Education

Transition – Who does what and when?

  

Family, High School, CLBC & MCFD –  Who does what & when?

 

Timeline for Parents & Caregivers:

Community Living BC’s Basic Transition Guide:

Roles and Tasks of Team Members:

Transition Planning Framework – Cross Ministry Policy:

 

Burnaby SD#41 and Inclusive Education

Contact Information 2013/14:

 

MCFD:

Into Adulthood, Guidelines and Best Practices:

 

CLBC – Eligibility & Basic Information:

Transition Planning Process:  http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/individuals-families/youth-in-transition/

Information for families, also available in different languages:  http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/policies-publications/publications/fact-sheets/

Eligibility Policy and Assessor Report:  http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/policies-publications/policies/eligibility-for-clbc-february-2009/

 

Post Secondary Links:

Douglas College, Adult Special Education:  http://www.douglas.bc.ca/programs/basic-occupational-education.html

Vancouver Community College, Adult Special Education:  http://www.vcc.ca/programs-courses/detail.cfm?div_id=4&prog_id=148

  • Contact:  Maureen Mills:  604.443.8451 or Kathy O’Donnell:  604.443.8434 or  kodonnell@vcc.c

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Access Programs for People with Disabilities:  http://www.kwantlen.ca/aca/appd.html

Capilano University, Accces to work program:   http://www2.capilanou.ca/programs/access.html

Steps Forward - BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education:  http://www.steps-forward.org/

 

Need some support at school this year?

  

Seek advice from people with experience.

Other parents can provide ideas that could help guide you through the school system, even if their child’s issues are different than yours. Community and government organizations can provide contacts to parents and information about support services and educational policies. Some organizations you may wish to contact include:

  • BC Federation of Parent Advisory Councils 604-687-4433 www.bccpac.bc.ca   A non-profit organization that advocates for the best possible education for all children in BC, through the active involvement of parents.
  • Learning Disabilities Association 604-873-8139  www.ldabc.ca/
    Provides programs and services including tutoring, advocacy, and education about learning disabilities.
  • Family Support Institute 604-540-8374 www.familysupportbc.com
    Provides parent-to-parent support and advocacy for families of people with disabilities, as well as resources, information, and workshops.
  • BC Association for Community Living 604-777-9100 www.bcacl.org  For all individuals with developmental disabilities. Some nice resources and links to Transitions and Inclusive Education.
  • Community Living BC 604-664-0101 www.communitylivingbc.ca
    Delivers support and services to ELIGIBLE individuals with developmental disabilties and their families. This includes transition planning to adult service in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Good FAQs on eligibility and programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Ministry of Children and Family Development 250-952-6044 www.gov.bc.ca/mcf/
    Services include a range of child, youth, and family focused support programs and interventions to help promote.  All are eligibility tested.
  • Federation of Independent School Associations 604-684-6023 www.fisabc.ca
    An umbrella organization for independent schools in BC. Acts as a liaison between the schools, government, and other educational institutions.

SMART IEP links

  

The best type of IEP goals are SMART or:

S  Specific

M Measurable

A  Action words are used

R  Realistic and Relevant

T  Time limited

Some links to how to write effective Individual Education Plan goals:

Comprehensive overview of SMART IEPs: http://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/feta/ch12.ieps.pdf

Ideas for SMART goals:

http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/docs/iepssn.pdf

You should also connect with the local, national and international organizations that represent your child’s special need.  These organizations will have disability-specific hints and tips for you, your child and your family.

Post Secondary bursaries and scholarships

  

I have found many good leads for funding at this site: disabilityawards.ca

Don’t forget to follow up with the disability organization that supports your child in your province as well. For example, here in BC the Cerebral Palsy Association has bursaries for post-secondary students who have Cerebral Palsy.

Check out STEPS Forward as well, they have some great ideas: steps-forward.org

Finally, dont’ forget to take all the tax breaks you can to help fund your student’s education.

 

Trouble navigating the disability system?

  

Our Disability Benefits Navigator allows you to quickly find what you might be missing: http://www.abilitytax.ca/navigator/home.html

 

 

 

 

IEPs… What do I need to know?

  

*updated 2012*

The IEP (Individual Education Plan)is an important way to get input into your child’s education. The important thing to know is that as a parent have a right to participate in the IEP process.

An IEP has three stages:

  1. developing and writing the plan
  2. implementing and evaluating the plan
  3. reporting on student progress toward the goals in the plan

This is an evolving process: as the student’s needs change, the IEP should change.  

Your school district will most likely have a "template" for the IEP that they would prefer to use.  Remember, these are just guides to make the process easier.  Ask for a change if you do not like the template that is offerred.

 

Learn about Student Support Services in your district:
Student support services could include: learning assistance, counseling, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language services. However, these may or may not be applicable to your child.

Different school districts may name or deliver their support services in slightly different ways. For information on school district services start by looking at your district website:

http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/schools/bcmap.htm

 

The Basics of the IEP:

The British Columbia Ministry of Education provides some basic information about IEPs that you can reference to get started.  There is also a Ministy resource page that has some disability specific suggestions and guidelines. Make sure you understand the difference between adaptations and modifications.

Some good basic guides:

BC Association for Community Living Parent’s Handbook on Inclusive Education.

BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils: Individual
Education Plans A Guide for Parents

BC Ministry of Education: A Resource Guide for Teachers

Making the IEP work:

The core of the IEP is the goals. Once there is an IEP in place, you also need to think about what your child needs to support the outcomes in the IEP in terms of support: Education Assistant (EA), speech therapy, augmentative communication resources or behaviour and communication support.

Go to the IEP meeting prepared by knowing what you want and be prepared to ask for it. You may have to request a formal meeting to resolve differences.

