I am writing to encourage participation in the public consultation on the K-12 Standards Development Committee’s (K-12 SDC) Initial Recommendations Report (Initial Report).
In Ontario, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) outlines the legislated process for the development of new accessibility standards through Standards Development Committees. These Committees are responsible for developing and reviewing accessibility standards in Ontario. These accessibility standards help move Ontario forward on its journey to create a more accessible and inclusive province.
The mandate of the K-12 Education SDC is to provide recommendations to government on removing and preventing accessibility barriers in the publicly funded education system. The Initial Report is the result of an extensive joint effort of Government-appointed representatives from the disability community and the education sector to identify the barriers that students with disabilities face and the measures needed to remove and prevent them. I am pleased to inform you that the Initial Report is now available for public comment through an online survey at the following link: Consultation: Initial recommendations for the development of proposed Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) education accessibility standards | Ontario.ca.
As well, a Technical Sub-Committee – made up of members of the K-12 SDC and the committee working to develop a similar standard for the Post-secondary sector – has developed its recommendations on student transitions between different levels of the education sector, and between education and employment and the community. A link to this report is also found on the online survey web page.
The consultation will elicit comments from the public ─including students, parents, school and school board staff- on the Initial Report. The K-12 Education SDC will review and consider all feedback before it finalizes its recommendations and submits its final report to the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility for consideration.
I encourage you to share this public consultation opportunity widely, including with your Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). It is important that the diverse voices in our publicly funded K-12 education system share their insights and feedback so that they can be considered by the K-12 Education SDC before it submits its final report to the government.
The Initial Report was posted online on June 1, 2021 for a period of business 65 days. The public may also provide written submissions by email to: educationSDC@ontario.ca. The public has an opportunity to participate in these consultations until September 2, 2021.
Thank you in advance for promoting this opportunity internally and broadly to interested parties and your networks.