OTTAWA — As the province prepares to celebrate Franco-Ontarian Day, the Ontario government is investing more than $250,000 in the first blind and low vision program for Francophone students in the province. This ground-breaking initiative at the Centre Jules-Léger provincial school demonstrates the province’s commitment to ensuring all Ontario students succeed in the classroom and reach their full potential.
“Our government is committed to supporting all students with all abilities,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “The addition of this new program ensures that Francophone students who are blind or have limited vision get the quality education they deserve by providing more accessible materials and braille instruction in French. It represents another way that our government is ensuring that all students can reach their full potential.”
Today’s announcement builds on important investments Ontario has made to support Francophone learners and French-language education. With this investment, 127 students currently being supported by Centre Jules-Léger’s resource services will benefit from accessible course material and new programming. Four students will learn two different types of braille in French.
The government’s funding is also supporting the purchase of a variety of specialized equipment to emboss texts and enable blind students to read and write in braille, as well as technology to enlarge documents to facilitate reading for students with low vision.
“For many years, Francophone parents have been waiting for the creation of a program for blind and low vision students, specifically so they can learn braille,” said Johanne Lacombe, Consortium Centre Jules-Léger (CCJL) Chair. “Teachers with expertise teaching braille, especially in French, are very rare in Ontario. We are proud to be able to make this specialized programming available at the CCJL.”
The Centre Jules-Léger also offers advisory services in deafness, blindness, low vision, and deaf blindness. These services are intended for preschool children and students attending a French-language school in Ontario. CCJL consultants travel across Ontario to support students and their families, as well as school and child care staff in a variety of ways.
“We acknowledge the rich history, culture, and diversity of our Francophone community in Ontario and recognize how their contributions have helped to make our province the best place to live, work and go to school,” said Minister Lecce in recognition of Franco-Ontarian Day. “By continuing to support French-language education, we are ensuring that Francophone culture in Ontario is alive and thriving while setting all students up for success.”