A newsletter to support those in York Region who work with students with exceptional learning strengths & needs.
- May is Speech & Hearing Month & VOICE Dress Loud Day
- Children's Mental Health Awareness Week
- National AccessAbility Week & Red Shirt Day
- Yes I Can Awards - Business Award Presented to Motion
- Learning Disabilities Association of York Region
- Programs Offered: Girls Connect, Social Skills Summer Camp, JUMP Math, Reading Rocks
- Best Buddies Prom
May is Speech & Hearing Month
Speech and Hearing Month is dedicated to raising public awareness about communication health - that is, the ability to speak, hear and be heard. As stated by Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC):
Many of us take our ability to communicate for granted, but the ability to speak, hear and be heard is much more vital to our everyday lives than most of us realize. For those who have difficulty communicating, everyday interactions can pose significant challenges. A communication disorder may prevent an individual from performing well at work, asking for help, hearing instructions at school or even saying ‘I love you’. (Source: sac.oac.ca)
Our YRDSB team of Speech-Language Pathologists, Communicative Disorders Assistants and Audiologist empower students to "Speak Well. Hear Well. Live Well." YRDSB S-LPs partner with educators to promote oral language, social communication, and literacy through play. Featured in the images below is a pizza parlour sociodramatic play center, including a cash register, menu, and toy pizzas. Children engage in dialogue and written communication to select the pizza size and toppings on a pizza menu.
VOICE for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children celebrates Speech and Language Month with Dress Loud Day all May long. VOICE has compiled various resources to share with educators and families to help build education around the deaf and hard of hearing community. Check out their Dress Loud Day 2022 webpage to learn more about how to spread awareness and build education about what it means to be deaf and hard of hearing.
Children's Mental Health Awareness Week
Every year in Ontario, the first week in May (May 2-8, 2022) is acknowledged as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (CMHAW). This year, our YRDSB Mental Health team organized a variety of workshops and events for students to enhance their understanding of mental health and well-being. Additional information for educators and families about CMHAW was shared in the May Mental Health Newsletter, the 2022 CMHAW May Calendar Resource, as well as social media via the Mental Health YRDSB Twitter Account. Check out these resources and continue to encourage healthy and intentional daily actions that support mental health using ideas in the One Small Thing toolkit.
National AccessAbility Week & Red Shirt Day
National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) is recognized between May 29 - June 4, 2022. The theme for this year is "Inclusive from the start". National AccessAbility Week aims to:
- celebrate the valuable contributions and leadership of Canadians with disabilities
- highlight the work of individuals, organizations and communities who are removing barriers
- reflect on our ongoing efforts to become a better, more accessible, more disability inclusive Canada
YRDSB Student Services is committed to supporting our students with opportunities that allow them to learn and grow. Removing barriers to their learning looks different for different individuals. Some students may require assistive technology, while other students may require accommodations or modifications in their learning. Secondary students engaged in the Work Experience Program may require opportunities for hands-on learning in the workplace to develop essential skills needed for employment opportunities. Our Work Experience Program is thankful to have businesses within York Region that have embraced opportunities for employment of individuals with exceptionalities to promote and support their full participation within the community.
