TORONTO, ON – Apr 06 2017 — The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) joins the Ontario Autism Coalition (OAC) in calling on the Ontario government to increase the support in schools for students with autism.
“We stand with the OAC in recognizing the need for the Ministry of Education to allocate more funding for the hiring of Educational Assistants and Professional Student Services Personnel,” said OSSTF/FEESO president Paul Elliott. “Increasing the number of specialized support staff is essential to providing students with autism the support and service they require and deserve.”
The Federation also supports the OAC’s call to increase and improve the training of both teachers and educational support staff to deepen their proficiency in working with students with autism. Members of OSSTF/FEESO have always been open to professional development, and they would welcome training in this particular area.
“We also support the coalition’s recommendation of the establishment of a demonstration school for students with autism,” continued Elliott. “Currently, Ontario’s demonstration schools serve students who are blind, who are deaf, and who have learning disabilities. It is time to establish a demonstration school that serves the specific needs of students with autism.”
“It is the goal of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation to enhance and protect public education,” added Elliott, “and to that end, we welcome the recommendations made by the OAC.”
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.