SPECIAL NEEDS A WIDE ARRAY OF ORGANISATIONS ASSIST PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN THE NETHERLANDS.
• The Netherlands has legislation protecting the rights of people with a physical, mental, emotional, or sensory impairment that ensures equal access to social, economic and transport systems and encourages full participation in society. TRANSPORT • Old Dutch cities with narrow, uneven streets and bikes parked everywhere are not brilliant terrain for those in wheelchairs, but access is improving. • Help is available getting to/through Schiphol airport (www.schiphol.nl) and railways (www.ns.nl), and the railway company NS has a bureau for disabled travellers (call 030 235 7822 or register online) to request journey assistance. • Your gemeente site will give local information, often in English, for the location of disabled parking places and other access issues, or look up zorg en welzijn and gehandicapten.
• Children are encouraged to attend mainstream primary schools under the “Going to school together” policy. • The Inclusive Education Act (Wet Passend Onderwijs) requires all schools to provide equal learning opportunities for every child. • Parents can opt for a special school, whether a speciaal basisonderwijs (SBO) for learning and behavioural support or a speciaal onderwijs at both primary (SO) and secondary (VSO) for specific special needs. • The language of instruction is Dutch, but children from a non-Dutch background can sometimes be taught in their mother tongue to help them settle in. • You will find Special Educational Needs (SEN) teachers at international schools where the language of instruction will be English, but you may have to fund the assistant. • The school of their choice – special or mainstream – will receive funding to cater for their needs, and the school will arrange assistance as required. • For higher education, “education and disability” visit (www.onderwijsenhandicap.nl).
SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONALS 2021 • THE NETHERLANDS • WWW.EXPATFAIR.NL