​​​Dear Colleagues,

 

I’m writing to share resources to help your board recognize and celebrate National AccessAbility Week (May 27 to June 2, 2018), and to ask for your assistance promoting TheTeachAbleProject.org.

 

TheTeachAbleProject.org has ready-to-use lesson plans, resources and professional development tools. It’s designed to help Ontario educators and school board staff build their awareness of accessibility issues, and to equip them with the information and materials they need to educate and inspire students.

 

I know many boards have the site linked from their intranet/staff website. Some boards use the resources for training and workshops — thank you for doing this.

 

The site is a joint project by Ontario school boards. It’s funded by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. The content was created by Ontario educators and is available in English and French. During the 2017-18 school year, the site was upgraded and relaunched.

 

We want to make sure staff who will benefit from the resources know what’s available. We are also looking to gather accessibility success stories and to find influencers — educators and other staff who are equity champions and who have a following on social media.

 

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Make a copy/download the National AccessAbility Week article, customize it and share it on your staff website/intranet or in your staff e-newsletter during National AccessAbility Week (May 27 to June 2, 2018).
  • Download and save the ready-to-use camera ready articles to share during next school year on your staff website/intranet or in a staff e-newsletter. Sharing these articles will help keep accessibility awareness top of mind, which is key if we are going to continue to progress as a society.
  • Download the ready-to-use social media content and add it to your editorial/social media calendar to use now and during next school year. We’ve provided template messages that you can adapt. We’ve also included Pinterest images and instructions on how to add them to your Pinterest account if your board has one. If you don’t wish to use these messages with your board’s social media accounts, perhaps your program/curriculum or equity teams could use them. The audience for the messages is staff, so consider which channels are most appropriate.
  • Help us find success stories by submitting a success story directly using this form. Or, send the form link and a request to staff who you know have a story to share. By sharing our successes and learning, we can inspire each other. The success stories will help us create new content for TheTeachAbleProject.org next school year. Success stories might include:
    • A story about staff members trying new approaches with students and what happened
    • A change at a school that makes it more accessible— perhaps a new approach to including students in extracurricular activities or field trips
    • A story about actively working to remove barriers for a staff member/student/family/community member and the outcomes experienced
    • Learning you’ve taken on personally or as a staff or department team and the outcomes experienced
  • Help us find influencers. We are looking for educators and other staff who are passionate about inclusion and accessibility, and who use social media professionally. The influencers will receive ready-to-use social media content. If you know of an influencer we should contact, please complete this form. You can also reach out to the person to provide the form link and encourage them to contact us directly.

​I can appreciate how busy school board communication​s departments are. We’ve done our best to make these materials easy to use.

 

TheTeachAbleProject.org is an example of the power of collaboration. Accessibility and inclusion are important to all of us. I believe you’ll find the resources on the site align with your board’s equity and inclusion goals. I hope I can count on you to help share these valuable resources widely.
 
 
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