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The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) is an important advocacy tool for Autism Ontario. It makes recommendations to boards of education about the establishment and development of special education programs and services for exceptional students — including students with ASD. Every board of education in Ontario is required to have a SEAC.
Who is on SEAC?
Representatives of up to 12 local associations
One or more French-speaking members as representatives of the French-speaking ratepayers, where relevant
One or more English-speaking members as representatives of English-speaking ratepayers, where relevant
Additional board-appointed members who are:
Not representatives of a local association
Not representatives of the French-speaking community
Not members of the board or a committee of the board
Four Board personnel (non-voting)
Responsibilities of SEAC members:
Respond to the needs of all exceptional children
Acquire and maintain a knowledge of special education
Bring concerns of the association and exceptionality they represent
Be prepared for all SEAC meetings, place items on the agenda, participate in discussion, suggest educational topics, and present motions
Ensure that views presented are consistent with the views of the membership of the local association (Chapter) and provincial association (Autism Ontario as a whole)
Set annual goals and objectives for yourself, your association, and for SEAC
Be a resource for parents, schools, and the community
Participate in orientation and ongoing in-service of SEAC members
Interact with other board committees in related areas
Deal with any other matters concerning special education, as determined by the committee or requested by the board
Please remember…the members of SEAC represent ALL students with exceptionalities, not just those with ASD. It is important that individual members are aware of and understand the various exceptionalities so they are able to respond to the needs of ALL exceptional students within the board. On an annual basis, SEAC members should review their motivation for sitting on SEAC within the context of the committee as a whole.
The spirit or intent of the SEAC is one of sharing, positive attitude, trust, and respect. It is vital that SEAC members work together to assist the board to provide programs for all exceptionalities.
It is important that every SEAC member have an understanding of the relationships between the Ministry of Education, regional offices of the Ministry of Education, school boards, local schools, provincial associations, and other Ministries such as the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
Suggested Areas of Focus for SEAC:
Philosophy and goals
Program delivery systems
Services and facilities
Policies and procedures
Annual review of the Special Education Plan
Is a SEAC rep elected to the SEAC?
No. SEAC reps are recommended by the local Autism Ontario Chapter Leadership Council (CLC) to their Boards of Education. Each Board of Education chooses whether or not to accept the recommendation. If accepted, the person is appointed by the Board of Education to the SEAC.
How long is a SEAC term?
Terms for SEAC reps are four years. For example, the CLC would seek names of representatives in November 2014 and November 2018. SEAC reps can be appointed at other times during that term, but will have to submit their names again when the official term is renewing.
Do you know who your local SEAC rep is? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more
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