The AGE Support Guide for Learners with Special Needs

7 Nov

Last school year, I moved into a new role with an Accessibility and Inclusive Technologies mandate in the Adult General Education (AGE) sector with the RÉCIT AGE team. My first goal in this new role was to assess what supports for special needs learners were already in place.

It was no surprise to discover that our learners with diagnosed and undiagnosed special needs were already well-supported in our centres. Authorized support measures and directives are specified in section 5.2.2 of the Administrative Guide. However, our centres may have different terminology and procedures for creating their own support plans.

A resource teacher brought to my attention a support document that is used with our French sector counterparts in Formation Générale des Adultes (FGA). It is called “Les lignes directrices pour assurer la cohérence des actions entreprises au regard de la démarche d’accompagnement de l’adulte ayant des besoins particuliers FGA”. This document contains guidance around implementing support measures and support plans.

I assembled a multi-schoolboard (see bottom of this article) team to help adapt the translated guide for our AGE community. We all worked together for seven months having many discussions and hands-on meetings. We worked through numerous revisions and created the “Guide for Ensuring Consistent and Effective Support for Adult Learners with Special Needs”. However, to ensure our guide is part of our common lexicon in AGE, our team decided to call it the “AGE Support Guide”, or ASG for short.

Our ASG team launched the guide during a session at the annual PROCEDE conference in October 2022. Our ultimate goal was to ensure that all levels of AGE stakeholders are aware of the ASG and begin using the same terminology and procedures for developing support plans.

Matthew Kennedy (LBPSB) presents the ASG at the PROCEDE 2022 conference.
Above: Matthew Kennedy (LBPSB) presents the ASG at the PROCEDE 2022 conference

Where do I find the AGE Support Guide?

The AGE Support Guide (ASG) provides guidelines for supporting learners with special needs in the classroom as well as for evaluation situations. It outlines standard procedures for implementing support plans, accommodations, and assistive technologies. An important part of the ASG are guidelines for creating a PREP, CARE, and an ASEP in a student file:

  • The PREP contains previous data collected about the individualized support given to the
    adult learner throughout their academic path, when available.
  • The CARE is a current portrait of the adult learner and contains documentation of the adult’s learning progression. This could include annotated exercises, assignments, formative assessments, comments from centre team members, etc.
  • The ASEP is a planning and consultation tool; developed when an adult needs
    specialized resources/ intervention from centre teams and/or support measures during
An image providing an overview of the contents the PREP, CARE, and ASEP.
Above: An overview of the contents of the PREP, CARE, and ASEP.

To accompany the ASG, we’ve created additional support documentation, including an ASEP template and an ASG checklist to help you and your centre team. If your centre would like more information about the ASG or help with implementing it in your centre, please reach out to the RÉCIT AGE team.

The Adult Support Guide (ASG) translation and adaptation was coordinated by Avi Spector (RÉCIT AGE) with close collaboration from Kerrie Bremner (RSB), Matthew Kennedy (LBPSB), Casey Finn Lefsrud (LBPSB), and Shanna Loach (ETSB). With additional support from Nicole Barley, Marc Gariépy, Karine Jacques, Marc Brisson, the Riverside AGE admin team, the Resource & Student Services Teams at PACC, Place Cartier, ACCESS, & New Horizons. A huge thank you to ALL of you for helping this become a reality!