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But would it take a case like that Candian family waged to end homework as we know it, and what would be done in its place? If people think homework is hard, try a federal case literally! Thank you for the data, Chris Zaharias. Do you know if there is a second set of data indicating whether kids think they have too much or too little homework? Parent, It's a question of the priorities families set for their children. Some families view intellectual immersion to be one of the most important gifts they can give their children, starting them off on the path to personal and financial independence.

Asian Americans are the second largest ethnic demographic in Palo Alto's schools, trailing Caucasians by just 4 percentage points. Other families have different religious and cultural frames of reference and so want a different balance. The nice thing is that our schools recognize all students and give them and their families choices. If you value academic immersion, your child can take honors classes that are more demanding and have more homework. If you want a different balance, have your children take college prep classes with less homework; if there is a rogue teacher in this group who assigns more homework than is appropriate, show them PAUSD's new homework policy.

I don't see how families' preferences are grounds for a federal case. Canada is a case in point: opt in or opt out. Students who do not do assigned homework are likely less prepared for exams and may get lower grades as a result, but they are not expelled or fail just because they do less of it. This is why, I appreciate your points but they are part of a bygone era or someplace very different than here.

You are assuming that intellectual immersion is the same thing as intense structured school, and they aren't. You have also assumed there are only two sides, intense academic and more balanced. What of those who want to be able to draw a better boundary between school and home precisely so they can have the kind of intellectual immersion the schools simply don't offer? Our schools don't recognize all students, and they don't hear when kids are getting too much homework, as the above survey indicates. That is my experience as well. More than that, I don't think it should be up to the school to feel my family's time, and my child's intellectual life and time should be at their disposal rather than ours when school is out in order to get a high-quality public education.

I shouldn't have to explain what I want to do with the few hours of the day remaining after school, and I shouldn't have to always derfer my family's life to tendrils of school control reaching into every moment of our lives and even my child's sleep. My own child was working on a paper for an adult journal, with new science, until school started when there was no more time because of homework. That is just one of the many intellectual and personal sacrifices for school.

The world has changed and so should the schools. Healthy boundaries are healthier for everyone. I think the kinds of high quality instructors we have here are capable of that kind of adjustment, if given the support. Personally, I think any parent would wage a federal case to keep the light of curiosity in their children's eyes or to just spend quality time with them without school demands constantly overhead. I don't think there is any basis for a court challenge other than that which could be brought on behalf of poor children who are systematically disadvantaged by homework because they lack help at home through parents who have skills resources and time to help.

Without assistance the grades are systematically lower. Rather my suggestion would be to organize a strike. The typical way of dealing with objectionable working conditions.

Newmark K-8 School & Newmark High School

Surely our unionized teachers who object to using schoology or doing anything not exactly in their contracts and who retain the right to collectively bargain cannot object to the right of parents to do likewise. If every parent simply refused to allow their students to do excessive work that violates the policy, declared a homework strike until the policy is followed and enforced, then the system would grind to a halt and the board would have to intervene.

Another suggestion is to mount a campaign to pressure the board and super to enforce their own policy. Why is there a policy that is not enforced? I had to; they have to-- Your removed comment along many other censored comments can be found on a page I dedicated in my blog to the ongoing censoring. I would not comment on this issue, except that I have some personal experience. For the first three years of high school, I did tons of homework Then, in my senior year I had a very good math teacher He didn't believe in homework.

He distributed handouts at each class, did about a 10 minute lecture, then we worked on the problems on the handout. He would circulate to quietly advise those who raised their hands. We handed in our handouts at the end of each class. He looked them over, and decided where the issues were for the following classes. He did not grade the handouts. We had a test in mid term, and final exam at the end.

He graded on the curve. Best class I ever had, and I learned a ton. So what's next? Lawsuits brought against the UC system to prevent homework? And then we can all sue our employers because we have to do work from home on some evenings or on the weekends. The world may have changed for the good so as to recognize student stress and its drivers.

But outlawing homework altogether will do nothing more than create a fantasy world which will be blown up the day the kid starts college. I suggest a one day symbolic district wide homework strike to raise parent and student consciousness. Do a lot of media, have parent ed events leading up, and invite parents to a symbolic homework shredding or burning. I agree with JLS Parent that there is too much homework and although I'm not sure we should make a Federal case out of the issue we should definitely put pressure on the district to change the way they teach and assign HW.

My child is in 6th grade at Jordan and already has an incredible amount of HW. I am not looking forward to high school! I really think a lot of the HW is due to the teachers not actually teaching the material but just throwing it at the kids, expecting them to learn it on the spot then continuing the teaching of the material at home through HW.

My child and his friends confirmed this saying they spend a lot of time in their classes taking notes on lectures but not getting time to understand the material then they go home and try to do a lot of math problems and projects! I don't think it is the fault of the teachers who seem sympathetic, but I think it is someone at the top pushing the Common Core standards down on everybody, expecting the kids to magically master a lot of new material in a short time. That should be true, but the homework load and the level of actual teaching varies widely from teacher to teacher in the exact same class.

I would like to agree with Craig Laughton. I had a similar experience. My best teachers did not require homework. In my case it was physics and English. We all learned a lot, and there were interactions with the teachers. I agree with Craig, I learned a ton. Note you said "give" homework, not "force you to do homework". If you don't want your kids to do homework, and don't think it is of value, tell them not to do it, and accept the consequence.

If they still know the material, get good grades on the test, they'll still probably pass. Neither you nor your child will end up in jail for not doing homework. Why aren't our children taught what they need to know during school hours? That is not to say that students shouldn't read chapters in a book to discuss the next day or practice a few math problems on a something that they have already been taught. The problem is that homework is used to replace teaching.

And as parents, it ruins any chance of family or personal intellectual challenge time. It might stay the same, but it's not gonna get any better. Consider moving to a city that is less competitive or sending your child to a private school, such as Woodside Priory. I say this in all sincerity, not to be rude. Or see the outcome of McGee's teacher evaluations to help teacher consistency - maybe there's hope for us. The other option is to homeschool, which is not necessarily you teaching the child.

There are homeschooling programs where parents join their students with teachers. I know someone who is doing this precisely to avoid any homework. I have no idea where is the enforcement of their education and what they are learning. Is "homeschooling" code for "no schooling, but still legal"?

Don't want to dish the homeschoolers who take it seriously, as I do know some, but I know many who just want to avoid the structure and stress. Chris Zaharias: I find it difficult to believe that any PAUSD high school student has less than 7 hours of homework per week - that's only one hour a day - it's not really possible, even with easy teachers. I guess it's possible if the student doesn't care about grades and is sliding by with a 2. And that's where your unscientific poll is deficient - the variable of work ethic. Paly parent observes:"The problem is that homework is used to replace teaching.

And that is why it is so heavily relied upon by teachers. Relatively little effort from the teachers for a lot of payback. It is efficient from their perspective. And parents are enablers trapped in a system scrambling for college admissions. If anyone thought that there is any innovation in education - there you have it: Standards have gone up? Add homework. Higher expectations from community? Can't explain English Analysis? The kids will teach themselves, or the parents will, or the tutors. There is little self respect left in teaching. Maybe 1 in 3 is actually a professional who strives to really teach clearly; to help kids clear up misconceptions, to inspire learning.

All the talk of reform is a joke on the kids and parents - the teachers control your grade admission to college, and they have NO accountability, so you have to teach yourself. They are just there to do the sorting. Agree with "TheSortingHat": "the teachers control your grade admission to college, and they have NO accountability, so you have to teach yourself. I agree with Paly Parent, Mr. I know in some systems, not doing homework won't have serious consequences, but here it would.

While no one is forcing anyone to do homework, the homework is a part of the educational program and if someone refuses to do it, they may well flunk out and the consequences may be that they don't get the public education they are due. Every child is entitled to a free and appropriate public education -- it's a fundamental right that comes from the US Constitution. The Constitution does not mention homework, though, or the subject of such boundaries, except perhaps in how we might interpret the 4th Amendment.

I would go further to say that I think it's unreasonable for a a school to have unfettered priority with my child's time 24 hours a day in order to receive a free and appropriate public education. Midtown parent, I didn't realize traditionally disadvantaged groups were essentially hurt by the homework. I would love a link or further information. I was assuming that traditionally disadvantaged students would be better off for having homework because they might not have similar access to outside opportunities. I wonder, though, if all these new computer-enabled knowledge environments are changing even that.

I think back in the day, when at least in for most people there was no Internet, less access to educational reading material, less interaction with other people, homework was the best educational opportunity. There were few alternatives unless it was music lessons for those who could afford them. I was assuming the disadvantages would extend to all these new opportunities because of the digital divide, but maybe there is enough access especially with mobile computing to actually begin leveling the playing field, I don't know.

But my assumptions made me wonder about the wisdom of, essentially, a ground-breaking boundary-setting litigation over the issue, because traditionally disadvantaged groups might be hurt if homework were not an assumed part of the education but nothing was improved during the school day. Maybe that's another circumstance that would improve by soul-searching over boundaries between school and home.

