An Australian mum has been successful in preventing installation of WiFi at her child’s school and has worked with the school in drafting EMR precautionary measures by requesting compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Article 9: Accessibility from the Conventions on the Rights of the Disabled to accommodate her child’s functional impairment.
She stated “My child has a sensitivity to EMR, specifically WiFi and Bluetooth elicit symptoms.” The school environment was very good already, to change that by installing WiFi would exclude the child’s access to the school. The first step she took was to register a compliment/complaint/ feedback form on the NSW Dept of Education’s website she said. “I requested help to find a WiFi- free high school and stated my child’s health complaints and symptoms. Rather than sending an email which could get “lost” in the system, I chose to use the education department’s processes for registering my complaint regarding accessibility to schools.” Around the same time, the child’s school initiated the WiFi installation discussion again. This quickly led to further conversations with the school and district education officers covering both accessibility issues.
The mother stated “I read extensively regarding disability in education policy, on human rights and Electro Hypersensitivity where functional impairment and disability were the focus. I was particularly interested in the perspectives of Prof Olle Johansson and Dr Isaac Jamieson, in relation to disability, human rights and the built environment.”
Referring to General Comment No. 2 (2014) Article 9: Accessibility and cross referencing with the Disability Discrimination Act and Disability Standards for Education it became apparent that to override the hardwired system with WiFi could put the school and decision makers in a position of discriminating against the child’s right to education on an equal basis with other students as they would be preventing accessibility to the school.