Special Needs Strategy Update

February News: Update #2

For Release: February 13, 2015

Lanark Leeds & Grenville Special Needs Strategy Proposal Development Table

Hello Community of Lanark Leeds and Grenville,

Our “Table” of service providers and now parents is clear on its goal to improve special needs services for children in our region as part of the Ontario Special Needs Strategy http://specialneedsstrategy.children.gov.on.ca. (The Strategy is described in more detail in Update #1). Success in this task means listening to parents and providers at all stages as we propose changes in the local system to make it more accessible, coordinated and focused on meeting the needs of families. What’s new this month?

We are in the midst of fruitful discussions examining successful strategies — local and from elsewhere in the province — to improve the coordination of special needs services. We have also established a Speech and Language Working Group to look at making those services work better for families.

But, our biggest news this month is welcoming three parents to our planning table. Our application process for this role attracted many interested parents. After a careful process to get a good mix of geography and other characteristics, we are delighted to welcome to the Table:

> Andrea Brett of McDonalds Corners (North Lanark) > Jessica Champlin of Elgin (North Leeds) > Nancy McNamara of Brockville

How can I share my thoughts on improving the system?

We need your ideas, whether you are a parent or a service provider. Our first question is for families: What is working well now for you and your family in regard to special needs services? What do you think is working well in our system that we should not change? Please go to our online answer space http://everykid.on.ca/working-family-special-services/ and provide your answer. Please spread the work to other families by sending them this update. By the end of February, we will have posted more survey questions. In March we will start a series of meetings — the times and locations will also be posted on the website.

How can I stay up to date?

If you would like to receive future updates like this, please ask Pam Fergusson, our table administrator at [email protected] to add you to our mailing list. Also tell us if you would like to be invited to focus groups and/or alerted when more questions are posted in our on-line survey.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Table Co-chairs

Margaret van Beers, Director, Child Development Centre, Hotel Dieu Hospital

Paula Perrault, Principal of Special Education,

Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario

Gillian Jackson, Manager, Children’s Services Developmental Services of Leeds & Grenville

Donna Davidson, Director, Lanark Community Programs, Lanark Renfrew Health & Community Services