Everyone in Ontario has the right to good education and opportunities that help them be successful in their lives. But for people with mental or physical disabilities, Ontario’s education system has become a barrier for them. 45% of students with disabilities are often excluded from their classrooms for disability reasons. They are not included in any of the field trips, they experience bullying and they don’t get accurate support and tools which help them learn.
How it impacting student with an intellectual disability?
As per Community Living Ontario,
“Data was compiled from survey results of 280 parents or guardians of students who have an intellectual disability who were enrolled in Ontario’s public education system or who had graduated in the last five years. 33 in-depth interviews were subsequently conducted to gain a greater understanding of the students’ experiences in school, including academic, social and extracurricular opportunities, as well as various aspects of their relationships with the school.”
Overview of the survey results and interviews are grouped into five categories. Read More
“Parents described the painful loss of educational and social opportunities their child experienced, as well as their own issues,”
mentioned that Dr. Sheila Bennett, Professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University, who also co-wrote the report. “This included loss of work time, enhanced stress levels, financial strain and frequent disruptions. It was clear from our work that exclusion was one of the most painful and trying instances for parents.”
Challenges faced by special needs student
Despite their legal right they still face many challenges. It’s not only the students with disabilities who face the difficulties but also the parents. Often parents are asked to keep their children at home and are asked them to pick them up early from school.
Dr. Sheila Bennett also added
“Despite the general dissatisfaction, there were some notable benefits that accrued to students in more inclusive settings. For instance, students in inclusive settings were far more likely to be included in extracurricular and unstructured school activities, meaning that they had a much greater opportunity to socialize with their peers outside of the traditional classroom. It was also evident that students in an inclusive high school setting were far more likely to be enrolled in for-credit courses, allowing them to more fully reap the benefits of our education system.”
You can download the report here
Result of Survey
The research discloses parents who are overwhelmed, under emotional and financial stress trying to support their children, and in constant dispute with schools and boards.
Luke Reid, report co-author and Staff Lawyer at ARCH Disability Law Centre said
“The full inclusion of students who have an intellectual disability remains an unmet goal for our education system, even though school boards have clear obligations to ensure that students can fully access all the benefits of the education system.”
He added that the research captures a lot of the problems faced across the special education system for all groups. Read more
We suggest that change in the Education Act were required, along with strong and responsive education standard in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The report’s authors also encouraged the Government of Ontario and local school boards to undertake similar efforts to understand the challenges of students who have disabilities.
Disability Credit Canada encourages the Government of Ontario to take the required step to help the disabled students have a better and a bright future. We help disabled Canadians apply and receive the disability tax credit from the government of Canada. To start with, you can check disability tax credit eligibility guide to see if you are eligible or you can call us on our toll free line and receive a free no obligation assessment today. Request for a free assessment.