Policy/Program Memorandum No. 1


Issued under the authority of the Deputy Minister of Education

Date of Issue: April 2, 1986 Effective: Until revoked or modified
Subject: ONTARIO SCHOOLS FOR THE BLIND AND DEAF AS RESOURCE CENTRES
Application: Regional Directors of Education
Superintendents of Schools
Directors of Education
Principals of Schools
Reference: This memorandum replaces Policy/Program Memorandum #1, revised 1982.

The Ontario Schools for the Blind and Deaf have been resource centres for the hearing impaired and visually impaired since 1971. The schools recently underwent an extensive reorganization to permit them to discharge their mandate more effectively. Most significant among the many changes was the formation of a separate and identifiable resource services program within each school to enhance the schools' capability to provide appropriate services to school boards and agencies that have hearing impaired, visually impaired, and deaf-blind pupils in their jurisdictions. This role takes on increased significance with the full implementation of the Education Amendment Act, 1980 (Bill 82).

The services available to boards and agencies without charge are outlined on the following pages. It should be noted that all services are available in English or French.


  1. Audiological Services

    1. Assistance in implementing hearing-screening programs
    2. Testing of individual pupils referred by:
      1. pure-tone air and bone-conduction audiometry
      2. speech audiometry, including articulation function
      3. acoustic impedance measurements
      4. hearing-aid selection studies
      5. electro-acoustical-evaluation of individual hearing aids
    3. Counselling of parents and teachers on hearing-aid use, maintenance and effectiveness of group hard-wire, frequency modulation (FM) systems, infra-red systems, and new technology as it is developed
  2. Psychological and Assessment Services

    1. Administration and interpretation of intelligence tests
    2. Language assessment evaluations
    3. Academic achievement evaluations
    4. Differential diagnosis of language-impaired children
    5. Visual-functioning assessment evaluations
  3. Educational Consultative Services 1

    1. Consultation in preparing and updating board plans for hearing- and visually-impaired resident pupils
    2. Recommendations regarding the setting up of programs, including equipment needs
    3. Information and advice on the integration of hearing- and visually-impaired pupils into regular classes and schools
    4. Monitoring of hearing- and visually-impaired children in board programs
    5. Counselling and advice for parents of preschool children whose hearing problems are diagnosed prior to school registration

      NOTE: Preschool educators or parent advisors can conduct home visits of up to one half-day per week to advise parents and assist in providing programming for their preschool deaf or deaf-blind child in the home. The preschool educator can also arrange to visit Primary teachers when pupils enter Kindergarten or Grade 1 programs.

      Where feasible, local nursery programs may be established. Courses which include lectures and demonstrations are offered for parents of preschool hearing-impaired and deaf-blind children with a view to helping them to better understand the particular problems of these children.

  4. Professional Development Services
    1. Presentations to board supervisory personnel and principals concerning the provision of appropriate programs for hearing- and visually-impaired children.
    2. Resource workshops to assist local school staff to more effectively serve hearing- and visually-impaired pupils
    3. Provision of selected reading materials to board professional staff
  5. Learning Materials and Media

    1. Braille and Audiotape Materials for Blind and Deaf-Blind Pupils

      As a provincial centre for the visually impaired, the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford provides school boards in Ontario with some of the braille and large-print textbooks and audiotapes needed for the blind and visually impaired pupils who are being educated through local programs. The production of braille, large-print, and tape materials is both costly and time-consuming; it is therefore important to submit requests for materials well ahead of time and to explore alternatives to producing new titles in braille, large print, or on tape. For these reasons, texts listed in Circular 14 will be given priority for production.

