Are you our new hearing support team member?

optimized-opportunity-knocksSWRCSD has many children/youth needing support for hearing challenges and one of our team members is looking to retire.  There is a shortage of trained individuals providing hearing support both within the province and nationally.  To address our need, we are looking for an individual that would be interested in completing a Master’s program related to hearing support and then joining our SWRCSD Low Incidence Team.

SWRCSD is offering financial support to assist in completing the post-secondary program.  If you are currently working as a teacher or a speech language therapist, and looking for a new challenge, this opportunity may be for you!

Support from SWRCSD is available for 1 candidate!

  • SWRCSD Leadership Team is willing to provide financial support in exchange for a service commitment as follows:
    • Reimburse 75% of tuition costs up to a maximum of $30,000 CDN with hearing assignment to be included in employment as soon as appropriate coursework is completed (exact FTE amount to be determined, may be a part-time assignment).
    • A service commitment of 2 years is expected in exchange for the financial support.
    • If service commitment not met or coursework not successfully completed, candidate is expected to reimburse funds to SWRCSD. Non-penalty clause at the discretion of the RCSD Leadership Team.
    • Funds reimbursed to candidate based on tuition receipts.
    • Funding support is limited to one candidate pursuing Master’s degree leading to supporting deaf or hard of hearing children/youth within the Southwest RCSD region
  • To be considered for the financial support:
    • As soon as possible, let your Leadership Team representative or email Margaret at the SWRCSD office know you are interested in pursuing the training
    • As soon as possible – submit your resume and cover letter outlining your experience / education regarding:
      • motivation for undertaking the training
      • diversity of experience
      • background in inclusive practice
      • ability to adapt curriculum
      • teamwork
      • leadership
    • The opportunity will remain open until a candidate is confirmed.

Post-secondary program options:

  • on-line training opportunities exist outside of Canada

Using PODD Books?

Learn how PODD (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display) books can support children with complex needs to communicate with others.

PODDParents, Teachers, Assistants, or Therapists, who want to learn more about PODD, have an opportunity to attend a session hosted by Jocelyn Roberts / Maria Lindsay from AHS Children’s Allied Health.

Two new times to choose from: 

  • December 5      1:30-3:30 pm
  • December 8      6:00-8:00 pm

Register for any one of the sessions by: 

  • Calling Children’s Allied Health Services at 403-388-6575 to book a spot (space is limited)

During the session, you will:

  • Learn general strategies for using alternative communication methods
  • Discover the principles of PODD and why it might benefit your child
  • Understand the importance of modelling and how to model the use of PODD
  • See video footage of partners and children using PODD books to communicate
  • Explore using PODD books to communicate and practice using both one- and two-page opening books

Sessions are being held at:

  • Room 1101 A and B, Lethbridge Centre Mall (200 4th Ave South)
  • Entrance at west end of Lethbridge Centre Mall, to the right side of the Bay doors


Literacy in all forms


What better topic to kick off the first LST meeting of the year than literacy, a topic near and dear to everyone working with children and youth!  Thank you to our presenters for sharing their favourite resources and strategies, both paper and electronic-based, to assist youth from all abilities increase their literacy skills.

Jocelyn and Shobha’s Top 13 web resource’s (handout)

Katie Wade’s handouts and website recommendations:

Jason Kwasny’s Google Tools and More!

Bev Smith’s presentation and book recommendations:

Lynn Truss - trio       no-more-look-up-the-list-vocab       no-more-phonics-and-spelling-worksheets

40-strategies       reading-strategies       words-their-way

when-kids-cant-read       essential-strategies-for-word-study       making-thinking-visible

TACPAC Workshop coming to Lethbridge!

tacpacTacpac combines the sense of touch and music through social interaction and is hugely beneficial for people who have sensory processing difficulties. This can mean anyone of any age or stage of ability. Tacpac is effective with:

  young children

  adults and older people

  anyone who may be suffering from sensory impairment or loss of memory

DATE: November 25, 2016

TIME: 9:00 am to 3:30 pm

HOST: Holy Spirit (3rd Floor PD Centre), Lethbridge

COST: $75

REGISTRATION: Deadline is November 18, 2016 and limited to the first 30 people.  Click this LINK to register through ERLC.

This learning opportunity provides all Tacpackers with the fundamental understanding and skills necessary for the effective delivery of Tacpac. It is essential training for experienced practitioners but also great if you are starting out from scratch. We look at both the ‘whys’ and ‘hows of Tacpac; combining theory and practice into a fun, interactive and stimulating day of training.