Crescent Park Dad, I think your points deserve their own deep conversation about what prepares kids for life and college. Just tonight we were sitting with colleagues who discussed their disappointing experiences as employers with employees who were the straight-A intense academic types. The feedback was, the hires didn't know how to do anything of their own they didn't put it that nicely.

They were good at regurgitating, but not very independent. The research seems to back that up. Although life has taught me many lessons in the interim, I look back and feel the same about my own education -- I thrived on the intense academic experience and really enjoyed pushing against that structure, but while I was extremely resourceful, I was not very autonomous. While I'm not trying to say everyone is the same, the world of work is not like school.

Like This is Why, please don't assume the alternative to homework is essentially goofing off. The alternative in our home would be far more high-level educational pursuits, including the unpleasant grunt work necessary to get any major thing done. It's just relevant to achieving something real, not busy work. But if someone wanted to goof off, why shouldn't they have time of their own every day, and why should they have to account for it to the school? Schools that run 24 hours a day are called boarding school, that's not what most of us chose. My kid got a sheet recently in relationship to a class final exam, ostensibly to help plan time in to study, but it asked kids to account for their time 24 hours a day for a few weeks.

I was horrified at the intrusion. It again exemplified the assumption that the school had priority in the use of my child's time, and by extension, my family's time, for all waking and some sleeping hours of the day. I don't think making kids more and more miserable with busywork homework prepares them any better for college either. In my experience at MIT , the kids who were burned out from high school did not do well. My own brothers who were not stellar high school students all went on to be stellar students in top colleges, and successful in life.

The seeds of each of their success began in outside activities, to a one. When I say the world has changed, I mean the landscape for what kids can learn, do, and achieve has dramatically changed in the last years. Per student stress -- I love Thomas the Tank Engine videos for how they highlight a fundamental motivation: To the engines being "really useful" is life and death. So it is with humans. Most of us need to feel useful in life, to follow our interests, to feel competent. Some kids need that intense structured academic sorting to be happy.

Some kids will be doing intense productive educational pursuits of their own if allowed time to be autonomous. Why should children in the latter camp have to choose between that and a high-quality public education? Especially since the education is a right, and homework and by extension giving up all right to personal autonomy 24 hours a day doesn't seem to be legally a part of the deal.

I also want to interject -- thank you to absolutely everyone above for the really great discussion. This has probably been the most respectful and interesting discussion I can remember on this forum, even though there is such a range of views. It's been really enlightening to me to hear the experiences and views. Experienced, Thanks for your comment, I didn't perceive it as rude. If any of the options mentioned homeschool, going to private school were really feasible, or likely to solve the problem, I would be doing them already. If Nueva has plans to move into my neighborhood next year and we can transfer our property taxes into a voucher to pay for it, that might solve things ; Just want to interject some other aspects of life lessons into the discussion that too much homework doesn't allow time for.

The first is doing some household chores on a regular basis. No I am not advocating turning kids into household divas, but dishwasher duties, trash duties, daily bed making, and learning how to do some of the essential chores around a home before they go off to fend for themselves e. The advantages of kids learning to be an employee as well as the satisfaction of a wage packet is a life lesson that can't be duplicated any other way. Too many kids appear to be graduating high school with an impression that chores just get done by magic and generous allowances are their due or reward for academic performance that they have no idea how the other half live.

The life lessons from doing these two activities would be just as influential on their futures as a good GPA. Parent - you make extremely good points. Our kids would be doing much higher valued things with their time if they were not overloaded with homework. The problem you will encounter is that in order for homework to drop, something else must change. Homework is propping up a broken system. You'll need to either: - accept lower grades as an individual. OR - lower curriculum standards as a state. It's just more homework and families more motivated and monitized to get it done.

To get better teaching with less homework you need better skills in the trade, and accountability. Accountability is legally impossible, so discussion usually stops there. Imagine for a moment a system with accountability To get better skills in the trade you need smarter people collaborating with best practices.

Normally in the real world it takes a high skill level manager a lot of effort to overcome NIH and personal pride to get adoption of Best practices. Still, this relies on very experienced management focused on the issue. Most schools don't have that. The tenure laws render most school management very weak and teachers are masters of their own domain. So they do what they think best, and hubris prevents them from improving. So what do they do best? What they learned in college.

And what is that? We are getting our teaching skills from the same public education system that is broken. After a few generations of this cycle We are eating our own dogfood now. How to fix: - stronger hiring standards that include strong parent and student feedback before tenure.

Only 1 of 3 should pass - you need to weed out a strongly defective population. If you don't teach all the kids all the material, your gone. Tenure only goes to those who have been here ten years, who not only teach students, but coach and collaborate to teach new teachers. Like real dedicated hours teaching teachers. Eat breathe sleep.

New hires focus on this intensively for a few years. They should have lighter class load and smaller classes as they are not as experienced, and need the time to focus on the fewer students they have, and to learn the best practices of their seniors. Real, dedicated hours learning best practices. Create a breeder school that teaches teachers and students.

Best practices should be written down and reviewed and updated quarterly. And controlled experiments should guide improvements.

What gives the school the right to give my child homework?

The goal should be best learning outcomes with minimal homework. Time in front of an excellent teacher is way more valuable than anything else. Many teachers won't like this. Let the unhappy people go. All of this and more is needed. And you're turning the titanic with a paddle. Where in the Constitution is this right guaranteed? Teri Badwin is the president of the teacher's union. She will have the ultimate say on homework just as a board member gave her undue influence in the bullying policy fiasco not so long ago.

Look it up, it's preserved on paloaltoonline. I would suspect that Teri and the few PAEA executive board members are working with CTA cartoonist and PAEA negotiator Wendy Dillingham-Plew on defensive responses such as we have too many students and not enough time, the administration has not trained us properly, and the old cliche of the parents are attacking us. Skip all the in-between and just ask PAEA to improve it.

Ha ha ha. Um, if they wanted better quality teaching with less homework, they would have adopted best practices years ago. And unfortunately employees rarely self-organize. So with weak management, unions fighting any attempt at organization and teachers uninterested in hearing someone else's opinion on how to teach better, you'll find that teacher quality is not happening.

There is just no structure in place to organize the teaching of teachers, AND to remove those who resist such improvements. If PAEA wanted it to happen, it would already have happened. Back to US History, Thanks for pointing out my error. Web Link From the California AG website: "The right to a public education in California is a fundamental right fully guaranteed and protected by the California Constitution" Thanks for the history lesson, though it throws in a whole other level of complexity.

The Brown decision was based on the 14th Amendment I think , so a case based on the 4th amendment would probably have a similar dynamic between the state and federal jurisdictions. I wonder if it would even need to be a federal case after all, but a state case. If the case were waged on behalf of those who simply want the choice to have a high quality public education without homework but without taking the choice to have an education that involves 24 hour expectations away from those who wish it after all, it would essentially outlaw boarding school , who then would take the side of defending the state's right to that kind of control over children's and families' lives?

But I am no lawyer - thanks for clarifying the law. Does that mean that schools today give out 17 hours of homework a night? There needs to be a certain amount of homework in high school so they are prepared for college. Yet, my child in regular lanes had several overly challenging teachers one year so bedtime was Midnite after 6 hours of homework and my child was sleep-deprived and depressed. Advanced and AP classes add an extra minutes of homework per class. I don't know how the students who are taking 5 APs can get much sleep. To the OP, don't worry about grades until high school or they could get burnt-out when they reach high school.

My children appreciated that. As far as having chores, there is no time for chores and when they become adults, they will rise to the occasion. I wonder how many parents posting here once thought about being teachers, and why you decided against it. Low pay? Too much work? Working on weekends? Constant criticism from parents? Someone above mentioned a day of shredding homework. I suggest a teacher walkout day protesting the way they are constantly dissed by P.

A parents who, as always, know it all. Nora Charles, This has been an extremely helpful and civil discussion, please join us. Please start by reading the thread rather than a few posts and jumping in with an off-topic trollish comment. If you would like to just vent with unsupported opinions and sweeping condemnations of parents, please start a separate thread. Are you a current parent or teacher in this school community? I am a district parent and know parents in every school in the district, and your opinion of them sounds like the bias of a crank, not based in fact.

I have found parents in this district to be some of the most caring and intelligent I have known anywhere. They are one of the reasons I think this district is great. I feel the same about our excellent teachers. If you even read the comments above all the way through, I think you will see far more praise of our teachers than criticism. That's really not what the thread is about. This thread is about whether there is a basis in law for schools to assign homework, it's not about ending high-quality education, or even ending homework for those who think it's important for their own children, but about setting boundaries, especially for those who need them.

The kind of work my child is doing outside of school is currently higher quality and a strong education not available in school, and the homework -- like making a t-shirt for science class about an element my child already had to write a cartoon about -- conflicts directly with the ability to do that higher quality work. In fact, it's not even just the time or the assignments, it's simply the expectation that the time after school is at the disposal of the school that is the issue.

