In our last class we were joined over Zoom by Tracy Humphreys, the founder of BCEd Access. I had not previously heard of this organization so I was extremely excited to learn more. Tracy explained that BCEd Access is an organization that runs within British Columbia that supports the families of students’ with disabilities and complex learners. She explained that through their work with families they have identified the major challenges that students are facing within their education experience.

  1. Denial of technology: children are being denied access to using tech in classrooms that would support them in their education.
  2. Outdated practices and technology (i.e. older generations of technology, such as an iPad and devices that no longer support the students in the ways they need).
  3. Accessibility is still a problem: getting technology and funding is super challenging for the school
  4. Knowledge keeping: there hasn’t been an expert in this area in different school districts that is the go-to person.
  5. NO training support: in terms of families, they need to know how to use different devices and support their kids in their education.

Another area of Tracy’s discussion was focussed around ableism and its presence within our education system. Within students’ processes of being assessed and receiving or not receiving a formal designation, there is an unsettling question that underlies the process, that being, “is my child disabled enough to receive support and funding?”. How incredibly invalidating! Additionally, she explains that there is an underlying goal of disability support in that it will be used to develop independence or resiliency to stop using it. This idea completely fails to acknowledge that some students’ will require the technology support forever.

I found Tracy’s discussion with our class very interesting and it reminded me of the importance of the role being an educator. We are being gifted the opportunity to support children and guide their learning. Within this role we must constantly be aware of who our students are, their needs, and any gaps within their experience that we can lessen.