ABA Specialists are professionals with training in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). In an educational setting, ABA specialists work with children with autism and related developmental disorders, and work collaboratively their families, school personnel and an interdisciplinary team of other professionals. ABA Specialists identify techniques for increasing useful behaviours and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning. ABA techniques and principles are utilized to bring about meaningful and positive change in behaviour, and can produce improvements in communication, social relationships, play, self care, school and employment. In addition to providing intensive, individualized intervention to students, ABA Specialists provide consultation and training to students’ families and to the educational professionals who work with these students in the classroom.
Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis (ONTABA)
Attendance Counsellors work collaboratively with school personnel, students, parents/guardians and an interdisciplinary team of other professionals to ensure that each child’s right to an education is protected.
The Attendance Counsellor has jurisdiction over and is responsible for the enforcement of compulsory school attendance with respect to every child who is required to attend school (ages 6 to 18). However, as implied by the title, the role is primarily that of a counsellor. It is important, therefore, that the attendance counsellor not be expected to act as an enforcer or used as a threat. Attendance counsellors perform the duties and carry out the responsibilities of a school attendance counsellor as set down in the Education Act and the Ministry of Education and Training Regulation 308/92 and Bill 52 pertaining to Compulsory Education:
- Assist students/families/schools in the development and implementation of a school attendance plan within a school setting or other appropriate alternative educational settings;
- Obtain consent and meet with students to provide support on a one to one basis;
- Assist educators and families to utilize the services of appropriate community agencies;
- Participate in designated Identification, Placement & Review Committee meetings, school and community-based, case conferences, and court/probation liaison as needed;
- Consult with members of a collaborative team and community agencies in the provision of family support;
- Act as a resource for Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils (S.A.L.E.P.)
Attendance counsellors may hold a range of academic qualifications including a Community College Diploma, an Undergraduate Degree or Masters Degree in a related field. Attendance Counsellors may be registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Attendance Counsellors may be certified members of the Ontario Association for Counselling and Attendance Services (O.A.C.A.S.) which is a provincial organization representing counsellors working in the area of school attendance counselling and/or be recognized as a Ministry of Education Attendance Counselling Specialist.
Audiologists are professionals with Master’s-level training in the prevention, identification, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of hearing impairments.
In an educational setting, an audiologist has the role of interpreting and integrating audiological information so that students with hearing loss can maximize their learning potential in the classroom. Audiologists interpret hearing assessment results and their implications, evaluate the need for, selection of, orientation to and care and maintenance of FM systems, and make recommendations about classroom placement and planning. Audiologists also provide counseling to students and parents regarding all aspects of hearing loss and (re)habilitation, and work with classroom teachers and other professionals to develop an understanding of the relationship of hearing and hearing loss to the development of academic skills. Audiologists are registered by the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO).
College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO)
Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)
Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA)
Child and Youth Workers collaborate with and assist teachers and other professionals in delivering programs and interventions to individuals and groups of exceptional students and non-identified students exhibiting social, emotional, or behavioural problems.
- Major functions and responsibilities of Child and Youth Workers employed by various school boards.
- Promoting and supporting prevention programs for specific groups of students (e.g. anger management, body image).
- Promoting and supporting class-wide and school-wide prevention programs.
- Participating in assessment and needs identification to meet behavioural and academic objectives for children and adolescents.
- Planning behavioural programs in collaboration with teachers, parents, and other Support Services staff.
- Counselling students and consulting with teachers, parents, administrators, and other Support Services staff.
- Utilizing a groupwork modality to address the needs of students when appropriate (e.g. using a groupwork modality to address issues related
- to bereavement, separation and divorce, body image, self-esteem, teen parenthood, parenting).
- Utilizing the techniques of non-violent crisis intervention to safeguard student and staff safety, when required.
- Providing support to students experiencing personal crises.
- Consulting with classroom teachers and administrators regarding behaviour management.
- Performing collaborative planning with teachers, parents, and other Special Services staff.
- Assisting in developing, implementing, modifying, and evaluating social skills and behavioural programs with individuals and groups of students.
