Hi Hilary I fully agree with your post. The lack of opportunities is disgraceful., and it does looks a bit like your timely letter to the PM has been given the ‘pass on’ treatment. However the beef is about the no academic department comment above. There are academic departments, well we are based in a School but have our own unique area within it, and small networks of academic scholars who are interrogating contemporary practices in the area of disability and inclusion in NZand internationally. The Uni of Waikato offers a Masters in Disability and Inclusion Studies, and has done so for the last decade. We have hung on through a wide-reaching Faculty restructure, and have slowly grown in numbers and reputation during this time. Sadly our presence isn’t well enough known. It has not been easy – we are a combination of disabled and non disabled staff and students with all that this means,, and that in itself has been a struggle. As you know undertaking research In this area is not easy, Yet we have successfully supervised 10 masters research completions with more to come and there are 3 PhD students currently researching in the area in a NZ context with one further graduating very soon. Some of this research has been published for international audiences. As academics we cannot be complete advocates I’m afraid, (the much contested partiality of the researcher applies here). Nevertheless we are very much here and any support would be welcome.
Ps. Our teacher trainees also take courses in Inclusive practices so that too is happening.