By the end of the day you will be able to:

  • Understand the theory behind Tacpac
  • Learn to internalise and effectively deliver the Tacpac activities
  • Experience ‘sensory overload’ for yourself
  • Heighten awareness of your own senses (we have more than 5)
  • Discover how to work effectively with touch
  • Build skills in multi-sensory interaction (touch–sight–movement–sound)
  • Synchronise your sense of touch with your sense of music
  • Meet other professionals in the field, parents, and carers
  • Receive a Tacpac CPD Certificate in Sensory Alignment.

It is mandatory that each participant or school/organization (if sending more than one participant) have access to the Tacpac resource.  In order to put what you learn on the Training into practice, you need to have access to the Tacpac resource. Please go to: or email at for purchase information.

About the facilitator(s)

Hilary Wainer, founded TacpacTM Ltd. and co-created the material. She has many years’ experience as a teacher and music therapist, working alongside children with a wide range of learning difficulties, in different settings. She has a special interest in those who have profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), and multi-sensory impairment (MSI). Hilary is an accredited music therapy supervisor with the Association of Professional Music Therapists (APMT), and has worked as a facilitator in schools and mental health settings. She created the ground breaking “Beat That!” events, popularising the use of the resonance board. She is an experienced trainer with a passion for everyone to reach their full potential.

This learning opportunity is being provided through a grant from Alberta Education.

Suicide Intervention Training

TrainingSWRCSD is hosting both a 2-day Suicide Intervention Training (SIT), and a 1-day recertification (RAP) course through Lethbridge Family Services.  Both workshops are being offered to SWRCSD partners which include Education, Health and Human Service staff members.  Target audience will include those working directly with high risk children/youth including Case Workers, Counsellors, FSLC from across our Southwest region. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the workshop.


Suicide Intervention Training

For those new to the training or whose last training was more than 3 years ago:

Dates: October 19 and 20, 2016 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Location: Palliser Regional Schools (3305 – 18 Avenue North, Lethbridge)
Maximum: 25 participants
Cost: no charge for SWRCSD partners
Click here to register for the 2-day SIT Course!

RAP Recert / Refresher Course

For those who have completed the 2-day SIT course within the past 3 years:

Help is here – Summer Symposium 2016

Prov LIT header logo

If you are new to working with children and youth from low-incidence populations, specifically:

  • Blindness and Visual Impairment
  • Deafness and Hard of Hearing
  • Complex Communication Needs 

you are invited to attend a Summer Symposia hosted by Alberta Education.

The sessions are designed for teachers and their educational teams who will be new to supporting a student from a low-incidence population. Participants will be exposed to positive teaching strategies and effective, formative assessment techniques to promote both academic and social success.  Additionally, strategies for adapting curricula, materials, resources and the physical environment to address the unique learning needs of these children and youth will be shared.

These one-day sessions, presented by staff from Alberta Education and members of local RCSD regions, will provide attendees with an array of hands-on activities, practical knowledge and skills development, as well as a highlight of local initiatives and information on accessing local supports.

Locations:  All sessions run from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm and will be offered:

  • August 26  in Lethbridge (LCI **note venue change to LCI)
  • Sessions also being offered in Grande Prairie, Edmonton, and Calgary on earlier dates

Registration deadline is July 14, 2016:

  • Click here to register
  • There is no registration fee
  • Participants are responsible for their own travel and/or accommodations.
  • A light lunch will be provided.
  • Teachers and Educational Assistants are encouraged to attend as a team.
  • Space is limited, so please register early.

Transition Planning Starts Early!

Transition planning sets the stage for success whether youth are leaving the comforts of middle/junior high to attend high school or finishing their final year of high school to begin the next chapter of their lives.  Junior and Senior High School Learning Support Teachers gathered on February 8 to share strategies that have shown promise and to learn about the world of FSCD (Family Supports for Children with Disabilities) and PDD (Persons with Developmental Disabilities).  Resources shared during the meeting can be found below and also on the transitions padlet page.  Even if you weren’t able to attend the meeting, you are welcome to share your ‘go to’ transition resources on the padlet page!


Lethbridge School District has extended an invitation to all LSTs to attend their:

Agency Resource Fair
March 10, 2016
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Winston Churchill High School Cafeteria
1605 – 15 Avenue North, Lethbridge

Agencies attending include:

  • Ability Resource Centre
  • AISH (Assured Income for Severely Handicapped)
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Behavioural Solutions
  • CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association)
  • FSCD (Family Supports for Children with Disabilities)
  • Greystoke
  • KCC (Key Connections Consulting Inc.)
  • LACL (Lethbridge Association for Community Living)
  • Lethbridge College IPSE (Inclusive Post Secondary Education)
  • McMann
  • PDD (Persons with Developmental Disabilities)
  • Peak Vocational and Support Services
  • Office of the Public Guardian
  • Quest Support Services
  • Rehoboth
  • SACLA (Southern Alberta Community Living Association)
  • SAIPA (Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association)
  • Special Olympics


Severe / Complex Behaviour CoP

COP graphicSevere / Complex Behaviour Community of Practice (CoP) is a collaborative effort of all 17 RCSD regions throughout the province.


