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2022 President’s Message to Ontario CEC Members

Headshot of CEC Ontario President Donna Zuccato

Happy New Year to Ontario CEC Members!

The Board of Directors for Ontario CEC wishes you the best for 2022. We hope that this message finds you in good health, balancing the demands of work and personal life, supported by family, colleagues and friends.

Meet our current Board of Directors

Again this year we find ourselves experiencing the many challenges of working with children and youth with exceptionalities during a pandemic. The communication and collaboration that you exemplify is recognized and appreciated by Ontario CEC.  We know that you continue to enhance and improve creative approaches through in-person, synchronous and asynchronous methods of teaching while delivering supports and services to the most vulnerable children and youth in Ontario.

The Ontario CEC 2021 Special Education Conference, December 3 - 4 at the Toronto Eaton Centre Marriott Hotel, marked the 65th Anniversary of Ontario CEC and the 25th Anniversary of the Yes I Can Student Awards in Ontario. Our first hybrid conference included in-person and virtual attendees and presenters. We were pleased to recognize 14 students and 18 adults with awards during a hybrid presentation. We celebrated with the in-person award recipients at a luncheon following the presentation. A highlight of our conference was the recognition of many former Ontario CEC presidents, including Mary Scott, who will be 100 years old in 2022.

Check out the Ontario CEC Celebrates 65 Years section of our website where you will find messages from past presidents as well as a slide show and historical documents. As a member you are invited to send a statement of your thoughts and suggestions about Ontario CEC to lynn.ziraldo@gmail.com for posting. This is your chance to let us know how this organization has made a difference for you.

Lynn Ziraldo, Advisor and Parliamentarian of Ontario CEC Board of Directors received her 40-year Member Recognition Award this year. We thank Lynn for four decades of service to Ontario CEC and for her extensive contribution to many other organizations across Ontario related to children and youth with exceptionalities.

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Council for Exceptional Children. Ontario CEC will be represented at the 100th Anniversary CEC Convention and Expo, January 16 - 19, 2022, by four members of our Board of Directors. Two of our board members will attend the Representative Assembly and all four members will be part of the Canadian delegation at the 100th Anniversary Legacy Luncheon.

The contacts, connections and resources provided by CEC are essential for professionals who work in this field, as we navigate new ways to develop and apply programs and materials.  Members of CEC have access to webcasts, podcasts, journal articles, resource links, and communication tools that are Canadian-wide and world-wide, to explore and use to enhance their practice. As a member of one of the many Divisions CEC has to offer, you can dig deeper into issues that are more specific to your professional experience.

Advocacy and progressive change is a cornerstone of our Ontario CEC mission. The Ontario Council for Exceptional Children has and will continue to advocate for the needs of exceptional children and youth through communication and consultation with the Special Education Branch of the Ministry of Education, the Minister’s Advisory Council for Special Education (MACSE) and the Ontario Council of Administrators of Special Education (OCASE - a subdivision of the CEC Council of Administrators of Special Education). During 2021 Ontario CEC also responded to requests for consultation from the Ontario College of Teachers on the Foundations of Professional Practice (FOPP) through its Advisory Group’s working sessions, provided feedback to the Bloorview School Authority and Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital on the development of a disability education resource for Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators, and provided feedback to the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility's Technical Sub-Committee through the K-12 and Postsecondary Education Standards Development Committees on  its “Accessible transitions for students with disabilities in kindergarten to grade 12: to the workforce, the community, and post-secondary education” and  the “Initial recommendations for the development of proposed Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) education accessibility standards”.

We have a yearly awards program, celebrating adults and youth from our schools, businesses, and Special Education Partnerships throughout Ontario.  Local CEC chapters in Ontario host a community awards event   each year, and provincial awards are presented at the annual conference. Take a look at our Awards tab on the Ontario CEC website for more information regarding the type of awards we offer and to view past award recipients. As an Ontario CEC member you will receive a message through C-vent reminding you about the awards process and inviting you to submit a nomination to your local chapter or directly on the website. You can contact the Ontario CEC Awards Chair, Ana Lia Pauchulo, at analia.pauchulo@gmail.com.

Did you know you can make a Memorial Donation to Ontario CEC? Information can be found at https://ontario.exceptionalchildren.org/membership/member-resources

Part of the mission of Ontario CEC is to maintain and grow our membership across Ontario. As a member of CEC you have a role to play, by reaching out to colleagues, explaining the benefits of a CEC membership, inviting a colleague to attend our conference and guiding them towards the Ontario and International CEC website and our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. We encourage you to stay in touch with us through these sites; comment with colleagues through your Canadian Community found on the CEC website, and share information on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

As your president I extend my appreciation and best wishes to all those involved with exceptional children and youth in Ontario, as we move forward together in 2022.

Donna Zuccato                                                                                                                                           

President

Ontario Council for Exceptional Children
cecontarioboard@gmail.com

 

Check out our website:   https://ontario.exceptionalchildren.org/

Facebook:     @ontariocec

Twitter:          @OntarioCec

Instagram:      cecontario

 

President’s Goals 2022

Quality Teaching and Learning

  • Develop links to Canadian and international research-based information on our website
  • Enhance interest and use of our online resources on our website and Facebook page
  • Continue to utilize connections with professional staff and students at post-secondary institutions
  •  Increase awareness among board members of the needs of our membership and all those who work with exceptional children in Ontario

Advocacy

  • Focus our efforts towards advocacy and progressive change through communication and consultation with the Special Education Branch of the Ministry of Education, the Minister’s Advisory Council on Special Education (MACSE),  the Ontario Council of Administrators of Special Education (OCASE) and other organizations and individuals who work on behalf of children and youth with exceptionalities

Collaborative Partnerships

  • Communicate effectively with educators, service providers and families in all geographical areas in Ontario
  • Maintain and build membership across Ontario, including in post-secondary institutions
  • Expand diversity among board members and Ontario CEC membership
  • Recruit and support new board members through connections and mentoring by the board and all Ontario CEC members

Organizational Vitality

  • Enhance communication and adherence to timelines and processes
  • Utilize a cloud storage system to support teamwork among committee members
  • Develop leadership skills through mentorship
Posted:  25 January, 2022
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Author: Donna Zuccato

President, Ontario Council for Exceptional Children  

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