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New field trip form promotes accessibility

Limestone Learning Foundation
New field trip form promotes accessibility
Posted on 03/07/2019
Image of LDSB Accessibility Advisory Committee at work during a recent meeting.The Limestone District School Board is committed to providing services that are free of barriers and biases to our students, families, the public and our staff.

The Board’s Accessibility Advisory Committee has been working on a process to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate and access experiential learning experiences, such as field trips and other out-of-school activities.

The committee, with input from students, staff and several community partner agencies as well as the Board’s Equity Advisory Committee, has developed a form to ensure planning includes steps to identify and remove possible barriers that might impede any individuals from full participation.

“We want all of our students to be able to participate fully in field trips and other experiential learning opportunities,” says Alison McDonnell, Associate Superintendent of Learning for All. “Previously, we knew certain students might have unique requirements to attend these kinds of learning opportunities, but it sometimes wasn’t considered with enough time to make necessary accommodations. This form now gets everyone thinking ahead of time about how we can ensure everyone is included.”
The document includes items regarding the location such as the availability of accessible washrooms and uneven ground. Other items for consideration include access to accessible transportation, possible medical concerns.

Napanee District Secondary School Grade 12 student Sydney Gillam says the form is long overdue. “I wish this form was available when I was younger,” says Sydney, who uses a wheelchair, and sometimes could not attend certain field trips, or had to travel separately from her classmates to and from the trip. “This form will help teachers to determine if a field trip is accessible to all students. It allows for everyone to be included.”

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.