You Can Hewko, too.
School Advocacy Workshop
Saturday, November 21st 2015 1:00pm to 4:30 pm
Coal Harbour Community Centre
Multi-purpose room480 Broughton Street, Vancouver, BC
As a parent of a special needs child, you must represent your child’s interests at school, in the
community, everywhere. You cannot leave this job to others! Advocacy is not a complex or mysterious
process. It requires clarity, focus and persistence. To be successful in the school setting, parents really
need to understand the precedent-setting Hewko decision and its powerful implications for every BC
school-aged child with autism who is in an ABA treatment program (Hewko v. B.C. 2006 BCSC
1638). It also requires parents understand their school district’s obligations under the school act as well
as those ordered in the Hewko decision.
Due to the enormous interest from parents, this workshop will focus specifically on how to leverage
the Hewko decision for all school children in an ABA program, across all BC school districts.
This workshop will teach you how to:
Understand the basics of the Hewko decision
Become your child’s case manager
Understand your school district’s “rules of the game” and help you identify who are the players and decision makers
Design an effective IEP
Create effective paper trails, prepare documentation and letters
Prepare for and manage school meetings
Get an SEA/school aide who is trained specifically in your child’s ABA treatment protocol hired as their aide
Gain school access for your child’s Behavioral Consultant
Replace an SEA “who has gone bad”
Identify when to “lawyer-up”
We believe people learn best by “doing” rather than watching – so – be prepared to participate and
receive on-the-job coaching. We’ll create some of the most common and troubling “school scenarios”
for us to practice our newly-acquired advocacy skills. You will also receive examples of effective
advocacy letters. We promise you’ll have fun!
This workshop is for parents only, and will focus on ABA advocacy as defined in both
the Auton and Hewko decisions.
Admission is by a minimum donation of $20.00 per person – all proceeds will go to Medicare for
Autism Now’s advocacy initiatives.
About the presenters:
Dr. Sherri Brown
Dr. Brown is a lecturer at Simon Fraser University with research interests and experience in the politics of access to health care and treatment. She has lectured widely in HIV treatment access issues
in Africa and has also been an organizer of community lecture and fundraising events around these
issues. She is an award-winning scholar, including Canada’s Trudeau Scholarship. Sherri is also a
published author and a book co-editor whose works address issues on advocacy and access to health
care in Canada and the developing world. In 2013, following her son’s autism diagnosis, Sherri’s
research and advocacy interest shifted as she navigated complex public health and social service
systems to access health care and treatment for her son. She now orients part of her research and
volunteer efforts to the autism community. She is the Vancouver facilitator for the Autism Support
Network as well as the founder of www.projectbearings.com; a new website and blog dedicated to
providing evidence-based and empowerment-centred navigational and advocacy resources for parents
of children with autism and other developmental disabilities.
David has spent his professional career as a trial lawyer, public policy analyst or senior political advisor
at both the federal and provincial government levels. Since 1972, he has performed leading roles in
over a dozen election campaigns in BC or Ontario. David’s political activity has involved organizing and
presenting at many campaign schools and constituency association training sessions.
Throughout his career, he has served as a director of various not-for-profit organizations including,
Medicare for Autism Now! and Civil Rights Now!, providing them with strategic counsel. In 2005 and
2008, David designed and helped implement a national political strategy for FEAT of BC and is a cofounder of the Medicare for Autism Now! Society. David is also the co-producer of the award-winning
documentary, Medicare’s Orphans. In recognition of his outstanding work on behalf of persons with
autism, David Marley was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Jean has been actively involved in the autism treatment movement since 1996, when her youngest son
was diagnosed with autism. She became the co-founder and leading spokesperson for FEAT of BC
(Families for Early Autism Treatment of BC), an organization dedicated to obtaining science-based
autism treatment (ABA) within BC’s healthcare system. Jean was the co-chair of the litigation steering
committee for Auton, a Canadian landmark Charter disability case. She performed the same role
in Hewko, litigation aimed at ensuring children with autism gain equal access to BC’s education system.
In 2008, Jean co-founded the Medicare for Autism Now! Society, a non-partisan, national advocacy
group focused on making science-based autism treatment (ABA) universally accessible and covered
under Medicare. Since 1996, Jean has advised hundreds of parents about advocacy, treatment and
education issues related to autism. Jean is also the co-producer of the award-winning
documentary, Medicare’s Orphans. In recognition of her outstanding work on behalf of persons with
autism, Jean Lewis was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.She has presented at
numerous rallies, workshops and conferences in BC, Ontario and the Maritimes. Jean is also a member
of Civil Rights Now! board of directors.