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.
The best type of IEP goals are SMART or:
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:
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.
familyWORKS invites you to join us in our
‘Conversation about Real Work’
November 14th, 2009
6 pm – 9 pm
Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion
2709 Norland Avenue
Topics for discussion:
- What does ‘Real Work for Real Pay’ mean to families?
- What have families been doing to support their members to work?
- What are families’ thoughts, concerns, and words of wisdom?
- What has familyWORKS been up to?
familyWORKS governance group is: Kevin Lusignan, Lois Godfrey, Nelly Wong, Masa Takei, Karen Bruce, Marvin Bruce and John Tsang
Are you a BC Hydro customer? Do you live in a low-income household? If so, you may be eligible to receive a free energy saving kit from BC Hydro.
Their free energy saving kit for low-income households offers a variety of simple ways to help you save energy. By reducing how much energy you use every day, you can reduce how much you have to pay for heat and electricity. The tools in the kit will also increase the comfort of your home and help reduce our overall impact on the environment.
What’s in the kit?
The kit contains a number of simple, easy-to-install energy saving products including:
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs use up to 75% less energy than regular light bulbs. They can also last up to 10 years.
- Have a question about the safety of using or disposing CFLs? Visit our CFL tips page to watch videos and find out more information on these energy-saving bulbs.
- Weatherstripping to put around your windows and doors and help keep out drafts. (You can find videos on draft proofing on our tips page.)
- Fridge and freezer thermometers to help you set your refrigerator and freezer at an ideal temperature where your food stays cold, but you’re not wasting any extra energy.
- A low-flow showerhead that uses significantly less water than a standard showerhead.
- For a full list of the products included in the Energy Saving Kit and how to use the products, download a copy of the Energy Saving Kit instruction manual [PDF, 1.8 Mb].
The Family Wellness Fair features a “Lunch and Learn” for individuals in the disability community, their families, friends and caregivers, with esteemed motivational speaker/performer David Roche. Following the luncheon, we will hold the information/vending booth part of the day. The goal of the Family Wellness Fair is to provide information about services and products that assist people to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. We are inviting a variety of large and small businesses, community service providers, and alternative health care providers to attend the fair and provide information about their products and/or services.
- 3H Craftworks
- Burnaby Hospital Foundation
- Burnaby Public Library
- Canadian Cancer Society
- Canadian Diabetes Society
- Canadian Red Cross – Equipment Loans Program
- CBI Consultants
- Dignity Home Care
- Family Support Institute
- The Grape Box
- Hardman Acupuncture & TCM Clinic
- Nurse Next Door
- Soup ‘n Stuff
- Special Olympics, Burnaby
- St. John Ambulance
There will be door prizes from Active Life Health Clinic, Butterfly Yoga, Westcoast School of Massage Therapy, and Heart Centre Yoga. Onsite childcare is available.
If you wish to attend the free Lunch & Learn RSVP by Thursday, October 22nd to Kam.firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you require childcare during the event, you must RSVP by Monday, October 19th to Kam.email@example.com
The truth is I haven’t really figured out how to use Twitter for advocacy and at the same time I would like to. I have found some tips of how to use Twitter for advocacy and some more advice on Twitter.I will try and use these tips in the next campaign that comes along.
Also, check out Kevin Grandia’s blog on how to use Twitter generally and how to enhance the look of your Twitter page.
So, what is your advice on how to use Twitter as an advocacy tool?
When you have child with disabilities there is so much to do that paperwork never seems to get organized. My paperwork is in large messy piles on my desk and I can always find some activity more important than arranging it. However when I fight my natural inclination to ignore paperwork and keep organized records, it has paid off. For example, when we moved, just before my son entered high school, the school district told us that since he would not be entering the high school they had expected, he would not be able to attend school for the first weeks of Sept. I was able to show that we had informed them of the move several months before it occured and my son was able to start school with his peers.
An easy way to avoid red tape is writing in or asking others to write letters or give you information in plain language. Here are some tips for writing in plain language:
- write short sentences
- use bigger print
- if you have to write a difficult or hard word to understand, put a short description of the word in brackets after the word. This way, you learn the meaning of both words.
- Don’t make a sentence or paragraph too wordy.
- Add pictures to the words because that they help to make it easier to understand.
- If you’re reading or writing a report or book (or paper with more than one page), underline or star all the words that are hard to understand. Then, tell the reader that all the underlined words are at the back with a description or definition of the word.
- There is booklet by Kathie Snow called People First Language. It has tips and ways to write in plain language.
When our daughter enrolled in her neighborhood elementary school when she was in Kindergarten, there was "before" and "after" school program for special needs students in an empty classroom. As the population of the school became larger, there was no space for the kids so the program was cancelled. The program was staffed by the then called, Bby. Association for the Mentally Handicapped (B.A.M.H.) As a working parent, I was in a panic as I did not know how to access experienced child care workers for a special needs child. I asked B.A.M.H. what the alternatives were and they did not have an immediate solution. I, along with a group of parents who had special needs children enrolled in the program asked B.A.M.H. if they would put a portable day care on the site of the school. To this day, the portable is still being used as an integrated "before" and "after" school program.
There are quite a few advocacy organizations in BC that work to support people with disabilities and their families. Some focus on helping people to understand and access the services and programs that are available to them.Others focus on providing resources for families and support networks. Many also work to represent the concerns of disabled people with governments and policy-makers. It’s not uncommon for families to get involved with many different advocacy organizations at the same time.
Some advocacy organizations:
BCACL is a provincial body with a membership made up of not-for-profits, families, and people with disabilities. BCACL works hard to influence government at a policy level.
Family Support Institute is a network of family volunteers who provide support for other families of children with disabilities.
PLAN is a not-for-profit that aims to help those with disabilities and their families create a safe and secure future.
Family Net is an independent provincial network that advocates on behalf of people with disabilities and their families at a policy level.
All of these organizations have great websites. For a more comprehensive list of advocacy organizations, see the BCACL website: