Special Education

  1. COVID-19: Sept 2021 back to school updates

    Does my child have to wear a mask at school? Yes, students in grades 1-12 must wear non-medical or cloth masks indoors (unless exempted*), including in hallways and during classes and on school vehicles. Students can remove masks indoors to consume food or drink only, with a minimum distance of two metres maintained between cohorts. Students do not need to wear masks outdoors. *Speak or write to the school principal to request an exemption, e.g. for medical reasons or as set out in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).  

    Does my child have to go to school during COVID-19? Yes, school remains mandatory for young people 6-17 years of age. Various schooling options and considerations are covered in this Steps to Justice post.

    Special Education: the laws have not changed and students continue to have a right to accommodation.                   

  2. Navigating different special education processes can be challenging.

    JFCY has created the Special Education in Ontario : A Guide for Students and Caregivers, August 2021, funded by the Ministry of Education.

    The full 72-page guide is available on our Enhancing Access to Special Education project page.


    Table of Contents

    Introduction to Special Education in Ontario

    Education in Ontario

    Who’s who in the education system?

    What is my role as a parent?

    What is my role as a student?

    Communicating with the school

    Special Education in Ontario

    Quick introduction to key concepts

    Special education flowchart

    How are learning needs identified?



    Accommodations, modifications, alternative programs

    How are students identified as exceptional?


    The Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC)

    What is the IPRC?

    Identification and Placement

    IPRC flowchart

    Requesting an IPRC meeting

    Guide to special education

    Who will be at the IPRC meeting?

    Preparing for the IPRC meeting

    What is the Individual Educational Assessment?

    What to expect at the IPRC meeting?

    The IPRC Statement of Decision


    Appealing the IPRC Decision

    The IPRC Statement of Decision and your options

    Appeals flowchart

    The second IPRC meeting

    Filing a Notice of Appeal with the SEAB

    The SEAB panel members

    Before the SEAB hearing

    Can I bring a support person to the SEAB hearing?

    The SEAB hearing

    The Special Education Tribunal (SET)

    The SET process

    Appeals timelines flowchart


    The Individual Education Plan (IEP)

    What is an Individual Education Plan (IEP)?

    Purpose of the IEP

    IEP flowchart

    What is included in the IEP?

    Accommodations, modifications, alternative programs

    Transition plans

    What if I disagree with an IEP?

    Bringing forward concerns:

    to the school/board

    to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

    Glossary and Resources



    Community organizations

    Supports by category