- Assisting in delivering classroom programs, formulated or modified by the classroom teacher to students with special needs.
- Coordinating integration activities of students with special needs.
- Providing direct behaviour management to children and adolescents.
- Providing in-service training to other members of the school community (e.g. crisis prevention, conflict resolution, PDD / Autism).
- Observing and monitoring students’ performance and reporting behavioural progress and problems.
- Liaising with parents regarding student progress, problems and/or needs.
- Maintaining records and preparing and presenting reports, as appropriate.
- Contributing to the formulation of Individual Education Plans.
- Assisting students in acquiring social and recreational skills.
- Advocating on behalf of students.
- Directing and supervising co-op students in work placements and CYW students in practicum placements.
- Providing CYW representation on project committees within the Board.
- Representing their boards in committee work with community agencies.
- Liaising with community agencies in support of specific children. Education and experience qualifications vary from school board to board.
- A minimum community college diploma in Child and Youth Work.
- Two or three years of Child and Youth Work practice experience following graduation.
- Membership in the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counsellors is sometimes required.
- Child and Youth Workers are expected to adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counsellors.
Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counsellors
Communicative Disorders Assistants (CDA) are professionals with a post-graduate diploma in Communication Disorders.
CDAs are trained to provide intervention to individuals of all ages with speech, language, augmentative communication and hearing needs. CDAs work under the supervision of Speech-Language Pathologists and/or Audiologists in a variety of settings including school boards, hearing aid manufacturers, acute care hospitals, treatment centres, long-term care facilities, community health units, private agencies, augmentative communication companies and audiology clinics. Services we provide in an educational setting are under the supervision of Speech-Language Pathologists. The primary function of a CDA is to provide direct intervention to school-aged children (individually or in small groups) to allow them to access the curriculum and improve their overall academic success. Direct intervention may address difficulties with articulation, receptive and/or expressive language, augmentative communication and literacy development. Other services a CDA may provide are:
- Training and/or providing strategies to teachers, educational assistants and parents;
- Preparation of classroom and home programs to assist with the ongoing maintenance of direct intervention;
- Written and oral progress reports to parents and teachers upon completion of direct intervention;
- In-service workshops to school personnel when required;
- Development and preparation of materials and/or devices for students to use in the classroom and community settings (e.g., visual schedules,
- picture communication systems, voice output communication devices, etc.)
Communicative Disorders Assistant Association of Canada
Community Relations Officers (CRO) act as a link between the home, school and community.
Their major functions are to create, coordinate, administer and oversee various programs such as:
- Child care
- Nursery schools
- Family resource centres
- Before and after school
- Early literacy clubs
- Tiny tots
- Family literacy
- After school tutoring
- Interpreter & translation services
- Curriculum and resources development for the International Languages and Family Literacy
- Volunteer recruitment, training and recognition
- Orientation and placement of new students (newly arrived students in Canada)
The Community Relations Officers work closely with a variety of organizations encouraging parents to become fully involved with the education of their children.
The mandate of Educational Research within the school board is to inform decision-making to help ensure efficient delivery of educational services in individual schools and system-wide.
We provide professional expertise and information in educational research:
- To support the implementation of key system initiatives (e.g. literacy, numeracy)
- To support school effectiveness and educational accountability
Research Associates: We are a group of professionals with post graduate degrees at the Masters or PhD level with extensive professional training in large-scale project management and research design, advanced statistical analysis, research information technology, professional writing and teaching (spanning from kindergarten to university), literacy development and cognitive/educational psychology and applications. Services we provide include:
- Design and conduct program reviews (e.g. Mathematics, Language Arts, Special Education – Learning Disabilities, Multiple Exceptionalities)
- Analyze and interpret provincial and system-wide assessments (e.g. EQAO, GMRT, CAT/3)
- Represent the school board on national and international assessments (e.g. SAIP, TIMSS)
- Address Board and Province information needs (e.g. Accessibility Survey, Guidance School Effectiveness Survey)
- Design and implement accountability procedures for board initiatives (e.g. projects to address bullying in schools and the social-emotional/motivational needs of students “at risk”)
School and Program Effectiveness
- Develop and implement assessment and curriculum documents (e.g. Balanced Literacy Measures Package, International Languages Curriculum Documents)
- Design and disseminate assessment data on the web (e.g. Data Integration Platforms)
- Evaluate or provide support in the evaluation of local/school initiatives
- Conduct school-wide and system-wide surveys for needs assessment
- Design workshops and offer professional development to board staff
- Review current educational research and identify implications for the school board
- Participate in community initiatives to improve children’s education and well-being (e.g. Toronto Report Card on Children, Portuguese Canadian Coalition for Better Education)
- Review external applications for research
- Present papers and publish in professional journals
The Association of Educational Researchers of Ontario (AERO)
Librarians have a minimum education four-year Honours Bachelor degree, and a two-year Masters Degree in Library / Information Science (MLIS, MIS or MLS).