If families wish it for their children, and if the families believe it is in the best interest of their children's education, they should be able to choose to have non-stop homework that stretches to bedtime and impinges on breakfast. I wouldn't want to take that away from someone who benefits from it, I was that kind of student. School boards were set up to allow local control for schools, meaning, control by locals, i. The intent was not to foster insular organizations with no checks and balances - that is fundamentally undemocratic and against the reason for school boards in the first place.

So whether you like or, as you have voiced, resent the input of parents, it is a fundamental and important part of education code and in this district, the high quality of the district. Times have changed. The pace of change is accelerating, and it's no longer just the pace of technological change. Children are wending their way through school while districts play extremely slow catch up.

For those whose best interests are served by exactly what we currently provide, they should be able to continue to have that. For those whose interests are not served, whose children are so stressed their very lives are endangered by the system, or who are miserable, or otherwise simply languishing, having to shoehorn in highly rewarding intellectual experiences in the few moments they have outside of homework, or for those whose needs are better met through a very different approach -- like a project-based learning program that we offer effectively through 6th grade but not beyond -- there should also be a choice.

But that's a "should" -- whether they can get that or not, my question remains: does the school have a right, in exchange for a high-quality public education, for families not to be able to set boundaries on their private lives and time after school is out? Is the ability to assign homework and expectations that stretch beyond the school day bound up in the right of a public education? I think the suggestion of a day of shredding homework was an interesting thought, but if we think about it, one a few humorless and petty types in our district office would use to punish children.

But in that same vein, maybe a flash mob in which kids bring all the graded homework from the previous week and bury the assistant superintendent's car -- then put it on the Internet -- that could serve the purpose of making a point. Though, it might similarly be used It might be funny but I don't think it would have much impact, though. If people are going to organize, I think they should organize to make a direct path to change for those who need it. One of the best ways to effectively allow people to set boundaries on their time, while still getting a high-quality public education, is to allow options to those who need them, like the district in San Jose has in their Learning Options program and which I'm told Silicon Valley entrepreneurs brought in, they've been doing this for 30 years.

It allows people options while changing the rest of the district almost not at all -- unless a lot of people end up choosing the options, though if that were the case, the rest of the district would get the feedback and improve. Such intrinsically motivated improvements tend to usually happen faster and be more satisfactory than mandated ones.

San Jose has basically the same board regulations we do that enable that program -- we could literally do the same overnight, if McGee had a team with him capable of doing it. Academic immersion is not intellectual immersion. A friend of mine who tutors Asian kids not in Palo Alto has told me how astonished he was at how ignorant they are of the world. Their entire focus is on higher grades, but he feels that they are unprepared to be successful adults because of their utter lack of knowledge and curiosity of anything but academic achievement.

Nora Charles writes;" You see, we have horizontal exposure to dozens of teachers for thousands of days. If we have two kids, we have more data. I doubt many of our teachers have this comparative perspective. So for example I can see that one science teacher at Paly was perfectly capable of assigning a reasonable amout of homework, and my kid got ALL of it done without any drama, tutoring or nagging. While a peer in English assigned twice as much, and almost none of it was completed successfully. It seems to me that the English teacher could learn a few things - not from me, but rather from the Science teacher.

Certainly when I discussed homework with the English IS it was clear she would not coach this hapless English teacher. She was missing basic competences such as: - clearly communicating the assignment - setting reasonable amounts of HW - assigning a due date This last one is going to really frost the original poster- the reason the English teacher gave for not telling students a due date is because she expected kids to go home and work on her assignments immediately. That's right , not only did she believe her work superseded the kids 24 hr limits, she believed her homework superseded all other homework.

There are dozens of examples where I can contrast high quality teaching to poor quality teaching. Because I have a perspective the teachers do not have. It is a loss that some teachers don't see that perspective or value it. But it is obvious that disparity in teaching skill is huge and well within the schools talent range I. Fixable if they would: A identify those teachers who have to improve B share best practices.

As for a walkout - I wouldn't mind.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: First Report of Canada

That would be one less day of homework. But it would highlight the gap between teachers and community. The community which puts up a lot of money to support teachers who see the world very differently than we see it. I worry that your statement about civil dialogue ignores the instances of teacher bashing in this thread that went unchallenged: Sortinghat's blanket statements about teachers and their motives.

I agree that there are comments above that are simultaneoualy critical but balanced kudos! There's even a comment from a teacher to join her movement! I worry this thread doesn't send the same inclusive message to the teachers who are doing the right thing and who might be willing to champion this cause. Never in my university career did a prof check to see if I did my homework. If these are to emulate college courses then the marks should solely be on exams and projects.

The massive amount of homework allows PAUSD to stand up and point to the rigor of the program unfortunately massive homework is not actually indicative of academic challenge. It also allows those who may not be able to get As on mastery of the material to still get an A because they are willing to play the game and churn out the homework. This is where I see grade inflation at Gunn. I strongly support a class where the student is given an option at the beginning of the year of whether their homework completion will be part of their mark.

What does anyone think about Ratemyteacher. The elementary school teacher had family problems while we were in that class and she was unable to deal with her class efficiently. The following year she had left the school and was teaching in another PA elementary. Shuffling bad teachers who may not have always been bad but definitely had a very bad year is covering up and protecting poor teachers who have tenure and can't be fired.

Yes, we have some excellent teachers and they are well known. Unfortunately, we are unable to request our teachers and get the luck of the draw. Suggestion, Cathy Kirkman's group is great. She faced her own criticisms, please give her your positive feedback! There has been a lot if off topic discussion here, but mostly it has been a great discussion.

I have made a couple of pleas and attempts to keep it on topic. Unfortunately sometimes at the end if a long thread, people only really read a little and voice a strong opinion. You bring up a good point, though, that teachers who might choose it, too, could also benefit from being able to draw better boundaries for themselves in a no homework program, however, this is really about the legal basis for homework, and by extension, the legal basis of families who want better boundaries to draw them for themselves and still get a high quality public education. Rather than restating objectionable comments which at some point the Weekly will eventually delete as they did above, and even my quoting one if them , please add your voice on the topic!

How teachers might feel about a rule disallowing homework - with proper support to make changes is a little off topic, but might be helpful. In my own experience, teaching staff have gone to great lengths to make all changes that were asked of them, including Every Day Math, even when they were not on board with it. In fact I have often felt the administration office was oppressive about teachers pulling the party line so as not to get parents joining with them against unpopular district decisions like the admin works that a parent teacher organization should never happen, advocate, or be powerful One way to allow parents to draw that line would be to allow the blended learning model as a choice, then even teachers really wouldn't be impacted.

It still doesn't settle the legality or boundaries issue for the future when the issue will become more and more unavoidable. At the end of a long thread, in order to be very clear, this thread is not homework versus no homework, but rather the legal basis to allow homework which could be argued as an intrusion of the state. I'm not actually arguing against programs that give homework because some people prefer it and I think there are students who legitimately wish for those kinds of programs.

But even children like that might find themselves in situations where they were doing busywork rather than challenging work, and wish to change things. If the state can only give homework by consent of the homeworked, people who like homework would have more leverage even to get more of the homework they wish to have, if that is their choice. I also think no homework boundary setting should not result in an inferior education for those who wish to set those boundaries. If the state has responsibility to provide the education, then it cannot leverage homework or else.

If people are interested, some things to consider: 1 Some subjects ex: World Languages might need homework to counter the day of in-class practice lost via block schedule. What that homework looks like is debatable, of course. Examples: a English: books with fewer pages in-class reading can only cover so many pages --goodbye To Kill a Mockingbird??? Maybe it's about changing what the homework is rather than doing away with it completely?

Or maybe the no-homework contract someone mentioned above so kids could opt-in to homework? What happens when a student changes their mind when they miscalculate that they didn't need the homework? No teacher can grade a semester's worth of homework at the last-minute like that--would their be a cut-off date? These boards over the years are evidence of that--some parents champion creativity, others don't.

Suggestion, Thanks for your thoughtful points. You bring up one of the biggest issues in how we handle education: make everyone do the same thing and try to differentiate class by class, or make choices available. I think ultimately making choices available is healthier. Then each student, as well as each teacher, is in an environment where the expectations and boundaries are clear and desired. I think kids taking the same class but opting out of homework is a creative idea but makes for everyone not getting what they need, and would be incredibly burdensome to teach that way. For a no homework approach to be an equal high quality education, it would have to be different.

Letting families choose the learning styles - and the homework - they desire by program is probably a more workable way, as we already do in early grades. Valid criticism. Total: 16 2 Okay: taught material sufficiently. May not be inspiring or may be hard to relate with, but learned enough to proceed to next year. Total: 24 3 Supportive: nice teacher, but didn't teach anything. Not harmful, but not inspiring: Total: 12 4 bad: Angry person, demotivating or humiliating, berates students. Leaves students with a permanent dislike of learning. Makes the job harder for next years teacher.

