Parents Advocacy Association of Toronto

PAAT

Parent's Advocacy in the School (PAS) is delighted to introduce its latest and most important initiative - the creation of : THE PARENT ADVOCACY ASSOCIATION OF TORONTO- WHERE  SCHOOL PARENTS HAVE A VOICE (PAAT). Parents and families seeking programs and services for their children with special needs have not been united in their efforts.  Each family has had to "re-invent the wheel" whenever it has sought to resolve important educational issues on behalf of its children. Parents are often not aware of the presence of other childen in their child's class who may have similar special needs and they usually do not have the opportunity to speak with other parents for their mutual benefits.

The schools, when confronted about this, refer to privacy and confidentiality concerns which is really a red herring. No names or information are requested. Parents would only ask for a time and a place where parents who want to meet and share may do so. Parents need a sense of leverage and equality in dealing with the schools and an understanding that they can  have issues meaningfully vetted. This can come about through Conflict Resolution processes and with the involvement of arbitration strategies which are universally employed elsewhere to reconcile  disputed issues which involve change and collaboration rather than as with the schools "pulling rank" telling parents how it is going to be, in effect.

As a result of these practices many parents feel disaffiliated, isolated and impotent in their efforts on behalf of their children with exceptionalities. This new Association seeks to work for systemic change and in this process support parents and families in meaningful ways through education, training, resource sharing, networking and building a support community. In this process we would like parents and other stakeholders to join us in our efforts. If you would like to work with us in building and developing the PAAT with your skills, knowledge, information resources, training, contacts, etc. please contact us at 647-794-6679 or email us and we will be in touch.  (support@parentsadvocacy.com) 

 

  • TO HELP BRING ABOUT ANY OF THE GOALS OF PARENTS MAKING REQUESTS OF THE SCHOOLS THEY ARE TO BE APPOACHED WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT PARENTS AND OTHER INVOLVED STAKEHOLDERS MAY EMPLOY ALL OR ANY LEGAL MEANS AND PROCEDURES TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR LEGITIMATE ENDS. THESE INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING:

  • *ENLISTING AN IMPARTIAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROCESS.*APPEALING TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION.
  • *ISSUING A FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE COLLEGE OF TEACHERS.
  • *INVOLVING THE CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY, AS NEEDED, E.G. IN BULLYING CASES.
  • *CONTACTING JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH OR A SIMILAR LEGAL RESOURCE CENTER.
  • *CONSULTING AN EDUCATION LAWYER.
  • *EMPLOYING A MAIL WRITING “CAMPAIGN.”
  • *CONTACTING THE ONTARIO OMBUDSMAN'S OFFICE WITH A COMPLAINT.
  • *CONSIDERING LEGAL PETITIONS AND PICKETING PROCEDURES.
  • *Making a Freedom of Information Request for Copies of School Documents

 

Membership

  • Membership in PAAT is open to parents, guardians or caregivers of children with exceptionalities and other interested individuals.

  • Membership shall be on an annual basis with a membership year from [September 1 to August 31

  • In order to help defray the costs of running the PAAT there is a yearly fee of $35. This includes a copy of “Take an Advocate to School: A Resource Guide to Finding and Keeping a Qualified Parent Advocate” by Dr. Norm Forman in addition to phone questions and answers.

  • Membership fees may be sent to: Dr. Norm Forman, Sunnybrook POB 50238, 660 Eglinton Ave. East, Toronto m4g 0b5