The Masters degree must be earned through a university with American Library Association accreditation. Services include:
- The Masters degree must be earned through a university with American Library Association accreditation. Services include:
- In-depth instructional sessions to classes and individuals on how to access, select and evaluate information from a multitude of resources in various media/formats.
- Detailed knowledge of automated library systems, including online periodical databases, internet resources, and computer applications such as Power Point, Excel, Publisher and Word.
- Student instruction on the issue of plagiarism and how to avoid it, as well how to properly research and document sources. Librarians also work with teachers and administration to develop strategies to prevent plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty.
- Instructing staff and students on how to document their sources in academically accepted formats – Modern Languages Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA) & Chicago Manual of Style (CMS).
- Compiling, publishing and updating instructional guides and materials to assist students and staff with their library and documentation needs.
- Orientation to library resources and services for both staff and students.
- Nurturing and fostering of literacy, research, and critical thinking skills, which aid students in obtaining both academic and personal success in their lives.
Librarians also serve the school community by performing the following functions:Helping staff and students locate and select reading materials to meet academic demands and cultivate a love of reading.
- Responding to all patrons’ information needs in a timely and qualified manner.
- Developing a library collection that meets the needs of all scholastic levels across the curriculum.
- Liaising with school administrators, teachers, and students to ensure the library is meeting the needs of each school community.
- Providing input on literacy issues and trends.
- Maintaining and trouble-shooting the Library’s computer network.
- Managing a substantial budget.
- Dealing with vendors and publishers.
- Supervising students in the library outside of in-class hours.
- Providing daily direction to clerical library staff and volunteers.
- Managing and overseeing audiovisual equipment for their respective schools.
Occupational therapists (OTs) are health-care professionals with Master’s-level training. In an educational setting, OTs work with students, their families, school personnel and an inter-disciplinary team of other professionals. OTs provide assessment to assist in identifying barriers to a student’s participation in the daily occupations of life (self care, academic and leisure), and develop interventions and strategies to enable engagement in everyday living (including normal growth and development, feeding, play, social skills, and education)
OTs help with:
- difficulties affecting one’s ability to care for oneself or others
- returning to school after prolonged illness or injury
- learning difficulties in the classroom
- mobility/seating problems that impair function
- difficulties socializing or enjoying leisure time because of functional changes
- environmental modifications when accessibility is an issue
Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialists are vision professionals working as members of a multi-disciplinary team who provide O&M assessment, development of recommendations, and instruction to blind & low vision persons
Instruction is provided to maximize safe and independent travel in familiar and unfamiliar, simple and complex environments. O&M Specialists conduct assessment of functional vision to enable instruction in proper use of prescribed low vision aids.
Orientation and Mobility instruction includes:
- Sensory motor skills
- Auditory development / sound localization
- Concept development
- Sighted guide skills
- White cane skills
- Dog Guide travel
- Visual efficiency skills: proper use of scanning, tracing, tracking, visual closure
- Use of low vision aids
- Systematic search techniques
- Familiarization techniques
- Mapping skills: developing tactile and modified maps
- Self-protective techniques
- Use of indoor and outdoor numbering/address systems
- Outdoor travel skills
- Cardinal directions
- Time/distance estimation
- Techniques for accessing escalators, elevators, revolving doors
- Street crossing techniques
- Public transportation skills for use on buses, subways, and trains.