Total: 15 5 Criminal: same as bad but actually violated Ed Code or other laws in their mistreatment of students. So I was generous in my statements. And I have not met a single one willing to confront the worst behaviors of their peers. That is what I mean by no self respect as a profession. If ANY were criminal, I would call the authorities.

Okay - to your point: is this out of line in conversation. I don't think so. It is a reality we have experienced, I'm not making it up, and I am not calling names or shaming any individual by calling them out. Is it possible that this is a statistical fluke? That I'm unlucky? Each of these teachers had 25 other students suffering the same.

At most you could say we had a bad streak. But why should a kid suffer a bad streak? It is not fair or appropriate as education is required to be. I don't want to continue the discussion about teacher quality on this thread except to say that when the system doesn't work as well as it can for everyone possible, and is not subject to constant improvements to meet everyone's needs and even wants to the extent possible, then it can become easy to blame teachers or parents for the failings of the system.

I'm not going to make a blanket condemnation of criticism because criticism is sometimes the first step in solving a problem that needs solving. However, I look at our teachers and parents in general, and feel we have some of the best I have seen in any school district I have ever been associated with in my life. I think the issue of whether families have a right to draw boundaries is really unrelated to arguments over teacher quality -- I think a system that works better for everyone will allow more people to interact positively with the teaching staff, but it's a different discussion from whether the state little "s" has a right to require me and my child to subordinate our own decisions and time in the hours when school is out in order to get a high-quality public education.

Perhaps some homework is necessary to prepare for college, perhaps not. I certainly worked hard in college MIT , and I was so unprepared in a way that no one in PAUSD would ever be even if the schools stopped giving homework tomorrow, and yet I learned quickly and did well. You also don't get a full load of in-class time from until after 3 in college, you spend far less time in class. And you have far more choice in how you spend your time day to day.

My recollection is that the kids who were burned out from high school did not do well, and the kids whose lives had the most structure imposed on them before tended to be the most out-of-control when they found themselves on their own. The fundamental value of autonomy is the foundation of our national governance.

College itself is a choice, middle school really isn't. Since the state is saying it has a right to impose schooling on my child, and since it state with a capital "s" also grants all children the right to an education as a fundamental right, does it have the power to then say the only way I can have a high-quality education is to allow the educational system unbounded control in every moment of my child's life round the clock in order to get that education? Especially now that the world is changing and sitting in a classroom all day, and jumping from one to the next, to cram in certain knowledge, is maybe not the best way to optimize every child's education?

Even in parenting of very young children, often times it's a lot easier to help kids learn about doing things they need to do if they are given a choice rather than have everything imposed on them, then they own the choice. I think everyone is happier if those who feel the best education they can get is to really have that intense and challenging traditional academic course, can choose to have that, but that those who feel they want to take their kids to lectures on how to cure cancer using big data instead of writing essays for gym class and whatever else would have been done in the hours of work my child had to punt in order to participate in this actual scenario , and who want to give their kids the room to then dream and come up with the out-of-left-field ways they might do something with what they just learned, they should be able to choose that, too.

The issue of whether the state has a right to unfettered control of a child's time has never been an issue like this because the crossing of those boundaries has never had such a major, and for many now, negative, impact on family life and even the best education of a good percentage of our children. Our experience is similar to the unscientific sorting that The Sorting Hat above did. Some really outstanding teachers in PAUSD, but the small minority of lemons--and the vast majority of OK teachers who don't do anything about the lemons--brings down the entire organization to the level of mediocrity.

It's easier to see that once you move and wind up in another school district that happens to be outperforming PAUSD. Our kids were high performers who did well in PAUSD without much direct instruction or help from teachers, but definitely excessive homework. They also did well in their next district where we felt the teachers tended to spend more time with them instructing, communicating, just being more personal with our kids, and there was less homework than PAUSD.

In short, more homework won't make you teachers look better, just the opposite after a while. Paly Parent mentioned ratemyteachers. I wish the principals and superintendent would look at them for feedback. Parent, My comment WAS legitimate and I am not a troll--funny how that term is bandied about so easily--but a concerned resident. My parents were teachers, thus it's hard to so often read derogatory comments about Palo Alto teachers.

They work so damn hard, as, of course, do the students, with whom I sympathize for our city's sky high expectations of them. By the way, as your topic is somewhat provocative as you surely realize did you not expect a few poor souls to voice dissent? Dear Nora, I have had nothing but positive things to say about teachers in our district in my comments. If people have negative experiences, why not engage them positively rather than dismissing them -- they are speaking from experience with other people, not your parents. Anything too general will probably be deleted by the moderators at some point.

I have done my best to keep this topic on track, including in my reply to your post, which was not on topic. I also find it hard to read sweeping generalizations about parents. If you have problems with the expectations of students that may be inappropriate as do most of us , why not consider this topic more carefully, because if families have the ability to set better boundaries between school and home, they have the ability to also limit those. I have actually specifically asked people not to debate the value of homework, but as we all found, including me, it was hard to avoid that discussion.

However, the issue of whether families have a legal right to establish and enforce boundaries between the school and home life and still expect a high-quality education is not, in my opinion, meant to provoke more than thoughtful opinions. I think we had many here. I welcome yours on the topic as well.

While all,of,Scamdinavia has dumped homework, and Germany has,returned kindergarten to being what kindergarten was 40 years ago, Japan does not assign homework until high school. At that time, kids have 6 or more hours of,homework each night until they graduate--NO after school activities. However, once they get into college, Japanese kids have a very easy ride--seldom even showing up for class those who do get As; those who do not get Bs. My brother is an authority on Japanese schools, since he has taught English at Tokyo University since the nineties.

Parent, I'm sure everyone here wants only the best for the students, and most have great respect for Palo Alto's teachers. In the spirit of the season why don't we call a truce. All best to you and everyone for a joyous Christmas and holiday season. Nora, I think most people have great respect for teachers. These threads catch the harsher side of judgements which are more an indictment of the system. I happen to think that in middle and high school there are simply too many subjects and credits to fulfill. Parent -- Your quote from above: "However, the issue of whether families have a legal right to establish and enforce boundaries between the school and home life and still expect a high-quality education My 2 cents: Yes, the public schools do have the right to assign homework.

However, if homework becomes burdensome and over whelming, then parents have the right to demand that changes be made. Now, as to "expect a high-quality education" that's a whole other topic right there. First off, parents will differ on what they consider a high-quality education. Secondly, whether a high quality education can be achieved without homework depends on hours spent at school and how the program is set up and what your goals are. The public school system does offer choices with charters for parents seeking something different than the neighborhood public school.

We have several alternative programs at the elementary level here in Palo Alto. So parents do have alternatives besides the expensive ones of private schools or hard to do, home schooling. But to couch it in legal terms, yes, the public schools have the right to assign homework. And yes, parents have the right to object to the level of homework assigned if it is burdensome and excessive.

Sounds to me you are more interested in a school curriculum with no homework. In elementary, that's probably very doable, but after that, more difficult to do, especially if you want a high quality education. Do you have any details? Someone above said it basically boiled down to that no one had prohibited it so therefore it happens. Do you have any other statutory information? I think our choices in elementary are great, but they don't extend into high school.

And actually, I don't think they achieve their stated goal much after 6th grade speaking from experience. I don't think we can say whether our schools could achieve a high-quality education without homework because they've never tried, however, it's happening elsewhere in the world, there are models. If we start from saying that parents have a a right to draw those boundaries, and we already know the kids have a right to an education, and equal education, and we can say there is no fundamental reason there can't be a high-quality program without homework because it happens elsewhere , the homework and intense academic experience then become a choice.

I don't like the push to water down the program for those who want it. I also don't like the only alternative as a watered down program of the same for everyone else, who really need something that optimizes their own educational experience rather than a compromise from something that optimizes someone else's experience. My own interest in this is a more hybrid approach to education, where I have the option to take advantage of blended learning opportunities for my child, such as in SJUSD's Homestudy Program. However, if that is not available, I'm done talking to the hand about too much homework here.

But even if they stopped giving any homework tomorrow, the educational program does not provide the optimal education a blended program could. If my child has a right to a public education, and a right to a fair and equal education i. The schools then have an incentive and probably a duty to offer choices. Luckily, the world has changed, and the choices available have absolutely mushroomed in recent years. Of course an alternative is to lane your kid down so that the homework is easy and completed quickly.

RonZ, I called the California Department of Education, and was transferred around, including to curriculum. No one knew. This really isn't about education so much as autonomy. Who has a right to say what we do with our time after school is out. Should children and families have to put their time and decisions at the disposal of the school all hours of the day and even night in order to get a high quality education? Should the only choice be to either give over all autonomy during the school year, or accept a less challenging academic program?

