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. 

ADVOCACY 101

As a first step, parents are advised to visit the Ontario government website and/or their local school board’s website to access IRPC and IEP guides and invest the time to understand them. Parents should carefully review their plans (and appeal if necessary); should not hesitate to take the lead in “pushing forward” such as by touring the school and meeting school staff and key people; and always be actively engaged in the process, rather than “just signing papers”. Supporting your child to speak up on their own behalf is beneficial not only to your son or daughter, but to the advocacy process overall. Creating a binder with all relevant documents printed out and bringing it to each meeting is also very important – others may not always read or have access to digital documents.

FACT SHEET

Advocacy Checklist. Click HERE to download.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES LINK

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

BIO  Andy Willemsen is a graduate of the University of Guelph's Child Studies program and works in the field of developmental services. He has worked for 29 years at Brampton Caledon Community Living and has been active with a variety of school and community issues. Over the years he has worked with numerous families, supporting them in their journey to secure good educational opportunities for their children. No matter what area he works in he believes that everybody should be part of their community – whether it is at their school, workplace or neighborhood.