We are excited to announce the launch of our permanent page dedicated to British Columbia School District Accessibility Plans.
This page will be a one-stop resource for all information related to the accessibility plans, committees, and feedback mechanisms of British Columbia School Districts and Independent School Authorities. As part of our ongoing work around action for equitable access to education, we have created this page to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the current status of accessibility plans in K-12 education across the province, and an easy-to-access link to your own school or district’s plans so you can get involved.
An accessibility plan
An accessibility committee
A feedback mechanism for the public to identify barriers and give feedback on district plans
Accountability is important and the requirements of prescribed organizations such as school districts set out in the Accessible BC Act will be monitored and reviewed by the BC Accessibility Secretariat under Parliamentary Secretary Chant. Learn more from her and her staff as well as many other great speakers at our fall conference:
Our new permanent page provides a detailed summary of the plans as of September 1, 2023, with notes about the requirements and where each of them stand. It’s the first in a planned suite of pages by BCEdAccess about accountability mechanisms in the Ministry of Education and Child Care.
The Accessible BC Act has it’s limitations, and BCEdAccess has some concerns. Disability Alliance BC co-produced a submission back in 2021 with other disability support organizations with many good points, some of which are now being addressed.
In addition, specific to the Ministry of Education and Child Care, we have some questions:
- How are disabled students and staff going to have meaningful input into these plans?
- When are the prescribed organizations expected to be fully compliant with the Act?
- What kind of response can be expected when feedback is provided?
- What will the timeline be to respond?
- How do human rights obligations tie into all of this? Access delayed is still access denied.
- Will there by any consequences once standards are in place, or are students, families and staff still only able to rely on the current, bottom-up complaints and appeals process?
Executive Director Tracy Humphreys is on the Accessible Service Delivery Standard Technical Committee, where representatives meet for a half-day monthly to discuss a range of factors that can create barriers, and develop recommendations for the Provincial Accessibility Commimttee.
We encourage visitors to use the feedback mechanisms listed on the page for each School District and Independent School Authority, to let them know when there are barriers to accessibility – and when they are doing things right.
We invite you to visit our permanent page for BC School District Accessibility Plans and share it with your network. Your involvement is crucial in promoting accessibility in our schools. If you have more information or links that could be helpful, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.