What you need to know about Ontario’s Bill 172
What: Bill 172, entitled an Act in relation to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), is a Private Member’s Bill aimed at improving the experiences and educational outcomes of students living with FASD in Ontario.
Who: MPP Kathleen Wynne introduced this bill and is bringing it forward for second reading.
Where: The Legislative Assembly of Ontario, atQueen’s Park in Toronto
When: Bill 172 received its First Reading on Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Bill 172 will receive its Second Reading on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 6 pm
To Watch: Go to https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/video about 5:50 pm – Nov.3/20
Simple Overview of Bill 172:
1. This Bill requires boards of education to develop policies and guidelines with respect to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
2. Teachers’ colleges and early childhood education programs will be required to provide training with respect to FASD.
What does Second Reading mean? Second Reading allows Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to debate and vote on the principle behind a bill. MPP Wynne will lead off the debate, and then MPPs from other parties will have a chance to speak on the bill. At the conclusion of the debate the bill will be put to a vote.
What could happen after Second Reading? If Bill 172 passes Second Reading, it will likely be referred to a Standing Committee for further consideration. During the Committee stage the specific details of the bill will be examined, and members of the public may be given the opportunity to appear as a witness or produce a written submission with thoughts on the bill.
If the bill makes it through the Committee stage, it will be eligible to be called for Third Reading. At this stage MPPs will debate and vote on the final form of the bill. If a bill passes Third Reading, it will be given Royal Assent and become law.
What you can do:
- read Bill 172 on page two of this document.
- watch the debate on November 3rd at 6pm at:
- show your support for the bill on social media.
- call or write to your MPP about why you think Bill 172 and other legislation to support people living with FASD is important.
What follows is the exact wording of Bill 172:
Preamble: There is a high prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) among children in Ontario, and the combination of deficits children with FASD face can make attending school a difficult and often traumatic experience. Despite this, many school boards have no specific strategy for addressing this issue, and educators often lack awareness of FASD.
It is therefore important that each school board be required to develop a policy addressing FASD, and that teachers and early childhood educators be taught about the signs and symptoms of FASD, as well as how to appropriately accommodate these children in the classroom.
Implementing these changes is expected to result in better academic performance and an improved school experience for children with FASD and their peers, and to contribute to many other positive social outcomes for children with FASD.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS ACT, 2007
1 Section 43 of the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 is amended by adding the following subsection:
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
(1.1) A regulation made under paragraph 1.1 of subsection (1) shall provide that a program in early childhood education shall only be accredited if it provides for training with respect to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), including,
(a) awareness of the signs and symptoms of FASD; and
(b) strategies to accommodate the needs of children who have diagnosed or suspected FASD.
2 The Education Act is amended by adding the following Part:
PART XIII.2 FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER (FASD)
FASD policies and guidelines
322 (1) Every board shall establish policies and guidelines respecting Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
(2) The policies and guidelines must,
(a) promote awareness and understanding of FASD;
(b) include established and emerging best practices to support pupils who have diagnosed or suspected FASD; and
(c) identify strategies for the identification of pupils who have diagnosed or suspected FASD and for providing accommodation for those pupils.
(3) Every board shall facilitate collaboration with parents and FASD Support Groups in undertaking the promotion of awareness and understanding of FASD.
ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS ACT, 1996
3 Section 40 of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 is amended by adding the following subsection:
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
(1.1) A regulation made under paragraph 19 of subsection (1) shall provide that a teacher education program shall only be accredited if it provides for training with respect to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), including,
2 (a)awareness of the signs and symptoms of FASD; and
(b)strategies to accommodate the needs of students who have diagnosed or suspected FASD.
COMMENCEMENT AND SHORT TITLE
4 This Act comes into force on the second September 1 after the day it receives Royal Assent.
5 The short title of this Act is the Education Statute Law Amendment Act (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), 2020.
This document was produced by Mary K. Cunningham and Jeremy Istead – Oct. 28/20