The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) celebrated World Autism Awareness Day April 3, 2018 throughout the district, in partnership with Autism Ontario and Raise the Flag events across Ontario. In keeping with the board's strategic plan to foster achievement and well-being the Ottawa-Carleton School Board's autism team, supported schools in month-long initiatives to raise awareness regarding autism. These initiatives included an OCDSB parent night, principal training, classroom supports and school-wide activities.
In the Atrium, of the board's head office, a display was set up which showcased student achievement, autism team initiatives as well as community partner information and resources. All schools within the OCDSB were invited to participate; every site was supported with Educator Toolkits, an Autism Awareness mini library and Autism Awareness ribbons provided for all students and school staff. Schools were encouraged to raise awareness and support inclusion throughout the month of April. Sites were given tasks linked to the curriculum that they could be used with their classes to support the initiative and increase awareness.
Parent and Community engagement was one of the highlights from our Autism Awareness initiative. Parents were invited to Sir Robert Borden High School to listen to speaker Jennifer Krumins who shared her journey as a special education teacher, consultant and mother of an adult son with autism. Community partners were invited to participate and provided parents with resources, information packages and were present to answer any questions parents had. Throughout the evening parents could choose from a number of informative workshops presented by the OCDSB Autism team.
Ongoing student, parent and community engagement will continue to be a focus throughout the 2018/2019 school year, highlighting a culture that continually balances equity of opportunity and access for all.