OHRC Releases Policy on Accessible Education

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has released its new Policy on accessible education for students with disabilitiesalong with recommendations on how to best meet legal obligations under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

The policy:

  • recognizes that education is vitally important to a person’s social, academic and economic development
  • reflects a broad definition of disability
  • provides students and families with up-to-date information about their human rights and responsibilities
  • offers practical guidance to education providers to meet their legal duty to accommodate
  • reminds schools of their obligation to maintain accessible, inclusive, discrimination and harassment-free spaces.

The recommendations set out actions the government, schools and post-secondary institutions should take to make the education system inclusive, function effectively and allow students with disabilities to thrive.

“All students have the right to an education that allows them to meet their full potential and contribute to society, and yet students with disabilities continue to face obstacles accessing education services in Ontario,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane.

BCCL & Caledon Public Library Art Gala

 

On July 12, 2018, Brampton Caledon Community Living’s Caledon Connections in conjunction with the Caledon Public Library held their opening night art gala. The exhibit, Endless Possibilities, will be displayed on the upper floor of the Albion – Bolton library branch until Sept 12th, 2018.

The evening was attended by artists, family members and BCCL Staff. We were also fortunate to have Caledon Mayor Alan Thompson and the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Sylvia Jones attend the show. They both congratulated the artists on their work and spoke about the talented people we have in Caledon. The Caledon Library, who is a great supporter of BCCL, presented the artists with a token of their appreciation for the display of their work.

Caledon Connections & Caledon Library

Ontario court strikes down 10% limit on a registered charity’s non-partisan political activities

On July 16, 2018, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision in Canada Without Poverty v A.G. (Canada) (2018 ONSC 4147). The court ruled that:

-the 10% limit on a registered charity’s spending on non-partisan political activities is unconstitutional

-the definition of “charitable activities” in the Income Tax Act (ITA) includes non-partisan “political activities” if the activity is in support of the charity’s charitable mandate, and partisan political activities (i.e. advocating for a political party or candidate) remain prohibited.

As a result, a registered charity may devote more than 10% of its resources on non-partisan political activities (i.e. public advocacy that supports its charitable mission) without jeopardizing its registered charity status.

The decision provides more freedom to registered charities to engage in public advocacy, which for many charities is critical to carrying out their charitable mandates. At the time of publication, the Attorney General had not appealed the court’s decision.

If Inclusion Means Everyone, Why Not Me?

 

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/05/04/ontario-educational-system-failing-students-with-intellectual-disabilities-report.html

www.thestar.com
Students face “daunting” academic and social barriers that can leave them excluded, vulnerable to bullying and set them up for low expectations for the future, said the report, a joint project by experts in disabilities law and education.

OASIS LAUNCHES PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN #DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES MATTER

Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS) has launched its #developmental services matter pre-election campaign to raise awareness about the lack of funding for the developmental services sector.  Without adequate funding, community agencies can only do so much. Let’s do our share to help agencies succeed in helping others. Go to the links below to share your story in the comments to show families and agencies that they are not alone.  

 https://www.facebook.com/oasis.ontario/posts/1024501324355877:0
https://twitter.com/oasisontario/status/978306857877032961?s=21

 

Inclusive Education Month Week 4

The benefits of inclusive education

· Students with disabilities can acquire basic communication and motor skills through interactions with peers without disabilities who provide them with cues, prompts and consequences.
· Findings suggested that students with disabilities in mainstreamed classrooms made greater overall academic gains than did their peers with similar disabilities in segregated classrooms
· The inclusive classrooms focused instruction to a significant extent on academics (72% of the time) as compared to the segregated setting (24% of the time). Peer to peer instruction was more common in inclusive (18%) than in segregated settings.
· Students with disabilities can learn, be accepted and interact with other students in their environment
· Inclusion facilitates more appropriate social behaviour because of higher expectations in the general education classroom.
· Inclusion promotes levels of achievement higher or at least as high as those achieved in self-contained classrooms.
· Inclusion offers a wide circle of support including social support from classmates without disabilities.
· Improves the ability of students and teachers to adapt to different teaching and learning styles.
· Students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms talked and spent more time with their schoolmates while engaged in particular activities that students in special education classrooms.
· Studies indicate that students in inclusive settings avoided low self-esteem that can result from placement in a special education setting.
· Social competence and communication skills improve in inclusive settings.

For more information on Inclusive education go to :http://inclusiveeducation.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/07/Commentary-Booklet-FINAL.pdf

Inclusive Education Month Week 3

Did you know…
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that everyone has the right to an inclusive education. Canada was among the first countries to sign the convention. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has affirmed that educational services must promote inclusion and full participation and Regulation 181/98 of the Education Act in Ontario has called for placement of children who have an intellectual disability in regular classrooms as a first option.

For more information on Rights in Education please go to:
http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/introduction-disability-human-rights-ontario%E2%80%99s-education-system

DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES WAITLIST CLASS ACTION

The statement of claim alleges that the issue of waitlists for desperately needed services has been a repeatedly identified issue for years, which Ontario has continued to ignore and failed to act upon in any reasonable manner. The claim alleges, among other things, that Ontario has been negligent, breached fiduciary duties, and breached duties it owes to the class members under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, by virtue of these waitlists, some of which can last for years at a time as a result of the broken system.  Click on link below to read more

https://kmlaw.ca/cases/ontario-support-services-waitlist-class-action/

What is a class action? A class action is a lawsuit which provides a method for a large group of people with common claims to join together to advance one large claim.