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On Friday, August 21, 2020 at 11 AM Eastern Time, Watch Preparing for School Re-Opening

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
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Action Tips for Parents of Students with Disabilities” A Virtual Town Hall Organized by the Ontario Autism Coalition and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

August 19, 2020

Like all parents, parents of a third of a million students with disabilities in Ontario are very anxious about the re-opening of schools next month. Will their children be safe? Will their disability-related needs be accommodated?

So much remains uncertain and worrisome about school re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of that, the AODA Alliance and the Ontario Autism Coalition would like to offer parents some practical action tips on how to get ready for school re-opening. We don’t have all the answers, but we want to offer what we can.

On Friday, August 21, at 11 AM Eastern time, log onto the Ontario Autism Coalition’s Youtube channel at The link to watch this one-hour virtual town hall will appear at or just before 11 AM.

This event will feature a conversation between three speakers, all experts in advocacy for students with disabilities:

1. Laura Kirby-McIntosh. She is a high school teacher and president of the Ontario Autism Coalition. Among her many advocacy activities, last year she sat on the Ontario Government’s panel giving advice on reforming the Ontario Autism Program.

2. David Lepofsky. He is a retired lawyer, a part-time visiting professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School, and chair of the AODA Alliance. He is also a member and past chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee of the Toronto District School Board. He is also a member of the Government-appointed K-12 Education Standards Development Committee, and a member of its COVID-19 subcommittee.

3. Robert Lattanzio. He is a lawyer and executive director of the ARCH Disability Law Centre. He and ARCH have done extensive work providing legal advice and representation to students with disabilities and their families.

Thanks is extended to the ARCH Disability Law Centre, which is providing American Sign Language interpretation and real time captioning for this event. After the event is concluded, it will be permanently available for viewing on Youtube.

This is the third in a series of virtual town halls that the Ontario Autism Coalition and the AODA Alliance have provided to address the needs of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. Taken together, the first two virtual town halls have been viewed thousands of times.

Please spread the word about this event. Post this announcement on your social media feeds. Encourage as many as possible to log on to this virtual Town Hall.

For more background check out:

* The first OAC/ AODA Alliance virtual town hall, held on April 7, 2020 surveying the major issues facing people with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis.

* The second OAC/AODA Alliance virtual town hall, held on May 4, 2020, exploring strategies for teaching students with disabilities during distance learning.

* The Ontario Autism Coalition web page, setting out its advocacy efforts for people with autism.

* The AODA Alliance’s COVID-19 web page, describing its advocacy efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

* The ARCH Disability Law Centre’s website.

If you have questions that you would like the panel to address, send them in advance to