      Other specialized materials for print-handicapped pupils in local programs continue to be a board responsibility. These special materials may be prepared by:
      1. specialist teachers of the blind
      2. volunteer braillists or readers on tape
      3. teaching assistants with appropriate training


      An alternative is the purchase of braille tactile or other special format materials from commercial producers or the CNIB. Professional staff from the W. Ross Macdonald School are available to help boards locate resources for their special programs and explore alternative methods of providing the materials needed for blind pupils The ministry encourages ongoing liaison between the W. Ross Macdonald School and qualified teachers of the blind employed by school boards to strengthen local programs for blind pupils. Requests for braille, large-print, and audiotape materials should be addressed to:

      Resource Services Library
      The W. Ross Macdonald School
      350 Brant Avenue
      Brantford, Ontario
      Telephone: (519)759-0730
    2. Media for Pupils With Communication Exceptionalities

      The Provincial Schools Media Centre in Belleville will assist school boards to obtain copies of open-captioned video programs for classroom use. The Media Centre has developed a library of appropriately captioned video programs which are used in the provincial schools.

      Information regarding program titles available, how they may be obtained, and conditions pertaining to their use may be obtained from:

      Provincial Schools Media Centre
      350 Dundas Street West
      Belleville, Ontario
      K8P 1B2
      Telephone: (613)962-5361

    Designated Board-Liaison Persons

    Each board is requested to designate a particular individual to act as the official liaison person with the W. Ross Macdonald School for services pertaining to visually impaired and deaf-blind students and with its regional resource centre for the hearing impaired for services pertaining to hearing-impaired students. Effective liaison will promote co-operation and co-ordination of activities and help the provincial schools to respond to the requests submitted in an efficient manner. Provincial schools will continue to inform boards whenever a preschool hearing-impaired child is added to their preschool home visiting lists in order to keep boards forewarned of possible future needs for service.

    Requests for Resource Services

    Requests for resource services support should be submitted by the official liaison person of the board to the Program Director, Resource Services, at the appropriate provincial school.

    Application for Admission to Provincial Schools

    Applications for admission of pupils who have been identified by a board Identification, Placement, and Review Committee as potential candidates for a program at a provincial school should continue to be made to the superintendent concerned.

    Programs in Lieu of Provincial Services for the Blind and the Deaf

    Applications for funding of programs in lieu of provincial services for the blind and the deaf must be submitted through the appropriate regional director of education (Policy/Program Memorandum 76C).

    School Addresses, Telephone Numbers, and Catchment Areas

    The addresses, telephone numbers and catchment areas of the four provincial schools are as follows:

    The W. Ross Macdonald School (blind and deaf-blind pupils)
    350 Brant Avenue
    Brantford, Ontario
    N3T 3J9
    Telephone: (519)759-0730 (English)
    (705)673-5621, ext. 254 (French) 2

    Catchment Area: All boards in Ontario

    The Sir James Whitney School (deaf pupils)
    350 Dundas Street West
    Belleville, Ontario
    K8P 1B2
    Telephone: (613)962-5361 (English)
    (613)962-5619 (French)
    (613)962-6566 (TTY/TDD Service)


    Catchment Area: All boards in the Eastern, Northeastern, Midnorthern, and Northwestern Ontario regions, plus the Durham Board of Education Durham Region R.C.S.S. Board, Haliburton Board of Education, Hastings County Board Education, Hastings-Prince Edward County R. C. S. S. Board, Prince Edward County Board of Education, Northumberland and Newcastle Board of Education, Peterborough-Victoria-Northumberland and Newcastle R.C.S.S. Board and Victoria County Board of Education.

    The Ernest C. Drury School (deaf pupils)
    255 Ontario Street South
    Milton, Ontario
    L9T 2MS
    Telephone: (416)878-2851
    (416)878-7195 (TTY/TDD Service)


    Catchment Area: All boards in Central Ontario Region except those served by Whitney and Robarts

    The Robarts School (deaf pupils)
    1090 Highbury Avenue
    London, Ontario
    N5Y 4V9
    Telephone: (519)453-4400 (Voice and TTY/TDD Service)


    Catchment Area: All boards in the western Ontario Region, plus the Brant County Board of Education, the Brant County R.C.S.S. Board, Haldimand. Norfolk R.C.S.S. Board, and Norfolk Board of Education.

1. This includes consultation and advice in the preparation of board submissions for funding programs in lieu of a provincial service for deaf, blind, and deaf-blind exceptional pupils.

2. Resource services for French-speaking blind pupils are provided through the Sudbury District Roman Catholic Separate School Board under a fee-for-service arrangement with the W. Ross Macdonald School.