Letter from the chair

The Honourable Raymond Cho
Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
777 Bay Street
5th Floor, Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1S5

Dear Minister,

The K–12 Education Standards Development Committee has completed our Final Recommendations Report for the development of a proposed K–12 Education Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

As chair and on behalf of the committee, I am pleased to submit this final report for your consideration. In doing so, I would like to bring to your attention several of its key elements, in advance of your full review.

The feedback our committee received on our Initial Recommendations Report, which was posted on the government’s website (ontario.ca) from June to November of this year, provides extensive support for our initial recommendations, which emphasized the improvement of individual and systemic responses to barrier-free education.

The recommendations contained in our Final Recommendations Report are intended to be responsive to students with different and specific disabilities inclusive of low incident, invisible, episodic, and highly complex disabilities. The committee work recognizes and respects ongoing evidence-based research principles, approaches to understanding person-centered learning, and accommodating and supporting education that benefits all students.  As such, recommended directions are grounded in current research and evidence-based principles that will continue to inform and critique thinking and action supporting accessible, inclusive, and equitable education.

The processes for accountability and implementation along with the implications of reframing organizational structures and resources for necessary standards reform will require collective deliberation and solution-focussed attention, along with action by and with disability communities, organizations, government, education sectors and the voices of students with disabilities. It calls on coordination and alignment of current and new policy, procedures and practices that are responsive to equitable accessible education for students with disabilities.

The timeline for the recommendations we have provided continues to follow the long-term objective that by 2025, the K–12 education system is fully accessible, equitable, inclusive and learner-centered. The objectives are characterized by immediate, short- and longer-term implementation upon the enactment of the regulation set out by your ministry, and the Ministry of Education.

Finally, I would like to let you know once again what an honour it has been to chair this committee and work alongside such enthusiastic and knowledgeable members dedicated to accessibility in all aspects of the K–12 education sector. We were supported extremely well in every step of this process by staff and management in your ministry.

We look forward to your response on these final recommendations, and to following the review and implementation process going forward.


Lynn Ziraldo
Chair of the K–12 Education Standards Development Committee