What if someone doesn't want to reduce the intellectual challenge or acceleration of material, they just want the program to be structured so they don't have homework? Crescent Park Dad, My kid is in middle school and frankly the only thing that has never been a problem is the advanced math homework. This is not about easy versus hard, but my right to establish healthy boundaries between school and home. There was a time when an ordinary person wouldn't have felt the power in society to even imagine such a thing, but the world has changed.

A lot of people do homeschool their kids who need MORE advanced work because the schools simply don't provide it, and one of the common themes is that they have far more time, and they are able to do far more advanced work in a more relaxed way, because they aren't in school and don't have homework.

But what if someone doesn't want to or can't homeschool? If there is no legal basis for homework, if, in order to get a public education you have to sacrifice your life all hours of the day and that violates the 4th amendment, then that person would have a right to a high-quality program that doesn't require burdensome homework. Again, there is evidence that such things already exist elsewhere. Canada's disability community has long played a leadership role in promoting equality, inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities both in Canada and abroad.

In both the negotiation and ratification of the Convention, Canada sought the views of persons with disabilities, including as members of the Canadian delegation, and has since sponsored organizations to participate in all Conferences of States Parties. Examples include:. Historically, much of this funding was directed to 30 organizations, but as of , SDPP-D will provide most of its funding through competitive processes for projects responding to current and emerging issues. The new approach includes transition funding measures for the former recipients of directed funding, developed in consultation with them, and learning sessions on social enterprise development and fundraising.

These consultations were carried out by a committee, which is comprised of ministerial representatives, disability organizations and one subject matter expert, and which acts as a permanent advisory council on the policy. In Ontario, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, AODA sets out the framework for the development of province-wide mandatory accessibility standards.

Under the AODA, Standards Development Committees comprised of equal representation from the disability community and organizations developed proposals on accessibility standards for the government's consideration. In addition, government officials met with the disability, municipal, transportation and business communities to seek their advice on proposed accessibility standards.

These protections are consistent with Article 5 of the Convention and recognize a duty of reasonable accommodation of the needs, capacities and circumstances of persons with disabilities in order to ensure their equality rights.

Section 15 1 of the Charter guarantees every individual the right to equality before and under the law and the right to equal benefit of the law without discrimination on a non-exhaustive list of prohibited grounds, which includes physical or mental disability. Section 15 2 of the Charter provides that government actions aimed at improving the conditions of historically disadvantaged groups, including persons with disabilities, will not be found to discriminate contrary to section 15 1. The equality guarantee under Section 15 covers all laws and policies, including those relating to education, health care, social programs and benefits, housing and other economic, social and cultural rights covered by the Convention.

The Canadian Human Rights Act CHRA prohibits discrimination on grounds such as disability in employment, the provision of goods, services and facilities customarily available to the public, and accommodation. It applies to the Government of Canada, First Nations governments, and federally regulated private businesses, including in banking, airline, telecommunications and broadcasting and inter-provincial transportation sectors.

While section 15 of the Charter does not define "disability", the term has been broadly interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada to include a wide and evolving range of permanent, temporary or intermittent impairments, both physical and mental, which may or may not result in functional limitations as the person interacts with others and potentially with socially constructed barriers.

For example, the CHRA defines disability broadly for the purposes of protecting individuals from discrimination as "any previous or existing mental or physical disability and includes disfigurement and previous or existing dependence on alcohol or a drug". The duty of reasonable accommodation requires, for example, that employers and service providers accommodate the needs of their employees and customers with disabilities, except where it would cause undue hardship, considering factors such as health, safety and cost.

While "reasonable accommodation" is required in relation to a particular individual's situation, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized that it also has a more systemic meaning. For example, the Criminal Code contains specific provisions for offences against persons with disabilities and sentencing provisions that make it an aggravating factor if the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on mental or physical disability.

Canadian jurisprudence recognizes that grounds of discrimination may intersect and that women and men may experience discrimination on the basis of disability differently. This is taken into account in some analysis which is carried out during policy development to examine the intersection of sex with other identity factors, including disability. Status of Women Canada SWC promotes equality for all women, including women with disabilities, and their full participation in economic, social and democratic life.

SWC funds projects that support women with disabilities, and which, for example, increase understanding of the issues relating to violence against women with disabilities and improve their economic security through skill development in areas such as employability, leadership and integration. While the rights of children with disabilities are protected on an equal basis with other children, Canada recognizes the challenges facing children with disabilities, and their families, and has a number of programs in place to address these barriers. Canada provides tax relief and financial support for children with disabilities, their families and caregivers.

The Child Care Expense Deduction and the Children's Fitness and Arts Amount, which are available to all children, have a higher amount for children with disabilities. The Government of Canada also invests in community-based programs such as the Community Action Program for Children, which supports children with disabilities and their families who are facing challenges such as low-income status, social isolation, situations of violence, neglect or substance addiction. Canada strongly supports the equal recognition of persons with disabilities as persons before the law.

As with other members of society, a determination of incapacity should only be based on evidence of the individual's actual decision-making ability, rather than on the existence of a disability. Canada's interpretative declaration and reservations in relation to Article 12 set out Canada's understanding of its obligations under the article. Examples are outlined below:. Representation agreements are both a supported and substitute decision-making option by which an adult may appoint another person to make decisions on their behalf in respect of personal and health care matters, and the routine management of an adult's financial affairs.

For example, the Government of British Columbia amended the Representation Agreement Act to increase accessibility to representation agreements while maintaining related safeguards, such as requiring a monitor to be appointed in certain circumstances. Between and , disability-specific data was collected through the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey and its predecessor, the Health and Activity Limitation Survey. The Government of Canada, in collaboration with key stakeholders from the academic and the disability communities, is implementing a new Data and Information Strategy DIS on persons with disabilities in Canada.

The DIS will provide more frequent, accessible and timely data and information, and will maximize the usability of existing information. This includes the new Canadian Survey on Disability Data, for which a data release is expected in — Canada is committed to supporting the rights of persons with disabilities through both its multilateral activities and international development assistance activities. In the multilateral fora, Canada is an active co-sponsor and supporter of resolutions relating to disability rights, including at the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization.

Canada's development assistance, in conformity with the spirit of the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, includes programming that promotes human rights and equal opportunities for persons with disabilities by raising awareness of disability issues addressing stigma and discrimination, and reducing barriers to the integration of persons with disabilities into their societies.

ODI is the focal point for matters relating to the Convention at the federal level. In collaboration with federal departments and key partners, it provides advice and expertise to foster coherent disability-related policies and programs across the Government of Canada. In , ODI established the Interdepartmental and Intradepartmental Committees on Disability Issues to support its work and provide fora for sharing information and best practices on disability-related laws, policies, programs and initiatives to promote coordination and collaboration across the federal government on disability issues, including the ongoing implementation of the Convention.

Combined, these mechanisms play a role in promoting, protecting and monitoring the rights set out in the Convention. After giving careful consideration to the offer by the Canadian Human Rights Commission to be designated to carry out monitoring functions in respect of the Convention, Canada determined that it could maintain and rely on existing mechanisms to fulfill its obligations under Article 33 2.

In addition, the Enabling Accessibility Fund provides funding for community-based projects to improve the accessibility of buildings in which programs and services are offered to the public, to modify vehicles for community use and to provide accessible information and communication technologies that are available to the public. The Standard applies to the acquisition, design, construction and renovation of buildings, which, in conjunction with other technical standards, aims to ensure accessibility to persons with a range of physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities.

The Government of Canada provides tax relief to persons with disabilities for costs related to personal mobility[ 17 ] and to buying or building a home that is more accessible or better suited to their needs. This research is delivered in the form of publications, presentations and webinars which provide persons with disabilities—including seniors—, and their caregivers with information and tools on home design and modifications to enable independent living.

In addition, the CMHC funds programs targeted to or that benefit persons with disabilities. For example:. The Government of Canada has a number of strategies, policies, regulations, voluntary codes of practice and guidelines to improve the accessibility of federally regulated air, rail, marine and interprovincial bus transportation services. Transport Canada establishes and monitors the legislative policy framework for accessible transportation, conducts policy research, manages a targeted research and development program, and supports the transportation industry and travelers with disabilities through education and outreach.

The Canadian Transportation Agency CTA , an independent, quasi-judicial federal tribunal and economic regulator, is mandated to remove undue obstacles from federally regulated transportation systems. This includes resolving individual complaints and addressing systemic accessibility issues by administering regulations and codes of practice. Compliance with the CTA's codes of practice has been positive, with one noted exception when, in , VIA Rail, the national passenger rail service, purchased inaccessible rail cars. The CTA ordered Via Rail to take corrective measures to eliminate the undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities and the order was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission CRTC requires telecommunications service providers to provide a relay service, including Internet Protocol Relay Service; requires wireless service providers to offer at least one accessible mobile handset; directs telephone and wireless companies to support text messaging for emergency telecommunications services; requires broadcasters to caption percent of their programming and imposes quality standards for closed captioning; and imposes described video and audio description obligations.

