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The Ontario Ministry of Education – Special Education Resources

What is the Ministry of Education?

The Ministry of Education administers the system of publicly funded elementary and secondary school education in Ontario, in accordance with the directions set by the provincial government.

The Minister of Education, through the ministry:

  • Issues curricula
  • Sets requirements for student diplomas and certificates
  • Provides funding to school boards for academic instruction and for building and maintaining schools.

The minister may also set policy for student assessment, which is then carried out by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

What is Special Education?

Students who have behavioural, communication, intellectual, physical or multiple exceptionalities, may require special education programs and /or services to benefit fully from their school experience.

Special education programs and services primarily consist of instruction and assessments that are different from those provided to the general student population. These may take the form of accommodations (such as specific teaching strategies, preferential seating, and assistive technology) and/or an educational program that is modified from the age-appropriate grade level expectations in a particular course or subject, as outlined in the Ministry of Education’s curriculum policy documents.

The resources outlined below are available on-line or may be requested in print from Publications Ontario at 1-800-668-9938.  There is no charge for the documents but there is a charge for shipping the material.  Each item listed below is a document with information that parents and educators have found very helpful.  We encourage you to visit the Ontario Ministry of Education’s website at, then click on “Special Education” to view the documents listed below, and many more:


Policy Direction


  • Special Education Funding Guidelines: Special Equipment Amount (SEEA) and Special Incidence Portion (SIP), 2010-11

Special Education Advisory Committee

  • The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Information Program

Resource Documents

Special Education Reports/Recommendations

  • Special Education Transformation: The Report of the Co-Chairs with the Recommendations of the Working Table on Special Education, 2006
  • Education for All: The Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy and Numeracy Instruction for Students with Special Education Needs, Kindergarten to Grade 6, 2005
  • Early School Leavers: Understanding the Lived Reality of Student Disengagement from Secondary School, 2005
LINKS OR USEFUL RESOURCES: Please refer to “Navigating the School System” for a handy chart to help you decide what to look at first.