Qualified Orientation and Mobility Specialists possess a Bachelor’s degree with a post-graduate diploma in Orientation and Mobility.
The Parenting and Family Literacy Facilitators (PFLF) run the Board’s Parenting and Family Literacy Centres.These centres are school-based programs where parents/caregivers and children, birth to six years of age, participate in play-based activities that focus on the development of early literacy and numeracy skills. The facilitators help promote positive parent-child interactions, offer a family literacy program that develops early literacy and numeracy skills, help increase parent’s knowledge, involvement and comfort with schools, they help with transition to school and with the early identification of children with special needs.
We are a group of professionals with post graduate degrees in psychology at the Masters or PhD level.
Extensive professional training in child and adolescent development, principles of learning and motivation, research, personal counseling, and assessment and diagnosis of academic, learning, behavioural, and personal problems. We work together on multidisciplinary teams with teachers, parents, children and adolescents, to understand, prevent, and solve problems, and to promote mental health and effective environments for learning. Psychology staff must be registered through the Ontario College of Psychologists or must work under the supervision of registered staff, and are subject to Codes of Professional Ethics and Standards of Practice.
- Assess academic, intellectual, social, and emotional development.
- Consult with teachers, parents, and families about learning, social and behavioural problems.
- Diagnose various intellectual, perceptual, learning, behavioural, developmental, emotional, or personality disorders.
- Suggest techniques to improve academic performance and in developing individual educational programs.
- Counsel individual students or groups of students with personal or family issues such as family separation, loss of a family member, or behavioral problems.
- Assess whether a child or adolescent qualifies for special education programs.
- Train in study skills.
- Help students to develop social skills or academic motivation.
- Provide peer support groups for the gifted students.
- Offer in-service programs for educators, other board personnel, and parents.
- Provide referrals to community resources and liaise as necessary.
- Collaborate in the design of research projects.
- Consult at a school, family, or board level in developing methods for program or policy evaluation.
- Participate in decisions about identification and placement of exceptional students.
Settlement counsellors help newcomers to Canada understand their rights and responsibilities and find the programs and services they need. Settlement counsellors meet with clients, assess their needs and give them support and information. Settlement counsellors may also help clients make plans for employment, education, housing, health care and more. In an educational setting, settlement counsellors may contact newcomer parents (and youth in secondary schools) to assist them with their settlement needs; refer families to more specialized community resources as needed; provide information sessions for newcomer youth and parents, often in partnership with school staff; and provide orientation about the settlement needs of newcomers for school staff.
The interpreter’s primary function is to provide interpreting to Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, their classmates and educational staff in their schools.
Other duties of a Sign Language Interpreter may include:
- Interpreting for Deaf and Hard of Hearing parents when those parents need to communicate with educational or special services staff.
- Preparation for classroom interpreting (i.e. familiarization with vocabulary and concepts).
- Tutoring, if qualified.
- Participate in educational team meetings, including the development and review of progress on the Individual Education Plan.
- Providing insight on the success of communication strategies.
- Provide interpreting for extra-curricular activities.
- Providing interpreting for other needs that may arise.
- Graduation from a recognized interpreter training program (ITP).
- Certification from Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC).
- Active membership in the provincial and national interpreting associations.
- Fluency in English and American Sign Language (ASL).
- Knowledge of the AVLIC Code of Ethics.
- Knowledge and understanding of Deaf culture.
Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC)
Speech-language pathologists are professionals with Master’s-level training in human communication development and disorders, and have expertise in consultation, classroom-based programming, assessment and intervention.
In an educational setting, speech-language pathologists help teachers and parents to understand the oral communication needs of children and the direct impact of these needs on academic and social/emotional development. Speech-language pathologists provide assessment in the areas of oral and written language and literacy and work with teachers to develop curriculum-based strategies to address the learning needs of students in the classroom. Speech-language pathologists also provide in-service training for teachers and other professionals and develop resource materials to support teachers, parents and students. Speech-language pathologists are registered by the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO).
College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO)