Back to school time is not always easy for disabled students and their families. If you’re a parent or guardian, we have a post for back to school to help you work through some of the anxiety:

8 Things To Do For Back To School

The reality is that while most British Columbia schools are back in session today, not everyone gets to return with their peers.

Some families have already been asked by their child’s school to keep them home – for today, the week, or longer, as they are not prepared to welcome them back to school yet.

Others have been asked to only bring their kids for part of the day – again, for days, weeks, or indefinitely.

Schools are struggling with education assistant and even teacher shortages, and may have other reasons to make this request. Still, access delayed is access denied, and disabled students have the right to attend school, like every student.

Our exclusion tracker data from last year shows an increase in Kindergarten student exclusions, and exclusions lasting over 4 months!

Look for our 2022-23 School Exclusion Tracker Report, releasing in the second week of September.

Image of a social media post about a child whose biggest request for the new school year is that he start school just like everyone else.

Our new School Exclusion Tracker is live:

2023-24 School Exclusion Tracker

Report your exclusion if you are a K-12 student, or report on the exclusion of your child/youth from their edcuation if you are their parent/guardian.

The definition of ‘exclusion’ is left to you when you report – it might be not being allowed to attend full days, or not having the support needed to access the curriculum, or many other experiences.

This survey also takes you through the path back to inclusion – steps you can take to advocate for better inclusion.

And it offers the opportunity for student feedback – a place for your child/youth to provide their feedback in a section just for them.

We have an optional section where we collect demographic information about your child’s and your family’s identity under different protected classes. We share the resulting data to show the disproportionate impact of exclusion on certain oppressed groups.


We also have a number of resources, both ones we have created and really great resources from other organizations:

Advocacy tips and the complaints process

Duty to accommodate

How to write an advocacy email

Parent Handbook On Inclusive Education

You can find more information on our

Resources Page

If you want to advocate for systems change, we have a new page dedicated to the Accessibility Plans for each school district. Districts also have to have a feedback mechanism and we encourage you to report barriers to accessibility to them.

District Accessibility Plans

The province has a feedback mechanism too – report things that are provincial in nature to them here:

Provincial Accessibility Feedback

Back in 2017, Executive Director Tracy Humphreys met with then-Education Minister Rob Fleming, and said,

“One day I’d like to come here to talk about the quality of education for disabled students, but I’m still trying just to get them through the door.”

6 years later, we try to cover education quality too – but we’re still very focused on addressing the root causes of exclusion. Thankfully, there are many organizations we’re fortunate to be supported by and to work with who are providing individual advocacy support, and doing systemic advocacy for change:

ADHD Advocacy Society of BC

BC Complex Kids Society

British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC)

Down Syndrome BC

Dyslexia BC

Family Support Institute of BC

Inclusion BC

Inspire Kids FASD

Share any other helpful organizations in the comments below! We’d like to update our Resources page with more disability-specific organizations that do individual advocacy support, and systems advocacy in K-12 education.

Finally, please follow us on social media platforms @bcedaccess. We do so much more than systems advocacy! We have an annual advocacy conference in October, AdvoCon2023, and events through the year. We offer workshops and presentations, a peer support group, online social groups for kids, and more. Reach out! tracy AT bcedaccess DOT com

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