Edward Mahony, Licensed Paralegal

Educational Advocacy

The need to understand fundamental special education regulations is an essential component of solid advocacy.

In 2007, the Ontario Ministry of Education released the resource document Shared Solutions – A Guide to Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Regarding Programs and Services for Students With Special Education Needs

Shared Solutions points to a remedy to the power imbalance felt by parents..

 

“Conflicts may also arise if parents and/or educators are not fully informed about

ministry regulations and policy documents with respect to regular and special

education. As well, it is important for all parties – educators, other professionals,

students, and parents – to be aware of their roles and responsibilities in

the planning, implementation, and monitoring of special education programs

and services.”  Shared Solutions, p.14

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/shared.pdf

Shared Solutions also points toward a key plank of the special education platform in the second paragraph of its Overview of Special Education. (Page 6)

“The children and youth who require special education programs and services are a diverse group. Some students with special education needs are formally identified by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC);”

 

The center piece of Special Education in Ontario Schools is the Individual Placement and Review Process.  When the special education regimen in Ontario was created, the legislature  made the IPRC the pivotal process where the parental common law rights of procedural fairness were found.

 

Therefore, our initial work here will be to understand the IPRC thoroughly. Doing that, however, we will look at many concepts that are intertwined and flow through the IPRC.

 

As we progress through a series of scenarios I will identify what I believe are pivotal, important aspects of the process as well as areas and concepts that often can, although mandated in legislation and cited in tribunal decisions, be less than familiar to some educators.

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