Special Education Advisory Committees
By law, each Ontario board of education must have a Special Education Advisory Committee composed of some school trustees and representatives from community advocacy groups that represent exceptional children. This committee advises the trustees and school board administration about special education programs and services.
As the only recognized provincial parent association supporting the needs of Ontario's gifted students, ABC Ontario has representatives serving on the SEAC of many of Ontario's local district school boards.
Under the Education Act Reg. 464/97, every school board must establish a Special Education Advisory Committee (Education Act, Section 57.1) Members are appointed by the school board. Membership includes three trustees, representatives of up to 12 local parent associations*, and others.
Comprehensive information is available at the Ontario Ministry of Education's SEAC Learning website: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/seac/
ABC Ontario policies concerning Special Education can be found in the official document "Parents as Partners" which can be found at this link as a PDF file. (SEAC representatives may find this especially informative.)
Additional information about ABC Ontario's Advocacy for Excellence in Education in Ontario that will be of interest to SEAC representatives and parents can be found in the Ontario Education and Advocacy Primer sections.
ABC Ontario is always interested in hearing from volunteers who may be interested in representing the needs of gifted learners on their local SEAC. Opportunities also exist to serve as an alternate (ie back-up) representative to ensure that gifted learners are regularly represented at the SEAC table.
The Special Education Advisory Committee:
- makes recommendations to the board with respect to any matter affecting the establishment, development, and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the board
- participates in the board’s annual review of its special education plan
- participates in the board’s annual budget process as it relates to special education
- reviews the financial statements of the board as they relate to special education
- provides information to parents, as requested.
(*A 'local parent association' operates in the area served by a school board and is affiliated with a provincial parent association that is incorporated and operates throughout Ontario to further the interests and well-being of one or more groups of exceptional children or adults. Representatives of parent associations must be tax supporters of the board and must not be employees of the board.)
For a fuller description of this SEAC, see the description in the .pdf document from the provincial Ministry of Education, Special Education, A Guide for Educators, page A8.
SEAC Effective Practices Handbook
The Provincial Parent Associations Advisory Committee on Special Education Advisory Committees (PAAC on SEAC) was established in 1983 to provide a forum for parent associations, whose members are eligible to sit on SEAC, to share ideas, strategies and address common concerns related SEACs across the province. The provincial parent associations and their representatives are valuable resources not only to each other and to SEACs but also to the Ministry of Education, school board officials, education and service providers, to parents and the community at large.
This handbook was designed for SEAC Members and Alternates that represent local associations and are affiliated with a provincial parent association. The handbook should also be helpful for all SEAC members and could be used by SEACs to evaluate their current practices and consider effective practices used by other SEACs. The handbook does not reflect any particular philosophy or exceptionality. SEAC members are encouraged to contact local association and/or provincial parent associations for further information regarding specific exceptionality or disability groups, and for orientation and training supports.
Special Education Websites
The following list of Internet Links that are helpful for SEAC representatives and parent advocates was prepared by an experienced ABC SEAC representative from Peel DSB.
• Royal Commission on Learning - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/abcs/rcom/main.html
• see item 34 - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/abcs/rcom/recommen.html
• Ministry of Education - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/index.html
• Special Education, A guide for Educators - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/guide/specedhandbooke.pdf
• SEA/SIP Funding Guideline - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/funding/0809/speced.pdf
• Shared Solutions - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/shared.html
• Publications Ontario - www.publications.serviceontario.ca
• Autism Benchmarks - http://www.autismontario.com/
• LDAO Online Courses - http://www.ldao.ca/ldao-services/workshops-courses/
• Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities - http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/index.aspx#
• Minister’s Advisory Council on Special Education (MACSE) - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/abcs/acse/acse_eng.html
• Ontario Human Rights - http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en
• Ontario Psychologists Association (OPA) Best Practices - http://opajoomla.knowledge4you.ca/
• CODE- http://www.ontariodirectors.ca/
• Learning for All - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/learning.html
• Hincks-Dellcrest, The ABC’s of Mental Health a Teacher’s Resource - http://www.hincksdellcrest.org/ABC/Welcome
• Community Use of Schools - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/community/
• Standards for a Special Education Plan - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/iepstand/iepstand.pdf
Developing your child’s education (IEP) plan:
• Individual Education Plan Process - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/individu.html
• The IEP Resource Guide - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/guide/resource/index.html
• The Individual Education Plan (IEP) - A Resource Guide (2004) A comprehensive guide to help parents understand the standards for development, program planning and implementation of a child’s Individual Education Plan. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/guide/resource/iepresguid.pdf
• IEP Samples - http://www.ontariodirectors.ca/IEP-PEI/index.html
• IPRC: The Identification , Placement, and Review Committee - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/identifi.html
• IPRC: Highlights - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/hilites.html