What is Red Shirt Day? Red Shirt Day takes place on the Wednesday of National AccessAbility Week each year. This year, Red Shirt Day is on June 1, 2022 and is a day when people across Canada come together and wear red "to show their support for persons and families who are living with disabilities, to celebrate the achievements of people living with disabilities and to pledge their commitment to help create a fully accessible and inclusive society that honours and values the contributions of people of all abilities in all aspects of life in Canada."(Source: Easter Seals)
Spotlighting Excellence, Achievement & Community
Yes I Can! Awards - Business Award Presented to Motion
The Yes I Can Business Award recognizes a business, agency or community organization that has promoted and provided for the enhancement, awareness and employment of individuals with exceptionalities in order to promote and support their full participation within the community. This year, Motion was presented with the 2022 Yes I Can Business Award. Motion provides accessibility products and solutions to make life accessible for everyone. Cam Tabobondung, an equipment technician with Motion, was nominated for the following reasons:
Cam Tabobondung, an equipment technician with Motion, is so much more than a repair technician. Everything that Cam does embraces and enacts the tenets of inclusive, identity affirming and relationship focused work with students, families and educators. Cam makes a true connection with each child, upon his arrival, students eagerly await their individualized ‘Cam greeting.’ He quickly and skillfully adjusts, repairs or customizes equipment while students wait, mesmerized by his presence. Although excited about their fixed or new equipment, each child truly mourns when he leaves, wishing they could have more time with him. The whole process is quite magical to experience. Cam is the embodiment of equity, access and participation. Cam only ever sees challenges as opportunities to be creative. Knowing that each student is unique, communicates differently and has their own needs and goals, it is a pleasure to watch Cam honour their voice, listen patiently to ensure that he truly understands their needs. Cam ends each of these conversations envisioning what equipment or how he can adapt equipment to support the realization of the students’ goals and needs. Cam really is “Yes I CAM” and is the most deserving recipient of this award and of recognition.
Congratulations to Motion and Cam Tabobondung as the 2022 Yes I Can Business Award recipient!
The Council for Exceptional Children Yes I Can Awards were held virtually on May 18, 2022. The following awards were presented and can be viewed on the Council for Exceptional Children - Yes I Can Awards page.
- President's Award presented to Dr. Steven Reid, Associate Director of Education-Programs
- Parent Award presented to Christine Graham, James Robinson PS
- Business Award presented to Motion (Cam Tabobondung)
- Paraprofessional of the Year presented to Jennifer Nedanovski, ISW at Barbara Reid PS
- Teacher of the Year presented to Matthew Watts, Teacher at Rouge Park PS
- Educational Leader of the Year presented to Jared Yoshiki, Principal at Coppard Glen PS
For more highlights, check out the Twitter account @YRChapter543.
Learning Disabilities Association of York Region
Girls Connect is a social group for supporting the needs of girls ages 7-18 with a primary diagnosis of learning disabilities and/or ADHD. Participants will:
- Be connected to and contribute to building a safe community for girls with LDs and ADHD.
- Develop Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) skills including building healthy relationships, identifying and managing emotions and coping with stress.
- Improve self-esteem and confidence.
- Develop executive function and self-advocacy skills.
This 8-week virtual program will be split into 75-minute, weekly group sessions. For more information or to register, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-884-7933.
Social Skills Summer Camp is designed for ages 7-12 years with a primary diagnosis of LD and/or ADHD. It is available in multiple locations in York Region. How is LDAYR Camp unique?
- We work closely with families to develop growth strategies to prepare campers for the next school year.
- Play.Learn - We accommodate campers learning styles and teach through play-based education and activities. Topics include building self-esteem, confidence and social skills.
- We bring the fun! Play programs include swimming, escape rooms, special events, team challenges, sports tournaments and outdoor activities.
Jump Math is an individualized tutoring program for students aged 8-14 who are performing a minimum of one year behind in the area of math due to a diagnosed, identified, or suspected math disability (dyscalculia), and who are showing signs of math anxiety. This program is currently sponsored by York Region District School Board. Enrollment will be based on a first come, first serve basis. For more information please contact Sam Harrison at email@example.com or register online.
Reading Rocks is a structured intervention for students with LDs/ADHD who are struggling with reading concepts and are a minimum of one year behind in the area of literacy due to a diagnosed, identified or suspected reading disability (dyslexia). Starting July 2022, this program will run for 8 weeks with 1-hour sessions twice per week. This program is currently sponsored by York Region District School Board. Enrollment will be based on a first come, first serve basis. For more information please contact Sam Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or register online.
Best Buddies Prom
Best Buddies Prom is back! The 2022 Best Buddies Prom will be held virtually on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. This year's theme is set as Tropical Paradise, and each school will get creative and set up their celebration space with their own tropical paradise decorations. All schools will join a live video meet and music will be played for all to enjoy.
Upcoming SEAC Meetings
The meeting dates for the remainder of the year are set out below. The meeting location will be determined in the new school year.
- September 8, 2022
- October 6, 2022
- November 3, 2022
- December 8, 2022