Regional Assessment and Resource Centre

Regional Assessment and Resource Centre

site header

What is the STEPS Program?

The STEPS program (Successful Transition from Elementary to Post-Secondary) is a two-year program for students with learning disabilities, ADHD and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders, and their families in the Kingston and surrounding areas. The aim of the program is to assist students with issues affecting their learning to make a successful transition from elementary to secondary school and beyond.  Program activities include information and training sessions for students and parents/guardians during the school year, as well as week-long summer programs to teach Adaptive Technology and prepare for high school.  

In the past, the program was fully funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and University, to help bring students with disabilities to post-secondary school. The funding for the program has since been withdrawn.  However, RARC is committed to continuing to providing this valuable program, and continues to provide this program at no cost. Students in the program are required to have an updated psychoeducational assessment. There is a fee for the assessment (with flexible payment options over a 2-year period). For more information about the psychoeducational assessment for the STEPS program, visit Psychoeducational Assessment.

  • Students watching a computer demonstration
  • student using the computer program inspiration
  • students playing a running game outside
  • student and parent using adaption technology together
  • student at computer
  • leader demonstration computer program inspiration

Goals of the STEPS Program

This two-year program begins in Grade 7, and supports students and their parents/guardians as they approach the transition to high school. Our goal is to give students the tools they will need to be successful in secondary school, which lead to further success in post-secondary school.

The STEPS Program aims to:

  • Teach students about their individual learning profile and learning challenges (such as learning disabilities, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder) 
  • Promote self-knowledge and self-advocacy
  • Support parents/guardians in understanding how their child learns, their child's rights and responsibilities, and how to support their child in and out of the school environment
  • Train students and parents/guardians in Adaptive Technology, and explain how and why these accommodations can help students learn
  • Prepare students for the upcoming transition and what changes to expect at secondary school

Program recruitment runs from September to January for grade 7 students.  Program activities begin in May of the grade 7 year and run through until the summer before grade 9.  For information about the program, eligibility criteria, and to complete an application, please see the flyer and application forms below.   

To hear from former students and parents, please watch this video: STEPS Impact

COVID-19 Implications

Our office is open by appointment only, and some staff are working from home. Over the last year and a half, the STEPS program was adapted and run virtually in response to the province and Queen’s Universities health and safety guidelines. We expect that in-person programming planned (starting in May 2022) can be delivered as usual. RARC will continue to follow health and safety guidelines and Queen's University policy.  If it is deemed unsafe to meet indoors in groups, we plan to adapt the sessions to an outdoor and/or virtual setting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our office is working through a backlog of assessments. We will do our best to complete all assessments prior to the start of the STEPS program, however we may not be able to complete all assessments prior to the start of the program in spring 2022. Even though we may not be able to complete all assessments before STEPS programming begins, having an updated assessment is still a critical part of this program, and incredibly valuable to starting Grade 9 with up-to-date learning and accommodation information in place for students.

A Note on Queen’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Queen’s University has joined other universities and colleges in Ontario in implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors to Queen’s University. As part of Queen’s University, students and families who are participating in-person STEPS programming are subject to this policy as well. 

At this time, all visitors (including STEPS participants) on campus are required to be double vaccinated (14 days after second dose). Currently, there are no avenues for visitors to request an accommodation. Please note that we will be asking all students/families accepted to STEPS to provide proof of vaccination status.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation and support in keeping the RARC and Queen’s community safe! Please contact the Transition Coordinator at if you have any questions.

STEPS Information Session

We are hosting an online information for the STEPS program on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 at 6:30-8:00pm on Zoom.  Link:  or join with Meeting ID: 926 0270 9412 and Passcode: 236931


STEPS Information Flyer 2021

STEPS Registration Form 2021

STEPS Financial Contract 

STEPS Teacher Contact Form (PDF 550 KB)

Contact Information

Our office is now open, but some of our STEPS team continues to work from home.  Email is the fastest way to reach someone and if you would like to schedule a phone call, you can do so by email. 

Completed registration packages can be sent by fax, regular mail, courier, via email or dropped off in person. Electronic packages should be password protected and sent to via the Secure Docs website. Packages can be dropped off in-person to RARC during work hours (8:30am-12pm or 1pm-4:30pm).

For more information, please contact our Transitions Coordinator at:


phone iconPlease email to schedule a phone call

fax icon(613) 533-6564