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Articles

Vol 14 No 1 (2011)

Access to Special Education for Exceptional Students in French Immersion Programs: An Equity Issue

Submitted
October 15, 2012
Published
January 24, 2012

Abstract


Exceptional pupils enrolled in Canadian French immersion programs rarely have access to the same range of special education programs and services that are available to students in the regular English program. More often than not, students with special needs are encouraged to transfer to English programs to access necessary support services. This counselling-out process perpetuates the elitist status commonly attributed to French immersion programs. From a critical pedagogy perspective, this inquiry examines the lack of incentive on the part of multiple French immersion stakeholders to accommodate students with special needs. It further attempts to unveil the myths created by these stakeholders to better understand this discriminatory educational practice. The impact of federal and provincial funding models on access to special education programs and services is discussed, and the application of funding allocations by English-language district school boards is explored. The inquiry concludes with recommendations to promote more inclusionary practices.