In the August 2000 issue of Home Rules, it was reported by Albert Lubberts, President of OFTP, that School Health Support Services would be extended to all independent schools as well as home educated school aged children in the province. This new initiative came into effect on September 2000. The services covered are: occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, nursing, physiotherapy and dietetic services.
Unfortunately, several OFTP members have tried to access this service and have run into road blocks with this new arrangement several in connection with speech therapy. Albert Lubberts has stated that the government has been slow in informing (educating) its officials about the new policy.
Please note that a home educated child does not have to be registered with a school board in order to access these services which is what homeschooling parents are being told when they contact the Access Centres. Many of the Access Centres know nothing about this new arrangement.
In order to cut through the lethargy on this issue and get your children the services they need, OFTP suggests that you write to the address below provided by Albert Lubberts:
Susan Donaldson, CEO,
Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres,
1940 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 500,
Scarborough, Ontario, M1C 4R1,
Phone: 416-750-1720, Ext. 23,
Her assistant is Lori Hay,
Phone 416-750-1720, Ext. 22,
Explain your particular situation and refer them to the page on our website, indicated above, for specific details. OFTP would like to receive feedback on your dealings with Ms. Donaldson and any success you may have had at obtaining services for your child at one of the Access Centres.