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October 21, 2009 - Special Education Advisory Committee Minutes
Special Education Advisory Committee
October 21, 2009

A meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee was held at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, October 21, 2009, at 7:00 p.m.
Present Trustees:
Elaine Crawford, Co-Chair
Helen Brown
Present Staff:
Marg Akey, Supervising Principal
Drew Boyce, School-to-Community Coordinator
Darlene Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson, Autism Resource Teacher
Steve Ward, Vice-Principal, Educational Services        
Present Other:
Kathy Bennett, Community Living Kingston
Nadine Carson, Epilepsy Kingston
John Freeman, Member-at-Large (Queen's University)
Pat LaLonde, Autism Society
Brad Shoniker, Member-at-Large
Charlene Whalen, Family & Children’s Services, Lennox and Addington
David Williams, Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston
Kristin Check, Coordinator, Project Lead "Connections for Students"
Scot Gillam, Principal, Educational Services
Kathy McVety-Kavanagh, Special Educatin Program Coordinator

        The meeting was chaired by Kathy Bennett, who welcomed those present to the meeting.  

Approval of Agenda

        Ms. Bennett advised that she will provide an update on SEAC Training under the Other Business section of the agenda.

        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried

Approval of Minutes

        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, that the minutes of the September 16, 2009 meeting, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Presentation – Living with ASD

        Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson introduced Lorna Jean Astle, an educational assistant.  He commented on the presentations Lorna Jean has given, noting that they were well received.

Presentation – Living with ASD

        Ms. Astle thanked the SEAC for inviting her to this evening’s meeting.  She stated that one and one-half years ago she was diagnosed as having Asperger’s.  She gave a speech about living with ASD.

        Ms. Bennett thanked her for speaking at this evening’s meeting, saying that she would be a wonderful advocate for those with ASD.

        Pat Lalonde said that she has a daughter who has autism, commenting that Ms. Astle is an inspiration.

        Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson and Lorna Jean Astle withdrew from the meeting.

“Some Very Special Kids – Coping with Learning Challenges” DVD

        Ms. Akey reported that this DVD was created around learning disabilities and it was produced by the Grade 7, 8 and 9 students in the Challenge Program at LCVI.  She said that as part of the Board’s communication plan in the Board’s Annual Accessibility Plan, the DVD is being presented to Trustees, SEAC members, and district Principals.  She said that the Accessibility Committee has viewed it.  She said that she would welcome any input.

        The “Some Very Special Kids – Coping with Learning Challenges” DVD was viewed.

        John Freeman suggested that the DVD be put on U Tube.

Administrative Procedure: Accessibility Standards for Customer Services

        Supervising Principal Akey stated that attached to the agenda is the administrative procedure that the LDSB will be adopting with regard to Accessibility Standards for Customer Services.  She said that when the Accessibility Committee set its goals for this coming year, one of the goals was to be compliant with Regulation 429.  She reviewed the administrative procedure regarding Accessibility Standards for Customer Services.  

        Ms. Akey stated that the Executive Summary of the Annual Accessibility Plan talks about the purpose of the Ontarians for Disabilities Act 2001 (ODA 2001) that being to improve opportunities for people with disabilities and to provide for their involvement in the identification, removal and prevention of barriers to their full participation in the life of the province.  She advised that the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA 2005) is to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities by providing for the development, implementation and enforcement of mandatory accessibility standards over time.

        Ms. Akey advised that out of the ODA 2001 and AODA 2005 came Regulation 429 which relates to accessibility standards for customer services, noting that boards have to comply this Regulation 429 by January 2010.   She said that Regulation 429 directs what the policy and procedure should look like and the type of things which must be addressed.

        Ms. Akey advised that the administrative procedure speaks to what customer services are and what its guiding principles are.

        Ms. Akey said that the administrative procedure has to address many things including the use of a support person coming into a building.  She said that a support person in this case is a person who assists or interprets for a person with a disability who accesses the services of the Board.  A support person is distinct from an employee who provides support services to a student or staff person in the system (separate and specific procedures apply).

        Ms. Akey reported that the LDSB administrative procedure was developed as a result of some of the work that was done by the Ontario Educational Services Corporation.  She advised that the Ontario Educational Services Corporation will provide training modules for us, and that it will probably be on-line training.

        Ms. Akey advised that other regulations would be coming forward in the near future.  She said that school boards are in good shape to do this work.

        Ms. Bennett thanked Ms. Akey for providing the above-noted information.

Educational Services Update

        Steve Ward provided an Educational Services update, as follows:

Autism Support

ABLLS Training – The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills
Training on October 30, 2009 for Autism Team, School to Community Team, and Transition Teams from schools with IBI discharge students
Examples – Visual Performance, Requests, Labeling, Social Interaction, Group Instruction, etc.

School to Community Services

Big Books – presentation at next SEAC
Swim Program is up and running
SCS Curriculum Council – October 20, 2009 at NDSS – focus on Big Book sharing, IEPs and measurable expectations and classroom visits

Computer Resource Teacher

Destination Reading
Premier Accessibility Suite – assisting schools with using this with all students

Program Coordinator

Student Support Teacher/Learning Program Support Teacher Course – six evenings in October and Novemer
EA Exceptionality Course – 5 evenings in November and December
Learning for All – Administrator focus in October and November

Senior Administrator

Risk Assessment Protocol Training – October 21, 2009
Level 1 and 2 Threat Assessment – December 1-4, 2009

OSSTF/LDSB PA Day – October 23, 2009

Essential Elements for Section 23 Teachers
Social Skills Strategies – School to Community Services
Differentiated Instruction
IEP Engine, Talking Word Processor
Teaching Students with anxiety and depression
Supporting students with ASD

Learning Disabilities

Support Program Applications due November 17, 2009
LD Committee meets in December to review applications – Principal of Educational Services, Vice-Principal, Program Teachers, Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinical Consultant review packages

Regional Assessment and Resource Centre (RARC)  – Queen’s University

On-Line to Success – for Grade 11 and 12 students with Communication – LD identification – Parent Information Night on November 19 – updated psychometric assessment upon completion of program
Grade 8 Transition Program – 20 spots for Grade 7 students with Communication – LD identification – assessment and follow-up

Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU) – Queen’s University

Grade 7 and 8 Programs
February Commuter SEEDS
SEEDS in Residence – three weeks (May and June)
June Commuter SEEDS – replaces the Fall SEEDS

Grade 9-12 Programs
E-mc2 Commuter and E-mc2 Residence Program in May

Blind/Low Vision and Deaf/HH

Face and Body Drama Workshop – great success
Barrier Free Initiatives Workshop – Canadian Hearing Society – equal access to all students attendings school
Information Table at OSSTF/LDSB PA Day on October 23, 2009

        Kathy Bennett thanked Mr. Ward for providing the above-noted information.


        Ms. Akey advised that correspondence was received from Cathie Blair, SEAC Chair, Upper Canada District School Board, dated September 30, 2009, regarding Special Education funding.  The letter speaks to the cuts made to Special Education and the Measure of Variability Factors, noting the letter addresses their concerns.

Association Updates

Brad Shoniker

        Brad Shoniker reported that Ongwanada is the middle of its accreditation process.

        Mr. Shoniker advised that he attended a workshop on October 9th which was hosted by the LDSB Educational Services Department for its community partners.  He said information about Educational Services supports was provided.

Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston   

        Mr. Williams reported that their website is up and running.  Their newsletter is posted on their website and it explains what is happening at the Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston.

        Mr. Williams advised that a workshop, Pediatric Anxiety and How It Interacts with ADHD and Learning Disabilities, was held on October 17, 2009, at St. Lawrence College,  from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  The workshop was presented by Dr. Kevin Nugent.       

        Mr. Williams reported that the organization is being restructured, since it received notice that there would be a halt to its funding.  He advised that they have been working with the United Way to secure funding.

Autism Society

        Pat LaLonde reported that October is Autism Awareness Month in Canada.  She further reported that there is an open invitation to the friends and families of children with autism to attend the movie “Where Wild Things Are” at the Empire Theatre in Kingston, noting that this is a fundraiser.

        Ms. LaLonde advised that she will be attending SEAC Training in Toronto in November.

        Pat LaLonde advised that Autism Ontario will be sending out the parent survey for PPM 140.  She said that the LDSB will distribute the information next week.

Epilepsy Kingston

        Nadine Carson reported that Epilepsy Kingston is in the process of changing its name to reflect its geographic boundaries.  She said that its new name will likely be Epilepsy Resource Centre of Southeastern Ontario.  She said that the new website address is

        Nadine Carson reported that Epilepsy Kingston will be hosting the Joint Conference of Epilepsy Alliance in 2010.

        Ms. Carson advised that if one goes to U Tube and googles Trash Talk, there is a wonderful commercial about kids with epilepsy and seizure disorders.

        Ms. Carson further advised that their “Wrapping Up Holidays” fundraiser will be held in December.

Community Living Kingston

        Kathy Bennett commented on a learning situation at Queen’s University that Community Living Kingston helped out with, providing people in the medical field with insight on how with disabilities live.

Other Business

SEAC Training

        Committee members asked Kathy Bennett to arrange for Lynn Ziraldo to come to the Board to provide SEAC Training.  Kathy Bennett is to look for a date for training, perhaps on the same night as a SEAC meeting is held.  It was requested that training be around 4:30 p.m.  

November Agenda Items

        It was suggested that a presentation about the Big Books project be given at the November SEAC meeting.

Next Meeting Date

        The next meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, at 7:00 p.m.  The remaining 2009-2010 SEAC meeting schedule is as follows: December 9, 2009, January 20, 2010, February 17, 2010, March 24, 2010 (fourth Wednesday), April 21, 2010, May 19, 2010, and June 9, 2010 (second Wednesday).


        MOVED BY Brad Shoniker, that the meeting adjourn at 8:40~p.m.–Carried