• Dave Treherne Indian Head School Division, Sasketchewan
  • Shirley Rawlyk Board of School Trustees, Langley, British Columbia


What are the prospects in Canada for legislative action to ensure the right of children to an education devised according to individual needs, and especially of those with extreme needs? The authors trace the history of special education from its beginnings in the separation (and exclusion) of those children identified medically as different, through the educational testing movement that enabled the identification of further groups that could he segregated, to the civil rights movement that led finally through parental agitation and court cases in the United States to statutory regulation by the federal government. Canada has neither institutions at federal level nor the American tradition of corrective action through the courts to make sense or justice out of the present mixture of fragmentary and uncoordinated legislation; but the way ahead lies principally through strong parental action aimed at legislators. "The models for mandatory legislation are everywhere."

Author Biographies

Dave Treherne, Indian Head School Division, Sasketchewan

Dave Treherne is currently Educational Psychologist and Coordinator for Special Services in the Indian Head school division, just outside of Regina, Saskatchewan. He was formerly the educational psychology consultant with the Community Health Services Branch of the Saskatchewan Department of Health. He is currently Governor at Large for Canada for the Council for Exceptional Children, and was the first chairman of the Council's recently established Public Policy Committee.

Shirley Rawlyk, Board of School Trustees, Langley, British Columbia

Shirley Rawlyk is currently Supervisor of Special Services for the Board of School Trustees in Langley, British Columbia. She was formerly the Regional Coordinator of Special Education in the Saskatoon region for the Saskatchewan Department of Education. Until recently she was a member of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Council for Exceptional Children and a founding member of the Council's Public Policy Committee.




How to Cite

Treherne, D., & Rawlyk, S. (1979). CANADIAN LEGISLATIVE PROCESSES: SPECIAL EDUCATION. McGill Journal of Education / Revue Des Sciences De l’éducation De McGill, 14(003). Retrieved from