Thursday, July 9, 2020

Catholic School Board approves 2020-2021 accessibility plan

The Board of Trustees has received the St. Clair Catholic District School Board’s accessibility plan for the 2020-2021 school year.

The plan, which is a blueprint created each year by the Board, sets out areas for continued improvement to make St. Clair Catholic accessible for all persons with disabilities.

The annual plan is a requirement of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

“Each year, our plan outlines key areas in which our Board identifies, removes and prevents barriers for persons with disabilities,” stated Lisa Demers, superintendent of education responsible for special education, in a media release.

“It is developed through on-going dialogue with students, staff and persons with disabilities.”

The plan focuses on five barriers – attitudinal, architectural, technological, information and communication, and policy.

School board officials say some of the highlights of the plan for 2020 2021 include:

– The St. Clair Catholic District School Board continues to work in partnership with local associations, community partners and our coterminous board to provide professional development opportunities for students, parents and staff.

“We are working in partnership with Chatham-Kent Public Health to focus on physical literacy and its impact on wellbeing and student achievement,” SCCDSB officials say.

– The Board is working together with community partners to develop strategies to address the most vulnerable students in their communities (e.g. ACCESS CANADA in Sarnia-Lambton, trauma informed schools).

– Facilities Services has worked in consultation with the Special Education Department and school communities to plan and provide accessible facilities ensuring that all renovations and additions meet building code requirements.

– Facilities Services continues to address accessibility inside, outside and around buildings.

– The Program Resource Teacher as well as the Itinerant Assistive Technology Teacher continue to provide additional training to Grades 2-6 classroom teachers and students, specifically with Read and Write for Google. This also provided additional support for students in Grades 3 and 6, in preparation for the EQAO assessment.

– Students with Special Equipment Amount (SEA) funded assistive technology continue to be provided with several hours of individualized training by the Itinerant Assistive Technology Teacher as well as a SEA Technology Trainer. School staff were invited to participate in the training with the students. Read and Write for Google has been the focus.

– The Information Services Team deployed additional WIFI access points as requested to facilitate increased usage of the Board’s WIFI networks.

In addition, all Board policies are reviewed on a cyclical basis and will include consideration of Equity and Inclusion and Accessibility legislation and regulations.

The full report is available, here.

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