Media Advisory - Ontario Autism Coalition To Protest Lack Of Educational Supports For Students With Autism

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - The Ontario Autism Coalition (OAC), a province-wide organization that advocates for Ontario's autism community, will protest at the Ministry of Education building, at 900 Bay Street, Toronto, on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, from 12:30pm – 2:00pm.

The OAC calls on the Ontario government to use Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) teaching methods for students with autism in schools. ABA is the most effective, evidence-based method for teaching people with autism. While school boards claim to provide ABA, in reality this means an occasional brief visit from a mobile team, while classroom staff do not have necessary training to meet students' daily needs.

The OAC demands an end to cuts to the number of Education Assistants (EAs) working with special needs students, and that EAs working with students with autism be given ABA training.

"The supports available to students with special needs vary widely from one board to another. Quality of education should never depend on a family's postal code," asserts OAC President Bruce McIntosh.

"The Ontario government is condemning students with autism and other special needs to a second-class education and to a future of unemployment or under-employment. David Onley, the government's own special advisor on accessibility, has said that the lack of employment facing adults with disabilities is not only a national crisis, but also a national shame." McIntosh adds that "Too many of our members have stories of their children with autism falling through the cracks in an education system that fails to support their unique learning needs."

Laura Kirby-McIntosh, OAC Vice-President, explains: "We know that teachers, education assistants and other professionals are doing the best that they can with limited resources. That's why we're calling on the government to stop pouring money into high-paid consultants and instead focus on providing the front-line support that our kids need. We demand meaningful, evidence-based practices to support students with autism—and we call on the Minister to develop an Education Accessibility Standard to support all special needs students."

SOURCE Ontario Autism Coalition

For further information: Bruce McIntosh, President, Ontario Autism Coalition, (416) 451-8315; Laura Kirby McIntosh, Vice-President, Ontario Autism Coalition, (416) 315-7939


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