The Government of Ontario has committed to identifying and addressing accessibility barriers in the education sector and to the development of a new accessibility standard for education.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and accessibility standards provide a roadmap to an accessible Ontario, where people of all abilities can work, play and participate in all aspects of daily living. The purpose of a new accessibility standard for education would be to address barriers to accessibility in the delivery of education. Under the Act and accessibility standards, organizations across Ontario have flexibility to provide accessible services in a way that meets the needs of people with disabilities and is appropriate to the organization’s unique circumstances.
The Ministry of Education is seeking input on the development of an Accessibility Standard for Education that will address barriers in education that might prevent students from reaching their full potential.
Families and staff within the school district are invited to participate in an online survey in English or French. The Board will also invite feedback from its Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), Accessibility Committee and School Councils.
The online survey asks questions related to five themes:
1. Accessibility Awareness and Training: Ensuring all members of the school community have differentiated training to provide an accessible and inclusive educational experience
2. Awareness of Accessibility Accommodations – Policies, Processes, and Programs/Supports: Ensuring parents, students, and instructors have access to information about programs
3. Information, Communication, and Inclusive Decision-Making: Ensuring people with lived experience have a voice during planning processes
4. Transition Planning: Supporting children entering school from child care and planning for entry into post-secondary education or employment
5. Inclusive and Accessible Learning Spaces: Ensuring that K-12 schools, colleges and universities include accessibility features throughout the built environment.
The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete and will remain open until July 14, 2017.
The input from this event will be shared with the Minister of Education, the Minister Responsible for Accessibility, and a Standards Development Committee to help shape an accessibility standard for education. For more information about the engagement process, please email the Ministry.