Access Awareness Week

What are the TOP TEN supports for Accessibility?

1. TECHNOLOGY - Access to technology including laptop computers, touch screens on iPads and interactive white boards provides opportunities for ALL students to access the curriculum. Training is provided to support students with many assistive technology software programs.

2. SOUND SYSTEMS - Many schools are wired with sound field systems that allow ALL students to hear instructions clearly, but are essential for students with Central Auditory Processing Disorder and those with hearing loss.

3. BUILDING ACCESSIBILITY - Schools ensure that students, staff and the community can access most of the school and keep hallways and stairwells clear, as well as using equipment that is provided. Alternative classrooms or meeting rooms are provided if required.

4. ADVOCATE - Ask how you can assist and advocate for someone. Have an open mind to individuals who may have a disability or need support. Be the voice for students who can’t communicate.

5. FIELD TRIPS – Schools ensure that field trips are accessible to all students and that accessible busing is provided.

6. RESOURCE ROOMS – Provide a safe place for students and offer resources and materials for parents.  Some Staff Meetings and Student Councils meet in the Special Education Room to learn more about programs and supports provided.

7. COMMUNICATION & DIALOGUE - Keep the conversations going and respond to needs with a perspective of care. Provide alternate forms of communication using visuals, enlarged fonts and signing as needed.

8. SIGNAGE - Accessible entrances, parking and washrooms are available and identified.

9. TEACH ACCEPTANCE - Staff teach students about accessibility issues to raise awareness and understanding. School volunteers who are wheelchair users or have special needs model acceptance.  Presentations by Autism Ontario, Community Living, and the Five Counties Children’s Centre increase our community support.  At one school students model acceptance by signing ‘O Canada’ in the classroom each morning.

10. MAKE EVERYONE FEEL WELCOME – Schools offer a variety of supports and groups including Go Girls, Circle of Friends, Healing Circles, Peer Partners and Fitness Friends, and create a welcoming environment of inclusion and acceptance.

What is happening during Access Awareness Week in our schools?

Daily Prayers reflecting Accessibility and Inclusion

Announcements about Accessibility events

Lessons and videos from the Teachable Project website

Staff memos and daily emails highlighting Access Awareness

EQAO testing provides accommodations that include scribing and using technology so students are able to demonstrate their learning

Special slide show highlighting Access Awareness

Highlight the teachable project website at a staff meeting

Librarian will showcase Accessibility through displays and sharing books on the topic

Staff moving through school in a wheelchair and participating in Physical Education class or recess

Videos about Accessibility and Communicating with people with disabilities will be displayed on the big screen video in foyer throughout the week

Assist staff with reviewing barriers that might prevent some students’ participation in activities


Special Events

Variety Village Wheelchair Basket Ball

Seeing Eye Dog presentations

Bowl-a-thon for Big Brothers and Big Sisters

Have a Go – Special Olympics

Wigs for Kids

Service Animal Presentation

Websites and Resources

View these You Tube videos

Beautifully Different 

The Person Behind the Disability

Don’t Laugh at Me

Putting Ability into Disability

Disability Means Possibility

The Power of Words                       

Listen Up! Children with Disabilities Speak out


A  Prayer for Accessibility Week

We pray for acceptance and understanding Lord.

If I have no feet, let me journey with my eyes.

If I have no sight, let me view with my mind.

If I have no hearing, let me listen with my heart.

If I have no speech, let me talk with a touch.

If I have no hands, let me hold you in my thoughts.

And If I have no control, let me be calm and at peace in your grace.

Let me use what I do have to bless, accept and understand others.

Dear Lord, we all need assistance.

Whether I need a wheelchair, a cane, a hearing aid,

A guide, a visual aid or a computer, Allow me to show what I can do and model for other

Ability, acceptance and thanks, and to follow you in all that I do.