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Special Education and Student Services

The Ottawa Catholic School Board’s approach to special education is based upon the principle of meeting students’ needs within the most enabling environment. We work to ensure that our students grow and develop as unique individuals.

Identifying the gifts and strengths of our students is the starting point for developing programs which will nurture growth and learning. Our goal is to enable learners to reach their fullest potential, enabling them to take their place as independently as possible within society. All of our schools have facilities, resources, support personnel and equipment necessary for developing and implementing special education programs and services.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board is committed to providing appropriate accommodations to the point of undue hardship in the form of special education programs and services, including classroom based accommodations, to all students with demonstrable learning based needs, consistent with its obligations under the Education Act and in full compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Our Board actively promotes inclusion programming, where students with special needs fully participate in the life of the school community. Wherever possible, students are educated in regular classrooms with age-appropriate peers. For those children whose complexity of needs exceeds these resources, a specialized placement may be necessary. A full range of placements and services are made available to our students.

Special Education Report

The Special Education Report covers all programs and services offered by the Ottawa Catholic School Board. The contents of the Special Education Report complies with the appropriate Ministry of Education’s standards, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Education Act, and all other relevant regulations.

The Special Education Report been divided into three accessible sections, as follows:

Contact Us

Your school principal should always be your primary contact for inquiries regarding Special Education and Student Services. If you require additional assistance, contact:

Special Education and Student Services
Phone: 613-224-4455 Ext 2351

Fax: 613-225-9153


Our Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) makes recommendations to the Board in respect of any matter affecting the establishment, development and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils. The committee is made up of community members, representation from local associations, parents, and trustees, who meet monthly to review issues of relevance.

Other useful resources

Find out more about our Identification, Placement and Review Committees (IPRC), the identification of exceptional students, special education programs, and provincial & demonstration programs.

View our Community-based Violence / Threat Risk Assessment Protocol: A Collaborative Response to Student Threat Making Behaviours.

Explore some more resources created by OCSB staff and members of our SEAC Committee for parents of students with special needs.

We have put together a list of websites below to help inform you about special education. Use these guides and resources to learn more about your child’s needs and how best to help them get the education they deserve.

Special education links

Ontario Ministry of Education website - Special Education
Caring and Safe Schools in Ontario
The Individual Education Plan (IEP) - A Resource Guide
This guide is intended to help teachers and others working with students with special needs to develop, implement, and monitor high-quality IEPs. A five-step process is recommended.
Planning Entry to School - A Resource Guide
This resource guide represents an effort to identify and build on existing effective practices and to translate evidence-based research into practical ideas and processes.
Shared Solutions: A Guide to Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Regarding Programs and Services for Students with Special Education Needs
This resource guide is intended to help parents,educators,and students with special education needs work together to prevent conflicts, resolve them quickly, and allow students to develop their full potential and succeed in school.
The Association for Bright Children of Ontario, Ottawa Chapter
ABC seeks to increase the understanding of bright children at home, at school and in the community, and encourages the development of appropriate educational programs.
Autism Ontario, Ottawa Chapter
Autism Registry
The Registry for People with Autism is an Ottawa Police Service 2010 pilot project in partnership with the Ottawa Chapter of Autism Ontario.  The online registry promotes communication and gives police quick access to critical information about a registered person with autism. The Registry can provide police with emergency contact information, detailed physical descriptions, known routines, favourite attractions or special needs of the individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).   This information can assist officers in communicating with, attending a residence of or dealing with an emergency involving an individual with ASD.
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
CHEO is a pediatric health and research center providing outstanding family-centered patient care, pioneering breakthrough research, and training the health care professionals of tomorrow.
Children's Mental Health Ontario
Children's Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) represents and supports the providers of child and youth mental health treatment services throughout Ontario.
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life.
Down Syndrome Association National Capital Region
A source for local mental health help and events in Ottawa-Carleton.
Engaging Parents of Students with Special Needs
Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa-Carleton (LDAO-C)
The Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa-Carleton is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting increased awareness and respect for persons with learning disabilities.
A Canadian charitable organization that supports a good life for people with intellectual disabilities.
Ontario Association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders (OAFCCD)
Ontario Brain Injury Association
Support for those in our community who are living with the effects of acquired brain injury (ABI), along with their families, friends and caregivers, through advocacy, education, and services.
Ottawa Children’s Coordinated Access & Referral to Services
A case resolution mechanism designed to provide recommendations and referrals for families, children and  youth who have complex needs and are experiencing difficulties gaining access to support and services in the community.
Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre