Todd Cunningham, PhD
Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development
OISE/University of Toronto
I am a registered school and clinical psychologist, Assistant Professor (teaching stream) and Chair of the School and Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP) program at OISE/University of Toronto. I completed my postdoctoral fellowship in the Psychology Department at the Hospital for Sick Children and obtained my Ph.D. in the SCCP program.
My research focuses on the evaluation of academic interventions for students with learning difficulties (www.academicinterventionlab.com). School Psychologists need effective ways to identify academic impairments and the psychological processes that are associated with them. My research group is refining and validating a 2.5 hour psychological assessment protocol. I am also investigating the integration of assistive technology and learning strategies for children with learning difficulties. One of the outputs of my work is a free assistive technology recommendation tool available for clinicians at www.ATSelect.org. My research group is also reviewing the empirical research for recommendations that are often provided in psychological reports. One recommendation that had weak support is keyboarding for students with slow handwriting. Our new project investigates the effects of keyboarding skills on written expression. Due to the practical nature of my research, I have been asked to give over 600 presentations and workshops to parents, students, educators, school boards, psychologists, government, and other professionals across North America.
Clinical training is a vital part of my work. I developed a tele-psychology program that provides training and consultation services to schools in remote indigenous communities. This work is done by doctoral students in SCCP under my supervision. This program builds on the clinical course I teach on assessment and academic intervention and my supervision of students working in the OISE Psychology Clinic. To keep up my own clinical skills I have an active private practice. I am involved in the larger community through sitting on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario and by being a member of the Ontario Psychological Assocation Cross sectoral working group on learning disabilities.
Goals for the position
The knowledge and skill set of a school psychologist is impressive. CPA’s document, School Psychology in Canada – Roles, Training, and Prospects states that a School Psychologist needs skills in assessment, developing interventions, delivering interventions, consultation, evaluating programs, and supervision. To find professionals with such training in Canada is challenging. It is also essential for those in the role to receive high quality professional development in the area of school psychology. My two goals for the position of member at large are the same two goals I am working on as Chair of the SCCP program at OISE/University of Toronto.
- Increase the number of professional training positions for school psychologists that lead to registration with local colleges of psychologists.
- Investigating the feasibility of new professional streams of training (PsyD, EdD) that can run alongside our traditional training programs.
- Currently working with the Ontario Psychological Association, the College of Psychologists of Ontario, and the Association of Chief Psychologists with Ontario School Boards to develop possible modes of training to meet job market demands.
- Increase the training opportunities for school psychologies in the field.
- Building on the discussion from last year’s Section Annual Meeting at the CPA convention in Montreal regarding a national professional development program, my goal is to work with the executive and members of the Educational and School Psychology Section to create a series of professional development days that would run across Canada.
- Use the teleconferencing medium to provide professional development to participants in rural areas. I have given almost 1000 hours of classes and workshops using teleconferencing. This medium allows for more active engagement of participants than does static online or recorded video.
My goal is to continue advocating for the expansion and development of our discipline at a ational level.
Dr. Debra Lean is a School and Clinical Psychologist with 30 years of experience in school boards, hospitals and private practice. She received her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Concordia University in Montreal. Dr. Lean registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario in 1988, and serves periodically on oral exam committees and Peerassisted Reviews for the College. She chaired a committee of Ontario school board Chief Psychologists that successfully updated the definition of practice areas for School Psychology, recently accepted by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Dr. Lean is currently in her 17th year as the Chief Psychologist of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, in the Greater Toronto Area and before that provided school psychology services for 13 years. She has served as an outside advisor on several doctoral thesis committees. Dr. Lean is a member of the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of School Psychology. She is the Chair of the OPA’s Section on Psychology in Education since 2011, and is leads the Planning Committee for the Section’s annual school psychology symposium. Dr. Lean has participated in several CPA Accreditations as a Site Visitor, and has presented workshops at many CPA Annual Conventions. She was a member of the Cross-sectional Committee that developed the Guidelines for Diagnosis and Assessment of Children, Adolescents and Adults with Learning Disabilities. Dr. Lean coauthored two books on integrating school- and community-based mental health services; Barriers to Learning: The Case for Integrated Mental Health Services in Schools (2010) and School-based Mental Health: A Framework for Intervention (2013). Her recent research activities include school-based mental health service models, a play-based mental health prevention program for primary age students with school adjustment difficulties, school-based cognitive behaviour anxiety interventions, and alternative school psychology delivery models.
Goals for the position
I am currently a Member-at-Large of the Canadian Psychological Association Section on Educational and School Psychology. I am most interested in continuing this position on the Executive Committee for another term. I believe that service to my professional community is a most important aspect of practice. I am very involved in my provincial psychology association, including chair of a section for the past 8 years, chairing the section’s successful annual symposium on school psychology and often presenting at the association’s convention. I have attended and presented at many of the last 7 CPA annual conventions. I enjoy periodically acting as a site visitor for CPA Accreditation. I have been involved in writing some of the ESP Section’s Position Papers, as well as representing the section at an international school health forum. I am passionate about advocating for the role of school psychology and broadening the role from assessment to therapeutic and clinical work with the multi-tiered systems of support model. I thrive on building collaborative partnerships and understand the importance of and the steps involved in building trust and consensus, developing shared visions and goals and engineering uptake and treatment integrity of planned programming in all stakeholders. In summary, I believe that my experience, qualifications and interest will continue to be an asset to CPA’s ESP Section as a Member-at-Large. My current position does provide flexibility and thus I am committed to participating actively in all activities, should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected.
Adam McCrimmon, Ph.D., R.Psych.
Director, Autism Spectrum Education, Research, and Training (ASERT)
School Psychology, Faculty of Education
University of Calgary
Adam completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary and his M.A. in ClinicalDevelopmental Psychology at York University. He then went back home to Calgary to complete his doctorate in School and Applied Child Psychology. A Registered Psychologist in Alberta since 2010, Adam has focused his research and clinical work on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He currently directs the Autism Spectrum Education, Research, and Training (ASERT) lab at the University of Calgary where he oversees research on ASD and trains students in assessment of and intervention for individuals with ASD. He regularly reviews applications for registration for the College of Alberta Psychologists. He was elected as a Member-at-Large of the Educational and School Psychology section of CPA in 2013 and 2017, and serves as an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of School Psychology. He is the father of three young boys and enjoys spending time with them and his family.
Goals for the position
One of my main goals is to connect academics and clinicians in Educational/School Psychology so that information is more readily shared among and accessed by these professionals. By encouraging greater involvement and participation by practicing school psychologists and connecting them with academics, the needs of each can be appreciated and supported. I have worked with school-based professionals over the past several years to desired supports for students with ASD in an effort to more effectively address the identified needs. One component of this work has been integration of school-based needs into my program of research and training students under my research and/or clinical supervision to engage research findings with the school-based professionals in their clinical settings. In alignment with this, a second goal is greater involvement of school-based psychologists in the section. A final goal is to enhance the reputation of the discipline of school psychology. We have experienced difficulties with others appreciating the usefulness and importance of our work and clinical skillset for the past several years, and many school psychologists find that they are underutilized. I hope to work with CPA and the Educational and School Psychology Section around this issue.