The Government of Canada provides benefits, services and supports to improve the mobility of persons with disabilities. For example, the Assisted Living Program funds projects to improve the coordination of programs and services relating to accessibility and mobility on reserve, including initiatives to provide guide dogs. In addition, the Income Assistance Program provides funding for financial assistance to eligible individuals, including support to persons with disabilities who require guide dogs and transportation.

The Health Care Benefits Program, administered by Veterans Affairs Canada, provides funds to eligible veterans so they can access aids to daily living, prosthetics, mobility aids, home adaptations and vehicle modifications. Equal access to justice for all Canadians, including for persons with disabilities, is a priority for Canada. Constitutional and statutory guarantees of equality for persons with disabilities, including the right to accommodation to the point of undue hardship, apply to proceedings before federal courts and tribunals, as well as to any administrative services offered in support of such proceedings, such as those offered by court registrars.

Section 14 of the Charter guarantees a party or witness in any proceedings who is deaf the right to the assistance of an interpreter. Within the criminal justice system, the Criminal Code provides for testimonial aids and other measures which make it easier for victims and witnesses with disabilities to provide testimony during criminal proceedings. These measures include: providing testimony outside of the courtroom by closed-circuit television, behind a screen or by recorded video; allowing a support person to be present during testimony; and appointing a lawyer to conduct a cross-examination of a witness with a disability when the accused is self-represented.

The Bill of Rights protects the rights to life, liberty, security of the person, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law. The Charter also protects these and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. It also protects against arbitrary detention or imprisonment and provides that everyone has the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. These rights apply equally to persons with disabilities.


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On February 4, , the Government of Canada announced that it will introduce a Victims Bill of Rights to entrench the rights of all victims of crime into one federal law. The first ever federal Victims Bill of Rights will give victims an effective voice in the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system provides for specific measures in respect of accused persons with mental illness, including in relation to fitness to stand trial and a special verdict of "not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder".

In accordance with the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, an accused with a disability serving a sentence in a federal correctional institution is assessed upon admission and on an ongoing basis for health care needs and appropriate health services are provided, including necessary assistive devices.

Correctional Service Canada's Mental Health Strategy aims to enhance the capacity to address and respond to the mental health needs of offenders in institutions and in the community. Its key components include primary mental health care in institutions and transitional care for release to the community, which are supported by training, and tools and performance measurement activities for correctional and mental health staff. The Criminal Code contains a specific offence for the sexual exploitation of a person with a disability and provides broad protections for all individuals against assault, sexual assault, murder and threats of such actions.

The Federal Victims Strategy funds organizations working with and for persons with disabilities to ensure that victims of crime and their families are able to participate fully in the criminal justice system and are aware of the legal services and assistance available to them. The Government of Canada strongly endorses efforts to ensure that humanitarian needs are more effectively met, including the needs of persons with disabilities.

Domestically, the Government has developed a comprehensive emergency management framework[ 20 ] that is inclusive of the needs of all Canadians, including persons with disabilities. Abroad, the Government works through its international partners to support the delivery of essential services to vulnerable populations affected by conflict or natural disasters. These humanitarian organizations are encouraged to follow the principles set out in the Sphere Project's Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response handbook, which addresses assistance for persons with disabilities to ensure that they may fully and meaningfully participate in, or benefit from, mainstream humanitarian assistance programs.

Sections 6 and 15 of the Charter guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities to liberty of movement and freedom to choose their residence on an equal basis with others. Canada has taken steps to ensure that persons with disabilities can access immigration, refugee determination and citizenship services and proceedings in the same manner as other persons and provides accommodation, if necessary. A third party may also assist applicants in the preparation of their application forms or represent them.

Furthermore, within the refugee resettlement and determination processes, both CIC and the Immigration and Refugee Board IRB provide services and procedures for resettlement applicants and asylum seekers with disabilities to facilitate their full access to Canada's refugee selection and determination systems. CIC has published guidelines for the examination of vulnerable refugee claimants, including those with disabilities. Persons with disabilities can apply for a Canadian passport on an equal basis with others.

A wide range of measures are in place to accommodate persons with disabilities, such as a website with adaptive technologies, passport application forms in large print and passport application instruction booklets in Braille. For applicants who wish to apply in person, Passport Canada ensures barrier-free access to all passport service locations.

The Bill of Rights protects the right to freedom of speech. Section 2 b of the Charter guarantees everyone the right to freedom of thought, opinion, belief and expression. The Government of Canada supports accessible information through a range of means. Section 8 of the Charter protects everyone's right to be free from unreasonable invasions of privacy. In addition, under the federal Privacy Act and Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act persons with disabilities are afforded the same protection of their personal information as persons without disabilities.

The Privacy Act further provides that persons with sensory disabilities have the right to obtain information about themselves in an alternative format acceptable to them, such as large print, audiocassette or Braille. Sections 6, 7 and 15 of the Charter protect persons with disabilities' mobility rights and individual liberty to choose a place of residence on an equal basis with others. The Government of Canada offers tax exemptions, income supports, social benefits and services to persons with disabilities to facilitate their inclusion, participation and independence in various aspects of life.

For instance, the First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program provides basic home and community care services, such as nursing, personal care supports and respite to caregivers. The Assisted Living Program is a residency-based program that provides funding to assist in non-medical, social support services to seniors, adults with chronic illness, and children and adults with disabilities mental and physical living on First Nation reserves so that they can maintain functional independence and achieve greater self-reliance.

Veterans Affairs Canada provides funding to eligible veterans so that they can access home care and support services such as housekeeping, grounds maintenance and personal care to assist them in remaining independent within their homes and communities. In addition, in , tax exemptions were expanded to include personal care services for eligible persons who, due to age or disability, require such assistance at home. The Government of Canada also funds community organizations who work to improve independent community living.

For example, the Community Inclusion Initiative develops and implements housing, education, income and employment strategies to enable communities to become more inclusive of persons with intellectual disabilities. The Government of Canada funds a number of habilitation and rehabilitation programs to support persons with disabilities in attaining and maintaining vocational ability.

The Charter guarantees every citizen of Canada who is 18 years or older the right to vote in elections and the right to run for public office, on an equal basis with others. Informed by consultations with disability organizations, Elections Canada is implementing measures to reduce or eliminate barriers when voting, including: improving accessibility of polling sites and signage; providing training to electoral staff; introducing a monitoring and feedback process for the accessibility of polling sites; and offering a variety of voting methods, communication channels and information in alternate formats.

Elections Canada continues to investigate technology and equipment that allow electors with disabilities to cast their ballots independently and to build relationships with disability organizations to further remove barriers. The Government of Canada strives to enhance opportunities for Canadians with disabilities to participate in and enjoy cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport. For instance, Sport Canada's Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability guides its work with partners and stakeholders in reducing or eliminating sport-specific barriers.

Through this Policy, Sport Canada envisions the full and active participation of persons with disabilities in Canadian sport at all levels and in all forms. Awareness-raising is an integral part of Canada's implementation of the Convention. The Government of Canada funds public education programs in the area of human rights and makes available its treaty reports to the public, libraries, educational institutions and NGOs. ODI is mandated to improve awareness of disability issues and of Canada's obligations under the Convention, to increase awareness regarding full participation of persons with disabilities in Canadian society, and to engage citizens on disability issues.

ODI has taken a broad range of measures within the scope of this mandate, such as:. As a means of raising awareness and combating stereotypes, the CRTC-approved Equitable Portrayal Code, created by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, ensures the equitable portrayal of all persons in television and radio programming, including persons with disabilities.

Additionally, Sport Canada, through its programming, supports initiatives that raise awareness, foster understanding and promote participation in sport by persons with disabilities. The Canadian Human Rights Commission has undertaken several awareness-raising initiatives in relation to the Convention and provides accessible, plain-language information to individuals, employers and service providers about equality, discrimination, harassment and employment equity. Persons with disabilities have equal access to primary, secondary, post-secondary and tertiary education, as protected by the Charter and human rights legislation.

Through grants, the Government provides financial assistance to help cover the costs of accommodation, tuition, books, and of exceptional education-related costs such as tutors, oral or sign interpreters, attendant care for studies, note takers, readers and braillers.

The Canada Student Loans Program offers loan forgiveness for qualifying borrowers who have a severe permanent disability. The Disability Supports Deduction provides tax relief for the cost of disability supports incurred for the purposes of education, such as sign language interpretation and talking textbooks. In addition, the Government provides benefits and programs for specific health concerns and to particular groups such as First Nations and Inuit people, as well as refugees. These include:.

In addition, the Mental Health Commission of Canada MHCC released in May its strategy to promote mental health and well-being, prevent mental health problems and illnesses wherever possible, and create a mental health system that meets the needs of people of all ages living with mental illness and their families. The MHCC also released Canada's first national voluntary standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace, focusing on promoting employees' psychological health and preventing psychological harm due to workplace factors. In addition to the Charter and the CHRA, the federal Employment Equity Act requires federally regulated employers to achieve workplace equality and remove the barriers to employment experienced by persons with disabilities and other designated groups.

The Public Service Commission of Canada PSC , as the organization responsible for implementing those requirements for the federal government appointment system, has developed an appointment policy framework[ 21 ] that incorporates the flexibilities of appointment measures allowed under the Public Service Employment Act for employment equity purposes, as well as duty to accommodate requirements in all matters related to staffing.

The Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities outlines steps to achieve their full participation in the core public administration, such as providing and paying for technical aids, equipment, support materials and services for employees with disabilities. The Government of Canada also recognizes the need to ensure greater participation of Canadians with disabilities in the labour market. In recent years, the OF program has increasingly focused on providing more work experiences with small and medium-sized businesses and raising employer awareness.

A wide range of activities are supported under the LMAPDs, including pre-employment preparation, skills development and post-secondary education supports. The reformed Agreements will be designed to address the current labour market needs and increase labour market participation for persons with disabilities as well as introduce stronger accountability regimes.

In , the Government of Canada established the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities to engage private-sector businesses and other organizations to identify best practices and the barriers employers face in increasing the labour market participation of persons with disabilities. Its report—Rethinking disAbility in the Private Sector—highlights simple and low-cost ways in which employers can accommodate employees with disabilities, including modifications to workplaces and the provision of aids, devices and support services, and changes to job descriptions, policies and procedures.

Adequate standard of living and social protection. While persons with disabilities have equal access to all social programs and benefits provided by governments, Canada recognizes that poverty rates among persons with disabilities remain a challenge in Canada. To address this challenge, targeted benefits, income and housing supports are available to assist persons with disabilities and those who care for them. These include the Disability Supports Deduction for those who face additional disability-related costs, to be employed or to carry on a business, Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits and Employment Insurance sickness benefits, which provide financial assistance to those who are unable to work due to illness, injury, or quarantine, and Old Age Security benefits.

The Canada Revenue Agency has various benefits, credits and deductions that are available to persons with disabilities and their families. Disability-related tax measures also include exemptions from goods and services tax, and caregiver tax credits. Through the Registered Disability Savings Plan, individuals with severe disabilities and their families can save for their future. The Buildings Accessibility Act [ 22 ] requires that various aspects of public buildings be available to and accessible by persons with disabilities and extends these requirements to apartment buildings, hotels and building links.

The Mental Health Office is a project launched by the Legal Aid Commission in which provides persons with mental illness with psychiatric help and legal assistance for civil and criminal matters. The Legal Aid Act [ 23 ] allows an application for legal aid from a person found to be mentally incompetent, mentally ill or incapable of managing their own affairs to be accepted if made on that person's behalf by a third party.

Recognizing that certain offenders with a mental disorder may commit offences as a consequence of their mental disorder or due to lifestyle issues related to their disorder, the province has instituted a Mental Health Court that provides increased supports to persons who appear before it.

The province's Emergency Social Services Program holds information gathering meetings with the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are included in emergency protocols. In , Decades of Darkness: Moving towards the Light, a report from an independent review of the prison system in Newfoundland and Labrador, was released. As a result, ongoing training in mental health is offered to all front-line staff and psychological and medical services are available to all inmates.

The Mental Health Care and Treatment Act [ 24 ] requires two certificates of involuntary admission before a ministerial order can be issued for the transfer of a person from a correctional institution, prison, jail or lock-up to a psychiatric unit. All health research involving human subjects in the province must be approved by the Health Research Ethics Board[ 25 ] or a designated research ethics body.

The Board is established as a non-profit body to approve research involving human subjects, under the Health Research Ethics Authority Act. The Violence Prevention Initiative is a six-year, multi-departmental, government-community partnership which aims to find long-term solutions to the problem of violence against those most at risk in our society, including persons with disabilities.

The St. John's Family Violence Intervention Court is a specialized criminal court intended to prevent and reduce the incidence of family violence through accelerated access to support services and intervention programs. The Regional Health Authorities offer programs and residential options for persons with disabilities. There are provincial standards guiding the programs and services and regular monitoring by professional staff ensures that residences and programs operate in compliance with the operational standards.

The provision of medical treatment is based on informed consent as prescribed in common law. The Advance Health Care Directives Act [ 27 ] outlines a substitute decision-making framework to be used when a person is unable to provide consent. Only under the strict conditions outlined in the Mental Health Care and Treatment Act [ 28 ] can treatment be provided without consent. It is mandatory to register all births in the province under the Vital Statistics Act.

Government disability supports and services are tailored to individual needs in order to ensure access to information in a timely and respectful manner. Funding has been provided for interpreters, Braille, FM Systems, and speech-generating devices to enable persons with disabilities to receive timely access to information and services related to training, career development and employment, and residential tenancy hearings.

Social marketing campaigns are in accessible formats for persons with disabilities e. The Personal Health Information Act [ 30 ] outlines a comprehensive scheme for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information. It provides a mechanism for review and oversight by a third party, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Funding is provided to various consumer groups to provide services to persons with disabilities which support independent community living. Residential options such as the Co-operative Apartment Program and Alternate Family Care are available to individuals with disabilities to encourage independent living and community inclusion. Child care services inclusion policy and funding are in place to support regulated child care settings which include children with disabilities. The Special Child Welfare Allowance offers funding to parents of a child with a disability to purchase support services.

One of the core competencies in assessing foster parents is their ability to meet a child's development needs. The province provides rehabilitation services to all individuals based on need and availability of service providers. Supplies and equipment are available under the Special Equipment Program. Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador: A Recreation and Sport Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador was released in after consultation with members of the recreation and sport community.

The Government ensures that disability-related adaptations and accommodations are recognized as eligible expenses in the various grants offered by the division. It has created a Provincial Sport Organization to increase representation in Paralympics.

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Services include one-on-one or small group training sessions in Adaptive Technology; study skills; and courses in test-taking and note-taking. The Glenn Roy Blundon Centre at Memorial University provides supports for on-campus and distance students with disabilities. The provincial government actively promotes the Convention by holding workshops; endorsing the use of the Convention's definition of disability; and using the Convention to provide instructive guidance in developing initiatives for inclusion.

Personnel in the justice system are trained on an ad hoc basis on issues facing persons with disabilities. A Disability Accommodation Policy is in place for employees of the provincial government. A Special Assistance Program provides basic supplies and equipment to assist with activities of daily living for persons with disabilities living in the community who meet the eligibility criteria. Prince Edward Island PEI grants community agency funding through the Disability Support Program to enable specialized transportation services for persons with disabilities and provides financial support to individuals who require technical aids and devices to increase their communication, improve their accessibility and mobility, and access community programs and services.

Special provisions, such as accessible court facilities and Victim Services offices; access to interpretation or translation services where language barriers or hearing impairments exist; and provisions for facilitating the testimony of vulnerable witnesses e. The PEI Emergency Measures Organization is responsible for the development and coordination of an overall provincial emergency management program in relation to emergencies and disasters including response strategies for persons with disabilities.

Under the Mental Health Act, [ 33 ] persons who are involuntarily admitted to a hospital may be admitted, detained, restrained and observed for up to 72 hours. A peace officer may take a person into custody for an involuntary psychiatric examination within 24 hours if the officer believes that a the person is suffering from a mental disorder of a nature or degree so as to require hospitalization in the interests of the person's own safety or the safety of others; b the person is refusing or unable to consent to undergo psychiatric examination; and c the urgency of the situation does not allow for a judicial order for psychiatric examination.

The person has the right to retain counsel and receive a full explanation of the implications of any actions laid against them and of all possible procedures for the patient to appeal such decisions. Adults in need of protection may, upon assistance from the Minister of Justice, apply for public trustee guardianship support. All actions are reviewable by the appropriate courts.

Section 12 of the Consent to Treatment and Health Care Directives Act [ 35 ] specifically prohibits providing consent on behalf of a person with a disability for medical or scientific experimentation. Family violence initiatives consider the needs of persons with disabilities. In cases of family violence, victims may be eligible to apply for an emergency protection order or victim assistance order under the PEI Victims of Family Violence Act.

This includes Woman and Spousal Abuse Protocols developed for justice, police, income support and hospital emergency personnel. The Community Care Facilities and Nursing Home Act [ 37 ] provides for a licensing process and establishes an independent Community Care Facilities Board to establish policy and standards, and to ensure compliance with established standards for re-licensing. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act [ 38 ] establishes a right of access by any person to records in the custody or under the control of a public body, subject to limited and specific exceptions set out in the Act.

Public bodies are required to assist individuals seeking records under the Act who are disabled, do not have literacy skills or are otherwise unable to exercise their rights under regular procedures. Child care subsidy support in a licensed child care center is available for reasons related to the special needs of the child or the parents.

