This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component.
The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect those of the Government of Canada. 

About Us

This website is designed to provide an overview of the most important concepts in education advocacy in Canada. It offers knowledge and tools for families and students with a disability seeking an inclusive education, and outlines the necessary supports needed to access it. We hope these short videos are helpful and encourage you to seek information from the additional advocacy resources listed on this site.

Introduction

Dr. Gordon L. Porter explains the current status of inclusive education in Canada. “While much progress has been made over the past 30 years, far too many segregated classrooms in too many communities still exist, and more change is needed.”

Nurturing Collaborative Relationships

Establishing harmonious relationships with key people from early on can help ensure your child thrives within an inclusive school. Continuously sharing knowledge, listening well and adopting a non-adversarial manner – being friendly or even talking over a cup of tea – contributes to effective advocacy. 

Taking Action as
an Advocate:
Final Thoughts

Understanding and using formal legal processes (as within the Education Act and the Human Rights Code) is important and sometimes the only way forward. But the first priority as a parent advocate is to build and sustain a good working relationship with the principal, administrative team and teachers of your local school.

Education and
Human Rights

The Ontario Human Rights Code is “a provincial law that gives everyone equal rights and opportunities to be free from discrimination.” Human Rights Lawyer Luke Reid explains discrimination in the context of education and disability.

Advocacy 101

From awareness of rules, polices and processes, to providing information related to your son or daughter’s talents and goals, likes and dislikes, capacity to self-advocate and more – advocate Andy Willemsen explains the critical link between knowledge and effective advocacy.

Inclusive Education 

While inclusive classrooms are very important for academic purposes, inclusive settings also contribute to the social and emotional development of all children. In Canada, the need for inclusive schools and communities is continually growing with our ever-increasing and diverse population.

Benjamin Williamson,
Student Advocate

Benjamin Williamson fought extraordinary odds to obtain his place as a first-year student at Carleton University. Over many years, Williamson faced and overcame multiple and ongoing forms of discrimination, both personally and at the legal and institutional levels. Sharing his fascinating story, he provides invaluable insights on his road to becoming a self-advocate for inclusive education.

Exclusion &
Shortened Days

Students with disabilities are sometimes excluded from schools outside of the regular suspension and expulsion process, an unfair situation for the student. 

Additional
Resources

Here you will find links to additional resources related to education and advocacy.

Overview of
IPRCs and IEPs

Schoolboards must identify children with disabilities and determine appropriate resources and placements allowing them to meet their learning needs. Parents and/or a principal may request an IPRC meeting. Once a placement is made, a student is legally entitled to have an Individual Education Plan within 30 days.

Suspension &
Expulsion 

When a decision to suspend or expel a student with a disability is being made, several factors must first be taken into account, including whether they have an IEP and whether they have been properly accommodated.

Organizations
That Can Help

As a first step we encourage you to contact your local Community Living organization for additional info related to any aspect of school or transition planning.