voters to expect the Clark Government to pass an effective BC accessibility law before the May 9, 2017 general election.

Paul Caune is the Executive Director of CIVIL RIGHTS NOW! He can be contacted at civilrightsnow@yahoo.ca or through CRN’s website