BCEdAccess Society is a registered charitable organization serving families of students with disabilities and complex learners all over the province of British Columbia. Our parent peer support group has over 5000 community members, and we provide information and support for individual families, educators and organizations about the human right to equitable access to education, as well as advocating to government for systemic change.
Our Mission, Vision and Values
Our mission is to ensure equitable access to education for students with disabilities and complex learners in British Columbia. Our vision is a just and equitable education system across the lifespan.
This is achieved through supporting families, sharing information, providing webinars, workshops, and seminars on topics regarding children’s disabilities and social inclusion to families, allies, professionals and students, providing community and systems engagement and awareness, and other activities to promote equitable access to education and inclusion for all.
Education is a colonial project, designed to exclude, and to sever Indigenous children and youth from their language and culture. We are committed to enacting and pushing for enactment of the calls to action from the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
We recognize that systemic racism,ableism, other forms of discrimination, socioeconomic disparities and educational inequities have and continue to disproportionately harm the most systemically oppressed communities. We seek to address these historic inequities in how we work with each other, and those we serve. We know that we also need to hold systems to account for the same work if we want our education system to be more equitable and accessible to all, students, staff and families. We want everyone to be heard, valued, respected and to feel a sense of belonging. We want them to not just survive but to thrive and be empowered to achieve their full potential.
The purpose statement in our Constitution and Bylaws says:
– To advance education by providing webinars, workshops, and seminars on topics regarding children’s disabilities and social inclusion.
– To undertake activities ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the above purpose.
More broadly we describe our work in this way:
1. . Through our peer support group and our presentations, workshops, resources and referrals, we try to ensure that children and youth in K-12 education who are struggling right now with equitable access to education, and their families who may be in crisis, are supported with the right tools and resources to fix things as soon as possible. We help them to navigate the K-12 education system and beyond, as it is right now, and find a path to a solution.
2. We advocate at the systemic level to bring much needed positive change to education and other systems for children and youth with disabilities and their families. The tagline you’ll read on our website is ‘Collective Action for Equitable Access to Education’. In recent years we have also engaged in conversations and action around other child-serving government Ministries, recognizing that all these systems have the child at the centre and that there are overlapping agreements between them and the Ministry of Education and Child Care in British Columbia.
KEY ADVOCACY GOALS
Our current advocacy focus includes the following:
EA Standards of Practice
Release of the new Inclusive Education Policy Manual
Annual audit of the outcomes of IEPs for students
Inclusion of students with disabilities in the Ministerial Mandate Letter
Legal Aid Increases to support families in Human Rights Tribunal cases
Changes to Area Standards and accessible building practices for schools
Ban restraint and seclusion
What is our work?
BCEdAccess hosts a free online Social Group series and pop-up events for elementary to secondary students with disabilities and/or extra support needs and their peers. These events aim to provide opportunities to get together and have fun online. Our hope in running these groups is to provide something that fosters connection and positive mental wellness for children and youth, as well as their families.
Exclusion has always been the number one topic in our private parent/guardian forum. This led to the creation of our Exclusion Tracker, now in it’s 5th year, to provide a place for parents/guardians to create “incident reports” regarding the exclusion of disabled &/or complex-learner children and youth.
Workshops We Offer:
- Advocacy and Rights in Education
- Education Technology and Inclusion
- Exclusion Tracker and the Path Back to Inclusion
- How to be Anti-Ableist in Education
- Accessible Spaces and Schools
- Education Assistants from a Parent Perspective
- Custom workshops
AdvoCon 2023 (October 19-22nd, 2023)
BCEdAccess is proud to present our 9th annual education advocacy conference in 2023! Join us online for a potentially hybrid event. This well respected event features workshops, panels, and presentations for parents, guardians, educators, self-advocates, and supporters of students with disabilities and complex learners. ASL interpretation and CART captioning for all sessions.
We also offer pop-up events and sessions throughout the year.
Our story began when a small group of parents gathered together in a Facebook group around the end of 2014. Tracy Humphreys set up this group because although she was able to find many great organizations of parents working together to support specific disabilities, there was none that gathered all of the parents together to discuss the issues that all of these groups have in common in trying to access education for their children. The group was fortunate to have some very strong and long-term parent advocates join as founding members, setting the tone and direction of the organization that has continued to today.
On November 21, 2018, after seeing that the need for this group is ongoing, we incorporated BCEdAccess Society, registration number S0070334. We became a registered charity in early 2020. Our charity number is 723648317 RR0001.
We champion and support children and youth who have disabilities and who are complex learners to reach their full potential in BC education, and in all aspects of their lives. This is achieved through supporting families, sharing information, providing education to families, allies, professionals and students, providing community engagement and awareness, and other activities to promote equitable access to education and inclusion for all.
If you are a parent or guardian in British Columbia looking for support, knowledge and information regarding inclusive education in our Province, please find our online peer support group on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/groups/BCEdAccess and request to join. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org any time with questions. To learn more about what we do and to get involved, please visit this post.
HELP EMPOWER FAMILIES AND KEEP EQUITY AT THE HEART OF THE EDUCATION CONVERSATION
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