What is SEA?
Specialized Equipment Amount (SEA)
- Provides funding to school boards to offset the costs of equipment essential to support individual students.
- This need must be recommended by a qualified professional (Teacher of Blind and Low Vision, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist, Speech Language Pathologist, Medical Doctor, Audiologist etc…)
- The equipment is to provide students with accommodations essential to access the Ontario curriculum and/or Board-determined alternative program and/or to attend school.
Specialized Equipment purchased through a SEA claim is for the use of a student but remains the property of the Board so the Board and school will:
- ensure that students have access to equipment necessary to attend school and learn (whether or not it is equipment purchased through a SEA claim, SEA Per Pupil Amount, or other Board monies)
- to protect, maintain and manage Specialized Equipment purchased through a SEA claim as a public resource
- ensure that the equipment is functioning properly and is meeting student needs
- ensure that the equipment is shared with other students
- ensure that equipment is transferred to another student when it is not required by the student for whom it was purchased.
Before a SEA claim is started, it is important to determine:
- The essential nature of the equipment to enable the student to access the curriculum
- How this equipment will be used to access the curriculum and how it will be integrated in the student’s learning environment
- The readiness of the student (i.e. The student is receptive to sharing equipment already in the school, has used software, is familiar and interested in using computer programs to access the curriculum, etc.)
Who determines whether SEA equipment is essential?
The benefits of specialized equipment for the student may be noticed by school staff, an outside agency, parents or Student Services department staff but the need for specialized equipment must be supported by a letter, an addendum or a report written by a relevant qualified professional, which states that the equipment is essential in order for this student to attend school or access the curriculum. This letter will begin the process but does not guarantee an outcome.
Professionals who are qualified to write the letter to support the SEA claim:
- Psychologist or psychological associate
- Social worker
- Speech-language pathologist
- Augmentative communication therapist
- Optometrist / ophthalmologist
- Occupational therapist
- orthopédagogue (Quebec registered)
- Itinerant Teacher for Blind/Low Vision
- Certified teachers from provincial schools are also acceptable for equipment required to support deaf and deaf-blind students.
SEA Claims-Based Funding:
- Should the claim be approved, the School Board pays the initial $800.00 and the balance is covered by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Claims under $800.00 are typically not processed through SEA.
SEA Per Pupil Amount:
- Should the claim be approved, the School Board will pay the entire amount. The funds are provided yearly by the Ontario Ministry of Education based on a funding formula.
Click here for the Government Guidelines for SEA