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Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) to Host Speaker Series

The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) at HCDSB is pleased to be hosting a speaker series to discuss inclusivity and diversity, and how to better support children with additional needs.

SEAC’s mandate is to make recommendations to the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) in matters affecting the establishment and development of Special Education programs and services for students with exceptional needs.

The Committee is comprised of members nominated by local community associations and that are approved by the HCDSB. Parents that serve on SEAC come from local associations that promote the interests and well-being of students with exceptional needs and abilities.

For the health and safety of our HCDSB community, all sessions will be offered virtually, and will be recorded live and available on the Board’s YouTube channel.


Emotional Well-Being of Children with Additional Needs

Thursday, May 6th, 2021 at 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Dr. Louise Porter, PhD, MA(Hons), MGiftedEd, DipEd, BA, BIntStudsChild Psychologist

Many children with physical disabilities or chronic illness endure repeated hospitalizations, medical procedures, and experience with pain, all of which lead to grief and cause repeated absences from school and disruptions to both learning and friendships. Many with particular disabilities such as mild autism (which used to be called Asperger syndrome) experience debilitating anxiety; while gifted learners often feel isolated socially and neglected educationally. As a result of their differences, many of these children experience low self-esteem. In this session, Dr. Porter will discuss these and other issues and how parents and others can support the emotional wellbeing of learners with additional needs.

Dr. Louise Porter is a child psychologist with 40 years experience in both public and private practice, consulting with parents and practitioners about children’s developmental, social, emotional and behavioural challenges. She also worked for 10 years in early childhood disability and mainstream settings and lectured at university for 13 years in topics relating to early childhood, special education, and gifted education.

Read more about Dr. Porter here: www.louiseporter.com.au


Can’t Read, Can’t Write, Here’s My Book

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 at 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Michael Jacques, Author

Can’t Read, Can’t Write, Here’s My Book is told through the eyes of Michael Jacques, a compassionate and determined young adult with autism and an intellectual disability. His book—which is written by using an iPad’s speech-to-text function—is a down-to-earth collection of compelling life stories and discoveries that teach us how to embrace and celebrate our differences. Michael, who never surrenders to the idea of “can’t,” speaks about topics such as learning, inclusion, advocating, independence, and the power of perseverance. His insights and views on the world are equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring. Through his witty and positive voice, Michael offers a glimpse on what it’s like to be him. 

Michael is a young adult who lives and works in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. He is a determined, compassionate and talented individual who has written his first book. Michael has autism and an intellectual disability and is a passionate public speaker. He has presented to students at the secondary, college, and university levels, as well parents and teachers, about the importance of belonging and inclusion. He sits on the board of Community Living Ontario, through which he advocates for individuals like himself. Michael hopes to write many more books and continue to make an impact in the world through his stories. 

Michael was recently appointed by the Education Minister to MACSE (Minister’s Advisory Council on Special Education.) It’s a provincial council that advises the Minister on matters related to special education. This is another opportunity for Michael to share his voice and perspective with individuals that can make positive changes in Ontario.

Learn more about Michael and his books here: www.heresmybook.com


Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) to Host Speaker Series