Policy/Program Memorandum No. 76C

Issued under the authority of the Deputy Minister of Education

Date of Issue: October 4, 1991
Effective: Until revoked or modified
Subject: ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR DEAF, BLIND, AND DEAF-BLIND EXCEPTIONAL PUPILS
Application: Directors of Education
Reference: This memorandum replaces Policy/Program Memorandum No. 76C, September 20, 1985.

  1. INTRODUCTION

    This memorandum recognizes the need for flexibility in providing funding for a range of alternative placements for deaf, blind, and deaf-blind pupils who are enrolled in school board programs and who are eligible to attend a Provincial School or the Centre Jules-Léger. The range of placements eligible for funding includes resource/withdrawal settings as well as self-contained classes in schools operated by boards where education is provided by a specialist teacher and where essential support services are available. It is recommended that school boards discuss placement options, including placement in Provincial Schools, with pupils and their parents.

    Where a school board establishes an educational program as an alternative to that provided at the Provincial Schools or at the Centre Jules-Léger and such a program is recognized for funding by the Minister of Education, additional financial assistance will be provided to the board.

    Because of the low incidence of these types of exceptionalities and the complex educational programming required, school boards planning to undertake the provision of an alternative educational program are encouraged to do so in co-operation with neighbouring and coterminous school boards.
  2. CRITERIA FOR THE APPROVAL OF FUNDING FOR ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

    If a program provided by a board is to be recognized for funding by the ministry as an alternative educational program for deaf, blind, or deaf-blind pupils, it must satisfy the following criteria:

    1. The program shall be provided for exceptional pupils:
      1. who are:
        1. educationally deaf, with hearing thresholds generally greater than 70 dB level, ANSI 1969, unaided; or

        2. educationally blind, with a need to use braille and other tactile formats as their prime educational media; or

        3. educationally deaf-blind, that is, unable to use their senses of hearing and vision to benefit from a program for deaf pupils or a program for blind pupils; and

      2. who would otherwise be enrolled at one of the following schools for deaf, blind, or deaf-blind pupils:

        1. The W. Ross Macdonald School, Brantford (blind, deaf-blind);
        2. The Sir James Whitney School, Belleville (deaf);
        3. The Ernest C. Drury School, Milton (deaf);
        4. The Robarts School, London (deaf);
        5. Centre Jules-Léger, Ottawa (deaf, blind, deaf-blind).

      1. The program for deaf or blind pupils shall:
          1. be designed for pupils who are organized in reasonably (54 homogeneous classes, according to degree of exceptionality, age, and identified needs, and provide the pupils with direct instruction by a specialist teacher for at least 50 per cent of the instructional time in a normally scheduled week or cycle; or
          2. be designed for one or more pupils whose needs may be met through a resource/withdrawal program, and provide the pupil(s) with direct instruction by a specialist teacher for at least 25 per cent of the instructional time in a normally scheduled week or cycle; and

        1. provide curricula that conform to ministry policy and guidelines and that recognize the identified needs of the exceptional pupil(s) involved;

        2. be supported by the special education services and special materials that these exceptional pupils might require, such as individual hearing aids, frequency-modulation systems, audiological support, acoustically designed learning areas, tactile maps, raised-line diagrams, auditory tapes, and models (the term special education services is defined in the Education Act); and

        3. be developed or modified in consultation with the appropriate Provincial School or the Centre Jules-Léger.

      2. The program for deaf-blind pupils shall:
        1. be provided for one or more pupils who receive, on an individual basis, the services of an intervener working under the supervision of a qualified teacher and in consultation with a specialist teacher of the deaf-blind employed by the school board, by The W. Ross Macdonald School (Brantford), or by the Centre Jules-Léger (Ottawa);

        2. provide curricula that conform to ministry policy and guidelines and that recognize the identified needs of the exceptional pupil(s) involved;


        3. be supported by the special education services and special materials that these exceptional pupils might require, such as individual hearing aids, frequency-modulation systems, audiological support, acoustically designed learning areas, tactile maps, raised-line diagrams, auditory tapes, and models (the term special education services is defined in The Education Act); and

        4. be developed or modified in consultation with The W. Ross Macdonald School or the Centre Jules-Léger.

