Special Services Glossary
Definitions of Commonly Used Words
Whether your child is entering the school system or is currently in school, you may hear teachers or other people working with your child use words such as those defined on the following pages. It is important that you ask teachers or others in your child’s school about words they use and have them
clarify what they mean in relation to your child.
Accommodations – adjustment to physical skill-based specific student learning outcomes or Substitution of other student learning outcomes in order to make them achievable by students with identified physical limitations, including sensory impairments
Adaptation—changing the teaching process, the types of materials, and/or the assignments or products a student may produce to achieve the expected learning outcomes.
Assessment—the systematic process of gathering information about what a student knows, is able to do, and is learning to do.
Behaviour intervention plan (BIP)—an intervention plan developed by a team to meet a student’s social and behavioural needs.
Clinician—a person who is certified as a school clinician under the Teaching Certificates and Qualifications Regulation (Manitoba Regulation 515/88) in The Public Schools Act and who provides support for special education services for school personnel, parents, and students.
Counselling and guidance services support—school personnel who provide support for activities that involve
• counselling students and parents
• evaluating students’ abilities
• assisting students in personal, career, and social development
• providing referral assistance
• working with other staff members in planning and conducting guidance programs for students
Daily plan—a plan that outlines how a student’s individual education plan (IEP) will be carried out each day. Usually it outlines a daily timetable for a student and the outcomes or goals to be worked on.
Differentiated instruction—a way of teaching that acknowledges and responds to the differences Among students. Teachers use a wide range of teaching methods to support student learning and to help each student be as successful as possible.
Educational assistant—a person hired by the school/division to provide support for teachers or students. This person is supervised directly by a teacher or principal.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) – this Act contains provisions on the right of access to records, including records of personal information, in the custody or under the control of public bodies and sets out rules which must be followed by public bodies about the
collection, use, protection, retention and disclosure of personal information. As of April 3, 2000, all school divisions and districts are considered public bodies under this Act.
Impaired mobility – means a student has a severe mobility problem requiring the use of special equipment such as a wheelchair or walker and requires the use of a lift to elevate him or her onto a school bus.
Inclusion—a way of thinking and acting that allows every individual to feel accepted, valued, and safe. Inclusive education—providing all students with the supports and opportunities they need to become participating members of their school community.
Individual education plan (IEP)—a yearly written plan developed and used by a team to meet the individual learning needs of a student.
Individualized programming—programming designed to meet the needs of students with severe cognitive disabilities who need programming outside the regular curriculum in the areas of cognitive, social/behavioural, self-help, motor, and communication skills.
Legal guardian—court-appointed legal guardian or guardianship established through a provision of The Child and Family Services Act or The Court of Queen’s Bench Surrogate Practice Act. The legal guardian of a child is usually the child’s social worker working for an agency or authority linked with Child and Family Services.
Level I Support – fiscal support given to school divisions/districts to provide resource teachers, special class teachers, teachers of gifted pupils and teacher aides
Level II Support – fiscal support provided for a student who is severely multi-handi-capped, severely psychotic, severely autistic, deaf or hard of hearing, severely visually impaired or very severely emotionally or behaviourally disordered
Level III support – fiscal support provided for a student who is profoundly multi-handi-capped, profoundly deaf, or profoundly emotionally or behaviourally disordered or blind
Life skills programming—programming based on functional skills that all individuals need to live, work, and take care of themselves. It often focuses on skills needed for independent living.
Mainstreaming – the selective placement of special education students in one or more regular education classes
Modification—changing the number or the content of the learning outcomes that a student is expected to meet in the provincial curriculum. The student’s teacher or school team makes these changes.
Occupational therapist (OT) (clinician) —a professional trained to help people improve their ability to do activities related to their daily living, such as self-care, work, and leisure. The purpose of occupational therapy is to promote and maintain performance and health. An occupational therapist
provides student-specific assessment, suggests student-specific adaptations and modifications to classroom equipment, and provides training of staff to help children participate as fully as possible in school programming and activities. Occupational therapists often work in conjunction with
Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) – this Act contains provisions on the right of access by an individual to his or her own personal health information held by a trustee. It sets out rules which must be followed by trustees about the collection, use, protection, retention and disclosure
of personal health information. School divisions and districts have been trustees, within the definition of a public body, under this Act since December 11, 1997
Physiotherapist (PT) (clinician)—a professional concerned with the assessment, maintenance, and improvement of physical function and performance of the body. Physiotherapists often work with students who have difficulties with movement, coordination, or balance. They provide Student-specific
assessment, recommendations, and staff training to meet a student’s physical needs. Physiotherapists often work in conjunction with occupational therapists.
Placement—a school or a special learning environment chosen for a student. Placement may be determined by school/division policy or by a student’s team.
Psychologist (clinician)—a school psychologist is a specialist in psychology and education. School psychologists are qualified mental health professionals in the areas of psychoeducational assessment, childhood development, behavioural management, individual/group counselling, and consultation.
Pupil file—a collection of written information about a student’s education stored in a file in the school or school division office.
Reading clinician—a specially trained teacher who works with children whom the school has already identified as having learning problems. Reading clinicians provide assessment, make ecommendations, and suggest modifications or adaptations in the areas of reading and writing, including suggestions on the most effective teaching strategies for children with reading difficulties.
Resource teacher—a teacher employed by a school/division to support students and educators through consultation, resources, and/or direct assistance. This person usually coordinates the student services within a school.
Social worker (clinician)—a school social worker provides a link between home, school, and community. School social workers provide individual and group counselling, consultation to Teachers, and other services that help students cope with their disabilities. They collaborate with community agencies and provide support for students and families requiring multiple services.
Special Education Services – provision of curriculum, instruction and related services specifically designed to meet the needs of students who are physically or mentally handicapped, have learning disabilities, have behavioural or emotional disorders or are gifted and talented.
Speech-language pathologist (clinician)—a professional who supports the school team by providing specialized knowledge and skills in the area of communication development and difficulties and their impact on curriculum and social outcomes for students. A speech-language pathologist provides
assessment, makes recommendations, provides therapy, and suggests modifications or adaptations in the area of communication.
Student services administrator—an individual with special education certification hired by the school division to coordinate and support the student services needs in schools.
Student services/special education services—staff and services provided by the school/division to meet the needs of students who have exceptional learning, social, behavioural, or physical needs.
Student-specific outcome—another term currently used for “goal(s)” in an individual education plan (IEP) for a student. The outcome or goal states what the student will learn, when this will be accomplished, and how the goal will be met.
Supervising Clinician – a clinician approved by the minister to make recommendations for permanent clinician certification (Manitoba Regulation 515/88)
Suspension – authorization by the school board to suspend for a period of not more than six weeks a student who engages in conduct the superintendent considers injurious to the school’s welfare
Teacher Aide – a paraprofessional who assists in providing special education services, subject to the restrictions set out in the Persons Having Care and Charge of Pupils Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 464/88 R
Young Offenders Act (Canada) (YOA) – this Act sets out rules governing access to, and disclosure, retention and destruction of records on young offenders where those records are held by the courts, police, Manitoba government departments, social agencies and schools. Young offender records must be
handled in accordance with the YOA, even if they are part of a pupil file or of some other file or record. Manitoba statutes such as the PSA, The Education Administration Act, FIPPA and PHIA do not apply to young offender records.