For Immediate Release
Keynote speakers include BC People First, Provincial Director of Inclusive Education and Executive Director of Inclusion BC at 5th education advocacy conference
SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, October 16, 2019 – Self-advocacy organization BC People First, Patricia Kovacs from the Ministry of Education and Karla Verschoor of Inclusion BC will be the keynote speakers on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th at Connecting to Strengthen Advocacy in Education, BCEdAccess’ 5th education advocacy conference held at the Civic Hotel in Surrey this coming weekend.
“Connecting to Strengthen Advocacy in Education is really about bringing together parents and guardians with self advocates, Education and Advocacy partners to share knowledge and experiences, talk about our common ground and advance equitable access to education for all students,” says BCEdAccess Chair Tracy Humphreys.
“Self advocate organizations, government, and organizations like Inclusion BC, Family Support Institute, BCCPAC to name a few, are all working to improve access to education and we’re glad to be able to engage in meaningful dialogue together at this learning event.”
Just one day prior to the release of their second album, Reasons to Dream, the Mayday Club Youth Choir for Neurodiversity will be performing on Saturday.
Conference attendees will learn from presentations and workshops by lawyers, support professionals, advocacy organizations, teachers, self-advocates and parents, on topics like human rights law, disability studies, parent professional partnerships, functional assessment, self advocacy, school exclusion, and more.
Family Support Institute and their Regional Network Coordinators are setting up remote conference experiences where families in other communities are getting together to participate in the conference online. The option also exists to attend at home.
“Families no longer need to feel isolated and alone. We’re bringing the conversations and practical information to them in Surrey and around the province,” says Humphreys.
“This conference started to share knowledge and experience and make connections beyond the bounds of our Facebook group. Ultimately parents need to know that their children have a right to education, and as the Ministry of Education’s policy for students with disabilities states: ‘All students should have equitable access to learning, opportunities for achievement and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of their educational programs.’”
Conference FAQ: https://bcedaccess.com/2019/08/27/fall-advocon2019-faqs/
Phone: Tracy Humphreys 250-858-5165
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram @bcedaccess
Founded in 2014 by a small group of parents struggling to get their kids support at school, BCEdAccess has grown to over 2000 parent support group members. They participate in individual and systemic advocacy around the province. Their survey tracking exclusions in BC schools showed over 3600 instances of student exclusions in the 2018/2019 school year. Their Forced Out survey found parents of children with disabilities were feeling forced to pull their kids from public schools. It found 44% of members note they have no access to specialized services, 42% cite inadequate training for educational assistants, and 43% said schools are not following their child’s individual education plan.The reports and recommendations can be found on the website: www.bcedaccess.com