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Barrier-Free Education

BARRIER-FREE EDUCATION INITIATIVES PROJECT

The Barrier-Free Education Initiatives Project was developed by The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) and funded by the Ministry of Education to assist school boards in creating a more inclusive barrier-free learning environment for Deaf and hard of hearing students, with a view to improving the educational outcomes in Ontario’s publicly funded schools.

Phase III of this project involves three key components. Together they support teachers, school administrators and school board personnel to increase access to education for Deaf and hard of hearing students.

The three components are: Workshops, Webinars/Webcasts and an Online Guide to Classroom Access.

WORKSHOP: LANGUAGE FOUNDATIONS FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING

Three workshops (2 in English and 1 in French) are focused on Language Foundations for children entering school and from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The workshops are intended for classroom teachers and principals and are specifically designed to provide a professional learning opportunity to develop an understanding of Deaf and hard of hearing students as students who have the potential to achieve academic success similar to other students when they are provided with a barrier-free education environment.

The workshops will use an adult learning model to support classroom teachers and principals to re-conceptualize Deaf and hard of hearing students as capable learners and provide information that will result in an enhanced understanding of the learning needs and abilities of students who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

Read more about the workshop here.

THREE WEBINARS/WEBCASTS

1.     Anti-Audism and Anti-Ableism Awareness and Communication and Accessibility Awareness Webinars/Webcasts
Two, 2 hour Webinars on Anti-Audism and Anti-Ableism Awareness and Communication and Accessibility Awareness provide a professional development opportunity for classroom teachers, school administrators and school board personnel. These webinars are specifically designed to provide accessibility information to teachers and school board decision-makers who are involved in the long-term planning toward Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards. The focus is on:

  • The built environment;
  • The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy and Guidelines on the Duty to Accommodate for persons with disabilities;
  • Accessible education and the Duty to Accommodate Students with Disabilities; and
  • Audism and Ablesim and how to remove barriers for all students but more specifically for students who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

2.    Technology and Human Resources in the Education of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

This 2-hour webinar/webcast is for classroom teachers, school administrators and school board personnel. One part focuses on how to utilize and maintain technology used by students who are Deaf and hard of hearing to access signed and/or spoken language. The second part presents best practices for assessing and programming that meet the needs and abilities of Deaf and hard of hearing students.

3.    Language Foundations for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
This 2-hour webinar for classroom teachers, school administrators and school board personnel focuses on access to language. This webinar encourages professionals to reflect on how they can work together to identify ways to provide language access to students who are Deaf and hard of hearing and in so doing, create inclusive, accessible and barrier-free education environments that strengthen learning and reduce gaps in student achievement.

ONLINE GUIDE TO CLASSROOM ACCESSIBILITY FOR DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING STUDENTS

This Guide to Classroom Access is an on-line resource guide for classroom teachers, school administrators and school board personnel that will offer information pertaining to providing access to education for all students including students who are Deaf and hard of hearing in an anti-bullying learning environment free of attitudinal barriers and discrimination. The guide will be available in English and French, ASL and LSQ.

For more information on the Barrier-Free Education Initiatives Project, please contact

Dr. Barbara O’Dea, Project Manager
Barrier-Free Education Initiatives Project
Phone: 416-928-2500 (Ext. 301)
TTY: 1-877-215-9530
bodea@chs.ca

Resources:

The following resources are included in the materials package provided to registrants at the awareness training workshops.

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