Parents Advocacy in the School has been assisting parents, children and families with concerns regarding special needs for many years. Parent’s Advocacy in the School (PAS) is made up of people who have a wide range of experience in the areas of schooling, advocacy, education and related endeavors.
The founder of PAS, Dr. Forman, is an educator, psychologist, author and parent advocate. He has been involved in his field for over thirty years. The goals of PAS include actively networking with parents and others who are involved in the education of children and youth with exceptionalities and creating opportunities for parents, school personnel, and members of special needs associations to share information and resources in order to work in greater harmony on behalf of the children.
PAS informs parents who have issues with schools about how they can use community groups and organizations such as SEACs (Special Education Advisory Committees), the CAS (Children’s Aid Society) and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre to help them in direct and meaningful ways, on behalf of their children with special needs, so as to increase their sense of empowerment and reduce their feelings of isolation and frustration. The establishment of the Special Education Testing and Advisory Centre, which is meant to deal with longstanding problems associated with psycho-educational testing and reports, is a good example of the efforts of PAS to meet the needs of parents with children who have exceptionalities. PAS fully supports collaborative approaches, (as explored in a Trillium Grant) and also promoted by the Ontario Ministry of Education documents, between parents and the schools, using conflict resolution and mediation.
PAS was very proud to have former Minister of Education, Kathleen Wynne, speak at a conference organized by Dr. Forman, lending her support to the importance of the role of parent advocacy.
Dr. Forman is a Registered Psychologist and has taught in schools at the primary, secondary and university levels. He has also worked as a school psychologist, a director of student services, a consultant to Bloorview Children's Hospital, and as an advisor to Children's Services in the Ministry of Health.
For almost twenty years he has been deeply involved in supporting, promoting and furthering the cause of parents advocating for their children with special needs.
A few years ago he was invited to create an Advocacy Training Program curriculum to be offered on the website of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario and more recently he developed a special curriculum for the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada as their E-Advocacy Project Consultant. Similar Programs are being explored with other groups.
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