    2. The program of instruction shall be provided by a teacher who has the necessary qualifications to teach blind, deaf, or deaf-blind pupils, that are outlined in Regulation 268, R.R.O. 1980, section 23. Namely, the teacher must hold:
      1. a Permanent Letter of Standing valid for the teaching of deaf pupils; or

      2. a certificate or a letter of standing to teach in an elementary school or secondary school in Ontario; and
        1. hold the Diploma in Deaf Education granted by the Minister or qualifications in education of deaf pupils that the Minister considers equivalent; or

        2. have completed, or be actively engaged in completing, the requirements for the specialist qualifications for teaching blind pupils, or hold qualifications in education of blind pupils that the Minister considers equivalent; or

        3. have completed, or be actively engaged in completing, the requirements for the specialist qualifications in education of deaf-blind pupils, or hold qualifications in education of deaf-blind pupils that the Minister considers equivalent.

  3. SUPPORT SERVICES PERSONNEL

    Specially trained persons, including interpreters, interveners, orientation and mobility personnel, transcribers, and teacher-assistants, provide support services that some pupils may require if they are to develop their communicative, academic, and/or vocational skills to the fullest extent possible. Support personnel shall meet the following requirements:

    1. Interpreters shall:
      1. be graduates of a college or university interpreter-training program or the equivalent, and hold, or within three years obtain, certification by the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada; and

      2. be assigned to one or more deaf pupils for a portion of the time that the pupils are not receiving direct instruction from a specialist teacher of the deaf.

    2. Interveners shall:
      1. have been trained by a specialist teacher of the deaf-blind to communicate with deaf-blind pupils;

      2. deliver a program designed to meet the individual needs of deaf-blind pupils. This program is to be developed by The W. Ross Macdonald School or the Centre Jules-Léger, or by a specialist teacher who is employed by the school board and who designs the program in consultation with one or both of these schools; and

      3. work with a deaf-blind pupil 100 per cent of the pupil's school day.

    3. Orientation and mobility personnel shall:
      1. hold certification in orientation and mobility from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) or from a community college, or hold equivalent qualifications acceptable to the Minister;

      2. have normal vision, that is, corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better and peripheral field at a 120° angle;

      3. have hearing within normal limits, that is, within 0-25 dB; and

      4. provide one-on-one instruction to blind pupils in the elementary or secondary panel.

    4. Transcribers shall:
      1. hold qualifications as braillists from CNIB or have a working knowledge of the operation of a braille-translation computer program; and

      2. transcribe print material directly into braille.

    5. Teacher-assistants shall:
      1. hold qualifications that are to be determined by the school board; and

      2. be deployed in classes that are instructed by a specialist teacher and that include deaf or blind pupils with other disabilities or deaf or blind pupils with a wide range of ages or abilities, in order to provide individualized attention to these pupils.


      Detailed information on the roles and responsibilities of support services personnel is available in Special Education Monograph No. 6, Roles and Responsibilities of Educational Support Services Personnel in School Board Alternative Educational Programs.
  4. FUNDING

    The number of qualified staff members that is approved for funding will be determined by and related to the number of pupils served who would otherwise be enrolled at one of the Provincial Schools for deaf, blind, or deaf-blind pupils, or at the Centre Jules-Léger. Additional information on the allocation of staff members is specified in "Guidelines for Approving Alternative Educational Programs and Services for Deaf, Blind, and Deaf-Blind Exceptional Pupils", which is available from the regional offices.

    The amounts calculated for grant purposes for teachers and teacher-assistants will be paid to a school board at 100 per cent of the amounts stipulated in the General Legislative Grants Regulations. Funding of interveners and orientation and mobility personnel will be calculated on the same basis as funding for teacher-assistants.

    The grant that will be paid to a school board for interpreters and transcribers will be the difference between the amount recognized for grant purposes and the school board's share. That is, the cost of providing interpreters and transcribers will be shared by the Ministry of Education and school boards.

    Requests for approval of funding for alternative educational programs shall be submitted to the Regional Director of Education by the following dates:

    1. for a new program: April 30th for the following September, or October 31st for the following January
    2. for continuation of a program in the next school year: by May 31 of the current year


    Application forms for these programs are available upon request from the regional offices.
  5. MONITORING AND PROGRAM AUDITS

    A statement confirming that the alternative program(s) and support services meet the requirements of this memorandum shall be submitted annually to the appropriate regional director of the Ministry of Education by the director of education of the school board requesting the funding.

    The Ministry of Education will conduct random annual audits to ensure that alternative educational programs continue to meet the requirements for funding.