The Special Needs Allocations

In 1988-89, The Ministry of Colleges and Universities announced the first targeted fund to meet one of the "Government's priorities"; the accommodation of students with special needs. $3.1 million dollars was made available for the college system to "make the adjustments necessary to such accommodations". In order to receive the allocation, colleges were subject to a review by ministry staff regarding the services already available that improved access for students with special needs; and, an expression of how the college intended to spend the allocation. The allocation continues to be used for purposes that fall within four categories:

1.) Support Services/Devices
2.) Special Needs Offices
3.) Consulting/Assessing
4.) Professional Development

Between the financial years of 1988-89 and 1992-93, the Special Needs Allocation doubled; but since then only slight increases have occurred.

The government provided a $50,000.00 base amount to all colleges in 1991 and reinforced the purpose of the allocation being "to assist colleges in accommodating special needs students, through support services and devices, special needs offices and consulting and assessment services". Colleges were, and continue to be, expected to apply general operating revenues to support activities for students with special needs.

In 1992, the Ministry assigned a base allocation of $100,000.00 to each college. In 1995-96 an increase occurred to reflect the addition of two French Colleges.

In 1998-99, additional money was made available for the Special Needs Allocation as a result of funds from the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS). With the dissolution of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, MCSS transferred $4.8 million for colleges and universities to provide former VRS clients with supports. Of the $4.8 million:

• $1.8 million was set aside for deaf students attending out-of-country postsecondary institutions for the deaf;
• $1.29 million was added to the college Special Needs Allocation;
• that year, $850,000.00 was made available for interpreter and related services for both universities and colleges outside the Toronto area. The following year the fund was split in half and the college Interpreter Fund was increased to $675,000.00.

Colleges report expenses on two occasions in order to receive a portion. Colleges outside the Toronto area can access the fund to its limit. Toronto area colleges are provided with deaf services through separate funding, administered by George Brown College. (See Figure 4.)

(Figure 4)

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