COMMUNITY LIVING STORMONT COUNTY NAMED ONTARIO RECIPIENT OF 2010 CACL INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AWARD
At its 57th Annual Conference and AGM this past May, Community Living Ontario was proud to join Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President of CACL, to present the 2010 CACL Inclusive Education Award to this year’s recipient: Community Living Stormont County. The nomination was made by Bobbi Steffan, President, Brockville Association for Community Involvement. The award is presented to an individual or team in each of the 13 provinces or territories that has made a positive contribution towards the goal of meaningful inclusion in the education system of students who have a disability.
According to Ms. Steffan, Community Living Stormont County “has an impressive history of advocacy on behalf of families and people with intellectual disabilities. It was a pioneer in inclusive preschools, and carried that spirit forward to promote inclusive education at the elementary and secondary levels.” This is evident in the ongoing work and achievements of the Association which includes working toward the closure of the Kinsmen School in Cornwall, Ontario, one of the remaining seven segregated schools in the province.
In praising the Association’s efforts in relation to inclusive education, another colleague, Rick Tutt, Executive Director, Community Living Association Lanark County said: “They have always maintained a low profile, worked hard at doing the right thing, and are not flamboyant. They are a hardworking, grassroots organization that has a commendable commitment to families and to inclusive education.”
Congratulations Community Living Stormont County! Shown with Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President, CACL are Community Living Stormont County representatives Dick D’alessio, Executive Director and Linda Lister, Vice-President.
Manitoba ACL sponsors Inlcusive Education Institute Leadership and Collaboration in Inclusive Education
July 21 to 24 2009; Winnipeg, Manitoba
Anne Kresta, the Inclusive Education Consultant for Community Living Manitoba organized a successful institute in Winnipeg this summer. Her update on the event follows.
Click on the thumbnail for the PDF.
NBACL continues as Inclusive Education Secretariat for National Action Committee
New Brunswick has been called a leader in inclusive education in Canada and NBACL continues to provide leadership in this area. The NB group has been the Secretariat for the National Action Committee set up by CACL and Provincial/Territorial Associations that consider inclusive education a priority for joint action. They have agreed to continue in this role. Seen here are Shana Soucy, the NBACL staff member who works on IE issues, President Marlene Munn, who chairs the NAC, and NBACL Executive Director Krista Carr. They are currently revising the action plan of the NAC and setting up strategies to collaborate with their colleagues from across the country on actions that can be carried out in the coming months.
For information on the NAC email Shana Soucy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Rivers and Krista Carr Get Together to Share Strategies
Bruce Rivers, Executive Director of Community Living Toronto, the largest local member in the Community Living movement in Canada recently visited with Krista Carr, the Executive Director of the New Brunswick ACL. Bruce visited the NBACL offices in Fredericton and discussed several issues with staff members of NBACL. The key topic was inclusive education and the strategies that NBACL uses to promote inclusion in schools throughout the province. Ken Pike and Julie Stone, who both work on education issues were part of the discussion. In addition, NBACL arranged for Brian Kelly, the Director of Student Services for the NB Ministry of Education to discuss education issues. Part of the discussion centered on the MacKay Report on inclusion that was completed 2 years ago and is being used to guide on-going actions. The NBACL input into that strategy was discussed.
In addition, Bruce and Krista talked about the new approach to funding personal supports being developed in New Brunswick. It is a positive policy development created in large part as a consequence of lobbying and joint planning between government and NBACL.
In communities across Canada, individuals, family members, educators and organizations are actively promoting inclusive education. Through workshops, consultations, Summer Institutes and other events run by provincial and territorial Associations for Community Living, local and national efforts are being linked. Many partners in the education system are being engaged and a variety of partnerships, networks and dialogues are being launched to move commitments to human rights and inclusion in education into actual policies and practices in communities across the country.
Promoting Inclusive Education across Canada:
Yellowknife Association for Community Living
The Yellowknife Association for Community Living (YKACL) shares the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) belief that “inclusive Schooling is more than a method or strategy; it is a way of life that is tied directly to the belief system that values diversity.” (GNWT ECE Departmental Direction on Inclusive Education, 1996). YKACL has shown their commitment to Inclusive Education by operating the Literacy Outreach Centre, in partnership with Aurora College, since 1996. The program offers basic literacy support to people with and without disabilities in an inclusive classroom.
In 1999-2000, the Association facilitated workshops in elementary schools in Fort Rae and Yellowknife to encourage inclusion. The Family Project was established in 2001 and its goal is to consult with families about their needs and work towards meeting those needs. Inclusive Education was an area identified by families as a concern.
Since 2001, the Family Project has sponsored workshops for parents, providing information on the school system and working with educators. The project also provides advocacy and support for parents during meetings with school officials regarding the education of their children with disabilities.
Our most recent endeavour is the Inclusive Education Forum. The Forum was attended by parents, educators, government officials and community agencies. The results of this forum, outlined in this report, will be shared with ECE; school boards; community agencies, and parents and distributed through web sites. The Yellowknife Association for Community Living will follow up on the recommendations stemming from the Forum beginning in the 2005-2006 fiscal year.
British Columbia Association for Community Living
The following are general guiding principles for the BCACL's education policies:
- The public school system is the foundation for inclusive education.
- All students have the right to receive a public education in the regular classroom.
- Inclusive education at all levels benefits students with special needs and their peers.
- Each student is unique and needs an individualized approach to education to meet his or her intellectual, physical, social, and emotional and career development goals.
- Parents are valuable contributing partners in the education system and their involvement enhances the effectiveness and accountability of the school system.
- Parents have a responsibility to be involved in their child’s education and schools have the responsibility to encourage parental involvement.
- Students’ participation in all aspects of school life is vital to a rich education experience.
- Transitions are more successful for students when formalized student-centered planning occurs.
BCACL has produced an education booklet, which is now available on-line: Everyone Belongs in Our Schools: Making the case for inclusive education in British Columbia
» download file (BCACL, 2002, 20 pp.)
This booklet makes the case for inclusive education by shattering myths, presenting research findings on the positive impact of inclusive education, and telling the stories of five young people who, with the support of their teachers and families, are a testament to the value of inclusion. Includes references and ideas for how to support and advocate for inclusive schools. A useful information tool for teachers, school boards, families, advocates and community organizations.
BCACL attended the Executive Committee Meeting of the BC Teachers Federation to Present Charlie Naylor with his Inclusive Education Award.
Association for Community Living Manitoba
On October 21st, 2004 ACL-Manitoba convened an Inclusive Education Summit. The goals of the Summit were:
- To celebrate our accomplishments and successes in inclusive education
- To understand the perspective of stakeholders in inclusive education
- To encourage partnerships and involvement with the Department of Education, Citizenship and Youth, with the community, with schools, with individuals and with families, to further promote inclusion of children with disabilities in our schools.
The day-long event included:
- a Keynote Address by the Honourable Peter Bjornson, Minister of Education, Citizenship & Youth on the progress of Bill 13
- a panel presentation Why We do Inclusion?
- Concurrent sessions:
Working in partnership parents & teachers
Pulling it all together universal design
Evaluating the quality of inclusive education
Findings from our research from observation to action
- Understanding the legal aspects of Bill 13
- A panel presentation Perspectives of stakeholders
- Conclusion The challenges ahead
To download a copy of the Report of the Manitoba Inclusive Education Summit, click here.
L’Association du Québec pour l’intégration sociale (AQIS)
- Fait des représentations auprès du Gouvernement du Québec et Ministère de l’Éducation et dénonce les situations dérogeant à la loi.
- Agit comme expert-conseil lors de réorganisations des services d’une commission scolaire ou lors de l’élaboration de plan stratégique concernant les élèves vivant avec des limitations fonctionnelles.
- Suit les divers dossiers juridiques, notamment les jugements du Tribunal des droits de la personne.
- Participe à des rencontres avec divers partenaires pour évaluer la situation de l’inclusion scolaire et établir des plans d’action.
- Informe ses membres des états de situation, de leurs droits et des gains en matière d’inclusion scolaire.
- Accompagne des parents et intervenants à des assemblées de commissaires scolaires dans des dossiers spécifiques.
The Quebec Association for Community Living (QACL)
- Makes submissions to the Government of Quebec and the Ministry of Education and exposes situations that contravene the law.
- Acts as a consultant during the restructuring of the services provided by a school board or during the development of strategic plans concerning students with developmental disabilities.
- Follows various legal cases, including the decisions of the Human Rights Commission.
- Takes part in meetings with various partners to evaluate the status of inclusive education and establish action plans.
- Makes progress reports to its members, informs them of their rights and advances in inclusive education.
- Provides support to parents and advocates at meetings with trustees regarding special cases.
New Brunswick Association for Community Living
Over the past two decades New Brunswick has come to be seen internationally as a forerunner in building an inclusive public education system. Since the passage of Bill 85 in 1986, a cornerstone of its education policy has been the unconditional acceptance of all children into regular classes and the life of the school.
Inclusive Education: A Review of Programming and Services
In November, 2004 the Department of Education launched a Review of Programming and Services. The purpose of the review is to produce recommendations to:
- Assist the government of New Brunswick to develop a policy framework for inclusive education;
- Develop a model for an effective, accountable, inclusive education system which makes the best possible use of human and other resources, capitalizes on positive partnerships and responds to the particular requirements of each linguistic sector.
To review the Terms of Reference for the review, click here.
To download a copy of the New Brunswick ACL’s written submission (May, 2005), click here.
The Roles and Responsibilities of Teacher Assistants Within an Inclusive Education System
Teacher assistants in regular classrooms have enabled students with disabilities to participate in a far greater variety of educational experiences with their non-disabled peers than they ever did when taught in separate classrooms. Teacher assistants very quickly became highly valued by teachers, parents, administrators, and the students themselves. In addition, they have unquestionably made the classroom teacher's job even more effective.
NBACL hears many positive comments from parents who are more than satisfied with the help that teacher assistants provide to their sons and daughters. At the same time, however, NBACL hears from other parents of their concerns and frustrations about the way teacher assistants work with their children. These concerns suggest that the manner in which teacher assistants are used can build undesirable dependency and can interfere with student learning.
The concerns around the role, supervision, training, and scheduling of teacher assistants are not exclusive to the New Brunswick educational system. They are well documented in educational research. In fact, they are often expressed by teacher assistants, and classroom and resource teachers, themselves, who are frustrated by lack of clarity about their roles and expected working relationships, and the lack of structures to promote the kind of communication necessary to establish an effective working relationship.
The purposes of NBACL’s position paper on the roles and responsibilities of teacher assistants are:
- to identify the most frequently voiced concerns of parents and others; and
- to make recommendations regarding the use of teacher assistants within an inclusive school setting.
To download a copy of NBACL’s Postion Paper on the Roles and Responsibilities of Teacher Assistants Within an Inclusive Education System (July, 2004) click here.
Prince Edward Island Association for Community Living
Inclusive schooling is a vital factor in preparing students with intellectual disabilities for a life in their community. That is why the PEI Association for Community Living has made inclusive education one of its primary objectives. The Association held a preliminary meeting on Saturday, September 11, 2004 to bring various stakeholders together to discuss the progress that has been made toward developing inclusive education in our province. The resulting report Discussion Results: Consultation on The Status of Inclusive Education in Prince Edward Island summarizes the discussion of the participants and highlight some of the issues that were identified. We trust this report will serve as a useful basis for discussion of the issues at subsequent meetings.