Diverse Abilities Advocacy Committee

Terms of Reference

Background: SD83 DPAC Executive recognized the need for a focus group for parents and families of students with diverse abilities at their DPAC meeting on April 25, 2019. At that time, a DPAC Task Force was created for the purpose of establishing a formal DPAC Subcommittee on this issue. This committee was formally approved by DPAC Executive in September, 2019.

Purpose/Mandate: The purpose of the Diverse Abilities Advocacy Committee (DAAC) is to advocate for and support the enhancement of high quality learning experiences for students with diverse abilities in the public school system in School District #83 in a positive, cooperative manner.

Responsibilities: Advocate for a standard process/procedure to raise concerns. DAAC provides parents/guardians with a forum for discussion of issues affecting the educational health and welfare of children with diverse abilities. DAAC discusses and documents parental concerns related to diverse learners’ abilities and will develop recommendations and/or action plans related to those abilities for the DPAC Executive to be tabled at Partner Group Liaison meetings. These recommendations may include advocacy of programs, services, policies, procedures, protocols and implementation. To ensure meetings are productive, participants should endeavor to maintain a district-wide focus and a focus on all diverse abilities. DAAC can seek information and/or guidance from other organizations and leaders in diverse abilities learning and will advise DPAC regarding parental concerns in SD83.

Committee Membership: The DAAC membership will consist of members of the SD83 DPAC Executive and parents/guardians of students in SD83.

Governance: DAAC is a subcommittee and exists and operates under SD83 DPAC. DAAC reports to DPAC Executive and at DPAC meetings. The agenda will be set and minutes made by facilitators of DAAC. Documentation of recommendations and/or action plans discussed in meetings will be reported to DPAC executive and the latter distributes to a list of contacts maintained by DPAC. Final decisions on matters where DAAC and DPAC Executive disagree, DPAC Executive will decide the matters. DAAC facilitators will ensure any expenditure is pre-approved by DPAC Executive. Minutes and documentation of recommendations and/or action plans will be stored in the DPAC Dropbox. Meetings can be supported through digital means such as Zoom, Skype, etc. to give rise to increased participation.

DAAC Facilitators

Christy Wright – DPAC Executive

Sandy Thon – DAAC Facilitator

Toni Low – DAAC Facilitator

To contact our DAAC facilitators click here


We are committed to obtaining a better understanding of the challenges facing parents and guardians of students with diverse abilities and invite you, if applicable, to complete our survey.

This survey will assist us to advocate for, and support the enhancement of, high quality learning experiences for students with diverse abilities in the public school system.

We define Diverse Abilities as physical, cognitive, developmental, learning, and/or neurological differences in ability levels.

Special Needs Students are those that require resources different from most students (the formal definition can be found in the BC School Act found on our website links page).

This survey has been re-opened and will close August 15th.