  • Provide a provincial forum to bring together those working on a regional basis leading/supporting teams who work with children/youth with severe complex challenging behaviour
  • Facilitate multi-disciplinary team problem solving and brainstorming


  • Key regional people / organizational leads (ex. Behaviour Specialists, Psychologists)

FURTHER INFORMATION (click here for information sheet)

CASE STUDY INTAKE FORM (click here for template)

  • the COP is based on submitted cases
  • complete the template by the 3rd Wednesday of the month and submit to our facilitator, Dr. Shane Lynch (email)
  • Submissions will be reviewed to identify themes and plan the COP session


  • Scheduled for the 4th Wednesday of each month
  • First session: January 27, 216
  • Agenda
    • 3:00 – 3:30 Sign-in / Tech Testing
    • 3:30 – 3:45 Community of Practice expectations and meeting etiquette
    • 3:45 – 5:00 Case Study
      For Jan. 27 session, Dr. Lynch will provide a case for discussion, future case studies will be submitted by the group and based on current situations

REGISTRATION REQUIRED (click here to register)

Registration is capped at 100, so register ASAP.  Please meet in groups in your regions if at all possible at the same location, this will enrich both the learning and technological experiences.  If you try to register and registration is already full please contact your Regional Manager to see who else is registered in your region and their room location.  Your Regional Manager will be able to email us to get you registered as long as you are attending at a location that already has other participants attending.


Self-Regulation and the Epidemic of Epidemics Webinar Series

One of the initiatives undertaken in 2015-16 by SWRCSD Leadership and Mental Health Teams is to learn more about self-regulation strategies that could help strengthen skills that children/youth can use in their everyday life.  Our next steps in learning is to participate in the webinar series, Self Regulation and the Epidemic of Epidemics, offered by the Mehrit Centre and Dr. Stuart Shanker.  In planning for the series, The Mehrit Centre identified 28 phenomenon labelled as epidemics in peer reviewed literature.  Each webinar explores the impact of the epidemic and the connection to self-regulation.

We have 7 locations throughout the Southwest region for our partners in Education, Health, and Human Services can attend the live webinars.  In fact, the more cross-partner and cross jurisdiction representation in the audience the richer the conversation seems to be!  See below for the locations, schedule, and topics.  If you are unable to attend in person, there is access to banked webinars with connection information provided by the Hosts / Contacts.

Please note: as a result of technical issues, the webinar series will only be available in banked format.  The original broadcast schedule has been revised, the sessions are now taped and available on a weekly basis.  We are currently working with the Mehrit Centre to provide you with the most current information.  

Although no longer live, questions can be submitted via the discussion board.

Webinar Schedule

  • webinar-blog-graphicBanked:  A Self-Reg Lens on Mental Health
  • Banked:  A Self-Reg Lens on Safe schools
  • Banked:  Making the ‘Season of Good Cheer’ Just that
  • Banked:  Self-Reg and the Anxiety Epidemic
  • Available Jan. 14:  Self-Reg and the Bullying Epidemic (Part 1)
  • Available Jan. 19:  Self-Reg and the Bullying Epidemic (Part 2)
  • Available Jan. 26:  Self-Reg and the ADHD Epidemic
  • Available Feb. 2:  Self-Reg and the Depression Epidemic
  • Available Feb. 9:  Self-Reg and the Illiteracy Epidemic
  • Available Feb. 16:  Self-Reg and the Learning Disorders Epidemic
  • Available Feb. 23:  Self-Reg and the Obesity Epidemic
  • Available Mar. 1:  Self-Reg and the Declining Resilience Epidemic
  • Available March 8:  Self-Reg and the Sleep Deprivation Epidemic
  • Available March 15:  Self-Reg and the Truancy Epidemic

SWRCSD partners, staff members, and/or parents are welcome to access the banked sessions.  The hosts listed below can provide password access:

User IDCommunity LocationHost / Contact
SWRCSD1Lethbridge School Dist. 51Email Lisa McMullin
SWRCSD2Lethbridge - Holy SpiritEmail Anita Lethbridge-Gross
SWRCSD3Claresholm Email Shaun Metz
SWRCSD4Pincher Creek Email Tara Tanner
SWRCSD5Taber - Horizon Division OfficeEmail Robbie Charlebois
SWRCSD6Cardston - Westwind Division OfficeEmail Rick Gilson
SWRCSD7RaymondEmail Lana Caldwell