The DSP provides case management and financial resources towards the needs of families with a child with disabilities. Comprehensive programs and services are available for both habilitation and rehabilitation within the health system, including measures to support persons with disabilities. The DSP provides early intervention support to families and pre-employment case planning which involves post-secondary and labour market participation and works in partnerships with community NGOs.

The government of PEI provides an annual contribution to NGOs whose mandate is to provide sport and recreation opportunities for persons with a disability. Specialized services to students with autism are offered by trained consultants and early childhood autism specialists. Trained teachers support educational programming for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and students with a visual impairment using Braille education, sign language and mobility supports. Other professionals, such as Speech Language Pathologists, offer school-based services to students with speech, literacy or language development needs.

Professional development is offered to resource teachers, classroom teachers and administrators in order to better support students with a range of disabilities. The province works with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to provide training and support for daily living skills, such as mobility skills for persons with a visual impairment.

PEI endorsed the Workforce Diversity Policy in to support an innovative, diverse and inclusive workforce and has invested in target support measures to increase the labour market attachment for persons with disabilities ensuring a representative public service workforce e. The Social Action Plan that PEI is developing to address poverty will take account of the higher poverty rate commonly experienced by persons with disabilities.

The Child Care Subsidy Program offers access to affordable and quality child care supports in licensed child care centers. Contractual agreements with NGOs provide other supports e. All of these measures taken together can enable a person with a disability to reside in the community with the required supports. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability in the provision of or access to services or facilities.

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Some examples of technical standards and guidelines for accessibility to facilities and services include barrier free design in the Building Code Regulations, the Universal Accessibility Plan for public transit, and technical standards for government websites. There are programs for public school students to access assistive technology communication devices, resources for seniors with disabilities to live more independently including finding independent living services and care outside the home. The Nova Scotia Civil Procedure Rules allow for assistance for parties and witnesses in civil proceedings.

A guardian ad litem may be appointed for persons with a disability in Family Court. There are also processes to ensure that the special communication needs of victims and witnesses in criminal court are met. Some persons may have their criminal charges dealt with through the Mental Health Court. There are new guidelines for correctional workers on the use of conductive energy devices, and corrections workers receive training on dealing with emotionally disturbed individuals. Legal Aid is generally available for low-income persons for criminal and family matters, and legal assistance for persons with disabilities is also available through Reachability, a charitable organization supported by the province.

Redress mechanisms which are available to all in Nova Scotia include Charter and other legal challenges before the courts and complaints to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Court approval is required to compel persons to accept services under the Adult Protection Act or to receive treatment against their will, including hospitalization, under the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act. Patient advisors assist patients under the latter act, and legal aid may also be available. Independent monitoring of facilities and programs specifically designed for persons with disabilities is carried out by the Ombudsman.

Independent living schemes include community-based homes, assistance for independent living, foster family support programs and direct family support. The Self-Managed Care Program provides financial assistance for persons with disabilities to employ caregivers. Persons with disabilities may marry, establish a family, become a foster parent or adopt. Programs to support parents with disabilities include the Healthy Beginnings home visiting program for new parents, the Early Intervention Programs for children with special needs, and early detection and intervention programs such as Universal Newborn Hearing Screening.

The Children and Family Services Act enshrines the principle of the best interests of the child and emphasizes the importance of placing children in care with relatives or within their own cultural, religious or other heritage background. There is financial assistance available for families adopting children with disabilities. Children with disabilities may participate in play, recreation, leisure and sporting activities through the school system and other organizations including Recreation Nova Scotia.

The Special Education Policy Manual guides school boards, teachers and parents regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities. The Handbook for the Transportation of Students with Special Needs sets out the protocol for transporting students. There are specialized educational supports for children with autism. Grants are available for persons with disabilities who wish to access post-secondary education.

Employment Support Services assists with both job search and retraining. There is also a Diversity Accommodation Fund to assist persons with disabilities employed in the public service. The Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority provides educational support for children and youth in Atlantic Canada who are visually impaired or have a hearing disability. All Nova Scotians in need are entitled to public assistance for food, special needs and housing. Social protection and poverty reduction programs include the Direct Family Support Program which provides funding to families to care for an adult or child at home with a disability; the Employment Support and Income Assistance Program which provides support for those living in the community; and the Services for Persons with Disabilities Program which provides financial assistance and placement in homes for special care.

Housing supports include Access A Home, which provides a grant to make a home accessible for persons in wheelchairs. Public housing in Nova Scotia offers accessible units. The New Brunswick Human Rights Act [ 45 ] protects individuals, including persons with disabilities, and specifically prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, services, publicity and association. It imposes a duty to accommodate on employers, unions and healthcare providers to the point of undue hardship in these areas. New Brunswick provides access to justice in many forms. Legal aid is available to all New Brunswick citizens for criminal or family law cases.

The Victim Services Act [ 49 ] supports victims of crime through the criminal justice process, including information and referrals, court preparation and support. The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission[ 50 ] promotes equality and investigates and tries to settle complaints of discrimination and harassment. If a complaint cannot be settled, a human rights tribunal can hear the evidence and order redress if discrimination is found. The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization[ 51 ] co-ordinates provincial preparedness for emergencies.

Part of that responsibility involves providing training and advising responder agencies on processes and protocols to identify vulnerable persons and persons with disabilities who may need assistance during natural disasters. The Nursing Homes Act [ 5 ] requires that nursing home operators ensure that no unauthorized individual or agency is permitted to interview or examine a resident or resident records for any purpose without the consent of the operator and the informed consent of the resident or, where the resident is unable to give an informed consent, the informed consent of his next of kin or legal representative.

The Nursing Homes Act requires that nursing homes be licensed. The Mental Health Act stipulates that a person is mentally competent to give or refuse to give consent if the person is able to understand the subject-matter and appreciate the consequences of giving or refusing to give consent.

The Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection and Access Act establish the parameters within which personal information can be collected, used, and disclosed, as well as provide individuals with the right to access general information and their own personal information held by government bodies. The government has a duty to assist those requiring assistance in making requests, in reviewing the information with the individual, and an obligation to respond to the request in the language the request was made.

Under the Marriage Act, [ 56 ] all persons have the right to marry and to found a family provided that they are legally able to marry levels of consanguinity , and that they are marrying of free will. The province supports Community-Based Services for Children with Special Needs such as case-managed assistance for families to meet the special developmental needs of children with severe, life-long developmental disabilities and who require daily assistance with personal care and everyday life activities e.

Under the Disability Support Program,[ 57 ] social workers assist individuals to develop personal disability support plans through independent facilitation and person-centered approaches. New Brunswick's Wellness Strategy includes initiatives, programs and services such as the creation of a Parasport Coordinator and the Regional Community Development Grants fund, which both work to increase and encourage physical activity and participation in sport and recreation.

Funding is also available for adaptive equipment to promote inclusive programming. With specific guidelines and learning strategies for the Anglophone and Francophone sectors[ 58 ], inclusive public education is provided for students with disabilities, who are accommodated in the general classroom using Braille, sign language, and so forth. Separate classroom time for learning particular communications and mobility skills is also provided.

New Brunswick administers and delivers federally funded Canada Student Grants for persons with disabilities, as well as provincial programs such as the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability; the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit loan write-off ; and the Training and Employment Support Services Program for persons with disabilities. The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission is mandated to provide public education, including subject-specific guidelines.

New Brunswick's annual Disability Awareness Week[ 59 ] promotes better community access for people with disabilities. In New Brunswick, health services are provided to persons with disabilities on precisely the same basis as for persons with no disability in matters of standard of care, access and so forth. Jordan's Principle ensures that Aboriginal children who live on reserve in New Brunswick and who require multiple health service providers will not be denied services as a result of jurisdictional funding disputes between the provincial and federal governments.

If a jurisdictional dispute should arise, New Brunswick's normative standards of care will be provided immediately through the agency of first contact while the jurisdictional funding dispute is being resolved. The province has developed An Employment Action Plan for Persons with a Disability in New Brunswick [ 61 ] in collaboration with community, employers, and government to increase labour force participation of persons with disabilities.

The Plan is based on 38 recommendations to change and build policies within government, enhance services, build a culture of true collaboration, engage employers and fundamentally shift how government, organizations and the private sector address disability and employment. Examples of ongoing services and programs for persons with disabilities seeking employment, training and skills development include the Transition to Work Strategy, which targets youth with disabilities leaving high school, and the Training and Employment Support Services for Persons with Disabilities which provides assistive technologies and other supports.

The Disability Supplement and Extended Benefits program provides additional financial assistance under the Social Assistance program to qualified persons with disabilities. In , the act was renamed An Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration "the Act" and emphasizes the accountability of all public and private actors. It requires government departments and agencies with 50 or more employees and municipalities with a population of 15, or more, to adopt an annual action plan to reduce barriers to the integration of people with disabilities.

The policy comes with an implementation plan which includes formal commitments. The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms prohibits all forms of discrimination on the basis of disability or of a person's use of a means to palliate one's disability.