 


This year, get organized!

  

Wondering if getting organized is worth your time? Here are a few fun statistics to help you decide:

  • Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40 per cent of housework in an average home.
  • 23% of adults say they pay bills late (and thus incur fees) because they lose them.
  • Eighty per cent of the clutter in homes is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.

(Survey results from Ikea and the National Association of Professional Organizers)

 

PLUS, as the parent of a child with a disability, you will feel very powerful when you can put your hands on critical information and documents when you need them!  If you have a child with a disability the paperless society is still a long way off, you will accumulate paper, paper and more paper.    Attending a meeting? You might be asked to bring a document that you last saw on your kitchen table 3 months ago.  Where is it now?

First, pick an organization system you are comfortable with.  If you don’t like punching holes in paper don’t use a binder system just because your friend does it that way. 

Try experimenting with ideas you find on-line or that other parents have used and see what works for you.  At home I use a simple system of a few active files which I keep handy in an open file holder. Once or twice a year I file older items but I always keep current documents like IEP’s or assessments on hand.  Get a filing cabinet or a storage box and use it for old documents that you may need again but be ruthless and  THROW OUT outdated information. 

Some people have been successful with accordian-style paper holders.   You can buy these with many or only a few sections, it depends on your family’s needs.

Try Googling "Organization systems", "Get organized now" or "personal organization".  There must be a million ways to get organized and I think they are all on the internet! Look for good hints and tips, you don’t need to spend money for a fancy system.

A  few places to start:

Binder system (make your own):

Find lots of examples and links to sites for templates:

http://www.medicalhomeinfo.org/for_families/care_notebook/

Vermont Family Network Care Notebook:  "Parents can purchase the
necessary components of a Care Notebook themselves at any office supply store",  and this site includes downloadable templates.

http://www.vermontfamilynetwork.org/i-need-help-with/health/care-notebook/ 

Start the school year out right and get organized early.

Top Ten Tips for a New School Year

  

*upated 2012*

1. Be patient, the start of a new school year is always a challenge until things settle down and order gets established.

2. If you have a child with challenges, try to meet with the teacher as soon as possible.

3. Inquire early in the school year about your child’s IEP – try and have it done before the end of October. Advocate that it been done asap. This is important because it sets the stage for the whole year.

4. Read the BCACL’s booklet on Inclusive Education it is well-written and informative. The E Book has great live links.

5.  Introduce yourself to the principal. In my experience, the principal sets the tone for the school. Do your best to get their support.

6. In advance of the school year, plan what you think your child needs and ensure that it is encapsulated within the IEP

7. Remember your child has a right to be in school. It is the law.

8. Get to know the organizational structure in your school system so you know who to go to if issues arise. Who does the principal report to? And who in turn do that person report to? and so on…

9. Share information with the teacher and EA that they will need to support your child. If you require a formal meeting ask for one.

10. Work on building relationships with people at the school, talk to other parents, and get support from an advocate if you need it.

Summer Internet Safety for parents

  

(updated June 2012)

You just know the kids will spend way too much time on-line over the summer, but do you know some of the things you should be aware of to help keep them safe?

I have found a few places to help you think about what you and your family’s needs really are and perhaps help you to start a conversation with your child about how they use the internet.

Internet Safety Advice from another parent:

Geek Dad on Wired.com The Geek Dad blog is "raising the geek generation 2.0".  You will find reviews of filtering software and security products as well as the common-sense advice parents can really use.  The guys also really like cool toys and new apps so there is lots to have fun with here too.  See the post:  5 Steps to a Family-Safe Internet

Internet safety advice from an organization specializing in the family and parenting:

Common Sense International: you will find basic information about all the various types of communication on the internet from on-line gaming to email to social networking sites.  What are they, and how do they work, as well as some safety tips for families. 

What parents need to know about Cyberbullying:

Define the Line:   Clarifying the Blurred Lines between Cyber-bullying and Socially Responsible Digital Citizenship. This thought-provoking Canadian site explains the issue in plain language and includes some video vignettes for both adults and youth.  This is not a “how to deal with cyber-bullying” website because there are no
quick fixes but this website can help you make informed choices.

Where to find Apps!

  

Need to find a few good sites to help you find the appropriate applications to use with your child with special needs? 

Here are a few highly recommended sites that review and comment on both the best apps and the new apps:

I Education Apps Review: A community effort to grade educational apps.  http://www.iear.org/

SpeechTechie: Simple and interactive technologies you can use in language lessons and intervention. http://www.speechtechie.com/

Speech/Language Pathology Sharing:  How to use modern technologies to facilitate learning of speech-language skills and prepare students with the skills and technologies for their futures. http://slpsharing.com/about/

Moms with Apps:   A group of individual, independent, family-friendly developers who share best practices on making and marketing mobile apps. http://momswithapps.com/

iPodsibilities:  One teacher’s thoughts on using iPods and iPads in the classroom.  http://web.me.com/meg.wilson/iPodsibilities/Home.html  

See in particular special ed apps:

http://web.me.com/meg.wilson/iPodsibilities/SpEd_Apps.html

Geek SLP:  A good source for apps and speech therapy technology. http://www.geekslp.com/

 

General Education Links and Resources:

CAYA:  Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults. Provincial
government agency that provides augmentative communication assistance in
BC.  http://www.cayabc.org/default.shtml  Also check out the SetBC resource list: http://www.setbc.org/lcindexer/

FreeTech4Teachers:  Free Resources and Lesson Plans for
Teaching with Technology.  This is a generic education site with great
FREE ideas and downloads to help you use technology better.  http://www.freetech4teachers.com/