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Enacting AODA K-12 Education Standards

AODA standards mandate how organizations must make themselves accessible to people with disabilities. Moreover, the standards outline organizations’ responsibilities, and the deadlines they must meet. AODA Standards development committees are responsible for creating and maintaining the standards. For example, each committee consults extensively with the public to make recommendations to include in its proposed standards. The committee then submits its final recommendations to the minister in charge of the AODA. Finally, the minister must recommend to the Lieutenant Governor that the standard be accepted in whole, in part, or with modifications. The AODA Kindergarten to Grade Twelve (K-12) Education Standards Development Committee submitted its final recommendations to the government in 2022. However, the government has taken no more steps toward enacting AODA K-12 education standards.

Enacting AODA K-12 Education Standards

For instance, the Committee makes direct recommendations for preventing specific types of accessibility barriers in school:

Furthermore, the Committee recommends implementing technical requirements for physical accessibility in schools, regardless of mandates in other codes. Likewise, The Committee recommends policies to increase funding for construction of accessible schools.

Recommendations for Curriculum Accessibility

In addition, the Committee makes recommendations to ensure that students with disabilities can access all aspects of curriculum, including:

Training Recommendations

Moreover, the Committee recommends teacher training in a variety of areas, such as:

Recommended Accessible Programming and Placement of Students with Disabilities

Furthermore, the Committee makes recommendations to support students in all school programs and placements:

Similarly, the Committee also recommends policies to support students’ access to education, including:

Communication and Accountability Recommendations

Furthermore, the Committee recommends mechanisms to promote communication and accountability within and between all parties in the school system:

Recommendations for Emergency Preparedness and Response

Finally, the Committee makes recommendations promoting preparedness for and response to the impacts of large-scale emergencies on education:

Currently, there are only five (5) AODA standards. Consequently, the government must enact standards in many more sectors, including K-12 education. In other words, enacting AODA K-12 education standards is a crucial step toward meeting the AODA’s goal of an accessible province by 2025. In contrast, if the government does not implement these recommendations, it will not meet the deadline mandated in its own law.