Overview

The Minister's Advisory Council on Special Education (MACSE) provides advice to the Minister of Education about:

  • the development and delivery of programs and services for students with special education needs
  • identifying and providing early intervention programs

Mandate

The council:

  • responds to proposals or positions from the Ministry of Education or other ministries
  • identifies concerns with how special education programs and services are delivered and provides information, advice and recommendations for the ministry to consider
  • submits an annual report that includes a summary of the year's activities
  • meets up to three times a year, typically in February, June and October, for a maximum of four and a half days per year
  • establishes subcommittees as needed to explore specific issues and bring recommendations to the council meetings

Eligibility

Anyone with an interest in special education in Ontario can apply to serve on the council. You do not have to be affiliated with an organization.

Candidates may be:

  • people who represent exceptionalities (we have specified nine categories designed to address the wide range of circumstances that may affect a student's ability to learn, and are meant to be inclusive of all medical conditions, whether diagnosed or not, that can lead to particular types of learning difficulties)
  • members of an association or professional group
  • individuals who have wide ranging contacts with others within the community of interest

If you were a candidate in the past but you did not get appointed, you are eligible to reapply.

Organizations that serve the same constituency

For most of the constituency categories there are a number of organizations which represent the interests of persons in the community. When identifying people who are willing to serve as council members, please try to confer with organizations which serve the same community of interest.

Interests of Francophones and Roman Catholics

Two of the members of the council act as representatives of the Franco-Ontarian community, in addition to representing their exceptionality or profession.

Two members of the council act as representatives of the Roman Catholic community, in addition to representing their exceptionality or profession.

Interests of students or youth and Indigenous people

One representative on the council represents students/youth and one represents Indigenous communities.

Apply

You can submit your application at any time through the Public Appointments Secretariat.

How members are appointed

The Public Appointments Secretariat accepts applications for the Council on a continuous basis.

All council members are appointed by the Minister of Education.

When making appointments, the minister considers candidates with knowledge of special education and the applicable constituency. The minister also considers candidates with a wide range of background experiences in order to maintain a balanced membership representing:

  • all regions of the province
  • urban and rural perspectives
  • public and separate schools
  • elementary and secondary education
  • different gender identities
  • cultural and linguistic minority groups

Each representative will be selected with multiple criteria in mind.

Membership

The membership consists of 20 voting and three non-voting members. Members represent:

  • an exceptionality (for example, developmental disabilities or giftedness)
  • educator groups (for example, teachers, principals, and trustees)
  • a profession (for example, psychologists or social workers)
  • Indigenous communities
  • students or youth

Two members are cross-appointed to represent the Catholic community and two others the French-Language community.

The non-voting members represent the:

  • Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
  • Ministry of Colleges and Universities
  • Ministry of Health

Current membership

Constituencies representedNameExpiry date
Council ChairPeggy BlairMarch 31, 2023
ExceptionalitiesNameExpiry date
AutismVacantN/A
BehaviourVacantN/A
Blind and Low-VisionKerrie St JeanNovember 18, 2022
Deaf and Hard-of-HearingVacantN/A
Developmental DisabilityDomenic GentiliniMarch 29, 2025 
GiftedStacey ManzerolleNovember 18, 2022
Learning DisabilityVacantN/A
Multiple ExceptionalitiesMichael JacquesNovember 18, 2022
Physical DisabilityVacantN/A
EducatorsNameExpiry date
Supervisory OfficersPeggy BlairNovember 18, 2022
TrusteesVacantN/A
PrincipalsGary PietersMarch 31, 2023
TeachersKatheryne HoffschmidtApril 7, 2024
Educational AssistantsPatricia SkyApril 7, 2024
ProfessionalsNameExpiry date
MedicalAnne KawamuraAugust 12, 2024 
PsychologistsVacantN/A
Social WorkersLorie LarocheApril 7, 2024
Speech and Language PathologistsLeah Kim BrightonApril 7, 2024
OtherNameExpiry date
Indigenous CommunityJudy CarterApril 7, 2023
Students/YouthBen SmithFebruary 17, 2023

Appointment terms

Appointments to the council will normally be for an initial period of up to three-years.

Members will be eligible for consideration for reappointment to one or more subsequent terms, for a maximum six years of service.

Time commitment

Council meets three times each year, with meetings typically held in June, October and February. These meetings are normally one and a half days.

Council may also have working groups. Any working group meetings scheduled between regular council meetings are held by teleconference.

The Chair and selected members of the council may meet from time to time with the minister or senior government officials. Council members may also be asked to assist in special working groups and consultations with the Ministry of Education or other ministries.

Members are expected to liaise with all organizations within their community of interest. The commitment required to accomplish this responsibility will vary considerably among members depending on the number of organizations and the complexity of issues. Members should contact their constituency before each regular meeting of the council in order to bring information forward to the council's attention.

Following each council meeting, members should report on the meeting to the organizations in their community of interest.

Member expenses

There is no remuneration for council members. However, reasonable expenses for travel, accommodation and meals are reimbursed in accordance with the government's Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive.

Contact

Email the council secretary at macse@ontario.ca if you have questions about the council or for copies of:

  • Council meeting highlights
  • Special Education Update (revised for each MACSE meeting)
  • member expense reimbursement reports