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Alberta Home Education Association

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Home Education Special Needs Access Launches May 2nd!

22.04.30.HE-Special-Needs-Program-Launch Home Education Special Needs Access Launches May 2nd!

AHEA celebrates the advent of a tremendously important change in the home education landscape for special needs families! Starting on Monday, all home education families will be able to access supports via the Khan Communications website Home Ed tab. These support services will be provided by speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioural & mental health therapists, and psychologists. AHEA's advocacy on behalf of home educators can be supported here.

The Alberta Government is providing the access through a grant to AISCA, who has engaged Khan Communications to provide the supports. An overview of the AISCA Home Education Supports Video can be watched here. If you missed the virtual meeting with AISCA/Khan Communications on April 27, 2022, you can still catch the recording of Specialized Services for Home Education.

Now to some quick bits of reference information that you will find helpful!

What is the program designed to provide?

  • Universal strategies to help parents learn more about the learning needs of their children
  • Screenings and assessments to answer educational questions regarding their child's learning
  • Parent coaching
  • Access to workshops and resources
  • Online consultations between parents and specialists


What type of information will be needed to complete the registration process?

  • Parent name and location
  • School jurisdiction/authority name and home education facilitator name/contact # 
    (If applicable - Notification Only parents are also entitled to support!) 
  • Some specific information on their child (including their Alberta Student #)
  • Main areas of support parents are interested in
  • An online consent form
  • Selecting date for online consultation

If parents are having difficulty accessing the supports through the Khan Communications website, they can seek support by calling (780) 440-3251 ext. 1, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

AHEA wants to thank all of the home educators who shared their stories and filled out the survey when we started our focused work on this important need. You inspired and helped us achieve this goal! There are so many more of you than many realize. We couldn't be more pleased that you now have the choice to access these supports for your family as you deem helpful and necessary. We hope that it helps equip you and your children in your home education goals and growth.
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Special Help Has Arrived

22.04.14 - Special Help Has Arrived Special Help Has Arrived

AHEA is pleased to direct you to the special needs help that we've worked so hard for you to have access to. (Read more about our efforts for you in the previous article.)

IN ONE WEEK our friends at AISCA is will be hosting a virtual meeting for all home educators to attend... and 'all' means ALL!
It does not matter if you have decided to do Notification Only or if you are with an Associate Board/Private (Independent) School as you all have equal access to these services. What a win for the whole home education community!

YOU are in charge of your child's education. These supports, you are now able to obtain, don't change why you decided to home educate. They enhance your ability to address pre-existing needs. Your decision to home educate was not reliant on this, but this access will enhance your ability to get help if and when you wish to. Watch AISCA's explanation of how it's going to work here!

AISCA Poster (Click to download a printable version.)

AHEA is an independent voice for parents that home educate, though our work often has far reaching implications in supporting and advocating for choice, parental rights and the family in general. If you would like to support AHEA in our efforts please click here.

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Something Special Happened

22.02.26.Something Special Happened ---banner

The heart cry of the special needs families in the home education community, to be seen and treated as equals, has finally been heard and responded to. It is with a thankful and joyful heart that we are able to confirm that special needs families will have access to supports equal to that of the public system. AHEA has worked hard to see that this issue was addressed. Our discussions specific to this topic started in July of 2020. AHEA has had two very specific goals in our advocacy - philosophical agreement and practical action, as explained in our previous article A Special Report. Our initial focus was refined to one very clear and pointed question:

The answer to our question was clearly given within the Throne Speech delivered by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta on February 22, 2022. It was an exciting moment when these words were heard…

We had seen some initial movement on this issue this last fall, which was encouraging. However, the fact is that the practical action was still of help to some families and not all, and not as full in scope as we wished. We wanted to see the kind of course correction that will result in more than a nod in the direction of home education families. Our idea of the practical side of this question had seen us focus on requesting three specific items:

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A Special Report

A Special Report "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a quotation from William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. On this topic, no matter what terminology is used, it has been a privilege to focus time and effort on some very special people in our home education family. Webster's website says that the word special stresses having a quality, character, identity... of its own.

AHEA knows that those of you who have these exceptional children in your home have faced extra challenges because of your choice and commitment to home educate, since you've felt it provides the best environment for your child. We, in turn, made a commitment to you to seek to address this issue, and we have. It has been a regular discussion point in our advocacy work with the government for over a year now.

Last fall we invited families with special needs to participate in a survey on this topic. We collaborated with another stakeholder so that we could gather data from a wider group. The resulting information from respondents confirmed what we had heard and seen. As was shared in a Political Update blog last November, "There is no funding for diagnosis and support for children with diverse learning needs under The Home Education Regulations, The Guide to Education, and the Funding Manual." This is a serious problem that affects a great many of our home education families.

  • 38% had more than one child with special needs
  • 11% were single parent/caregivers
  • 90% were traditional, parent-directed home educators
  • 77% were formerly in the public system
    • 59% left within 1-3 years and another 27% left after 4-6 years

Everyone AHEA has spoken to about the topic has been very kind and cares about the needs that we are discussing. People have not been calloused, whether or not they personally have a child that may require additional support. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, caring needs to result in some very specific actions in order to be of help. Families don't want empathy - they want the kind of support that will make a real difference in their life. 

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The Improvements, The Hard Reality And The Work We Have To Do

the-improvements-the-hard-reality-and-the-work-we-have-to-do Children are not meant to be locked up or locked down....

January 22nd, 2021 the Department of Education announced the new details of what home educators can and cannot do under the current lockdown orders given by Dr. Hinshaw, which will go into effect Monday, January 25th. The home education community must note that the Ministry is limited in its response by the current State of Emergency in Alberta. That said, the clarity is welcomed as it gives AHEA the opportunity to reiterate that home education is not the same educational model as what occurs in a brick-and-mortar school, and attempts to make us fit that mold will always sit, and fit, wrong. There is obviously more work to do in ensuring that our educational model is not seen in the light of 'social gatherings' in the eyes of AHS and that the Dept. of Education is well equipped to rebuff that type of qualification from the outset. AHEA will continue to respectfully work with all parties to ensure that the interests and understanding of home education increase.

As a home education community, we need to ensure we are paying attention, focusing our collective efforts and are prepared to work. So carefully review what we have gained and what is challenging. Then, let's address what is really required to solve the issue we face – that our children, all children, are really suffering. The main source document that you need to cross-reference to is found here, being the Guidance for Schools on Re-Entry – Scenario 1.

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