|Volume 1, No 8 (PDF)||Fall 2016|
Hi everyone. Please take note in the Message from the Chair of the link to a survey that represents LDAC’s desire to check in with the LDA network on our priorities and if they are still your priorities. The survey will only take 2-3 minutes. Thank you so much for taking the time to complete it.
A Message from the Chair
Hope you all had a wonderful summer! It’s now back to our work and school routines. For many families, this time of year can be exciting (and stressful!) with children settling into school routines and meeting the challenges of working through the issues with LD. To our wonderful network of LDA chapters and offices, we thank you for your untiring efforts to support these families. At the National office, we continue to work hard to ensure a strong LDA network that can support their LD communities. The Phoenix Project has devoted itself to developing and implementing the top priorities as identified by the LDA network. As it’s been a couple of years, we feel it’s high time to check if we’re still on track as priorities may have changed. Please take our simple survey by clicking HERE and let us know what is important to you no later than October 28th!
Chair, Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
A Message from the Executive Director
With the arrival of fall, comes the re-establishment of the various LDAC committees and projects after taking a few weeks of a very well deserved break. We are looking forward to rolling up our sleeves.
LDAC Annual General Meeting
On June 16, 2016, LDAC's held its Annual General Meeting, and I would like to extend a warm welcome to the following individuals nominated to the LDAC board of directors for 2016/2017:
- Yukon: Colleen Segriff
- British Columbia: Brendan O'Neill
- Alberta: Lorrie Goegan
- Saskatchewan: Lynne Wawryk-Epp
- Quebec: Colette Charest - Treasurer
- Atlantic provinces: Millie Leblanc
Directors at Large:
- Thealzel Lee - Chair
- Bob Cram - Secretary
Congratulations to Dale Rempel, Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities of Saskatchewan, who was recently honored in Saskatoon for having achieved the career milestone of 25 years of employment with LDAS. Thank you Dale, for your continued commitment to people with learning disabilities!
What does an Accessible Canada mean to you?
The Government of Canada recently launched a consultation process that will inform the development of planned accessibility legislation. Your help is needed in reaching as many Canadians as possible who are impacted by a disability, and ensuring that they are heard through this consultation process. Here are some ways your organization/members can get involved:
- Participate online. Complete the online survey at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.
- Find an in-person consultation near you.
- Spread the word. Send a tweet, create a video, or write a blog.
Several products have been developed to help raise awareness of the Government of Canada’s in-person consultations including:
- an email to share with your members;
- an article that can be used in newsletters;
- social media content; - web buttons (customizable upon request);
- a poster you can put up in your office and community; and
- a list of in-person locations and dates.
The consultation process will run until February 28, 2017. For the most up-to-date information please visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.
Executive Director, Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
Strategic Planning Team
High priorities for the Strategic Planning Team continue to be recruitment and leadership development for our LDAC staff, committees and Rally Projects (Network Communications, Clearinghouse, Research Portal and Financial Infrastructure). We’d also like to re-assess the priorities that were identified by the LDA network under the Phoenix Project a couple of years ago and are asking everyone to take the short survey by clicking HERE or copy/paste this URL to your browser https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6869KPG.
Please be sure to complete the survey by October 28.This will help us stay on-track with work that supports the LDA network. Thank you!
Thealzel Lee – Chair, Strategic Planning Team
Members: Bob Cram (SK), Colette Charest (QC), Claudette Larocque (Executive Director)
Research Portal Rally Project
Thealzel Lee – Interim Chair, Research Portal Rally Project
Members: Gabriela Grabic (BC Project Team Leader), Judy Craig (AB Project Team Leader), Lorrie Goegan, Lauren Goegan and Lynne Wawryk-Epp (SK Project Team Leader).
Our committee met most recently on September 9. We took a slight pause over the summer but were still active getting out this issue of the newsletter and beginning to plan for how we will carry out the Network Communications Rally Project. We are trying to build on some previous excellent work done back in 2008 on marketing and communications strategies for LDAC that resulted in, among other things, the current logo and slogan. We hope we can save a lot of time and work by just updating those strategies and adding any new ones that now seem relevant. Another project, which is really part of the larger Rally Project, has been to revitalize communications among the executive directors of the national, provincial and territorial organizations, and we thank Claudette Larocque and Dale Rempel, Executive Director of LDA Saskatchewan, for taking the lead on this project.
Bob Cram – Chair
Members: Lorrie Goegan, Brendan O’Neill, Claudette Larocque, Doug Symington, Brent MacPherson
“Ministry announces pilot projects to strengthen student supports following publication of Demonstration schools consultation report.”
The Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario (LDAO) applauds the Ministry of Education on its response to the Consultation on Provincial and Demonstration Schools, and congratulates The Strategic Counsel on a thorough and well-written Consultation Report.
The Ministry commitment to “pilot intensive reading intervention projects in school boards” is very welcome, and is in line with the recommendations made by LDAO over the last few years, as research continues to support the need for intensive evidence-based interventions, especially in reading, for students with learning disabilities.
The Ministry’s goal of “increasing the availability and responsiveness of supports for students with severe learning disabilities in their local communities” is admirable, and if implemented well by school boards should go a long way toward reducing the secondary effects of learning disabilities on self-esteem and social-emotional functioning.
The commitment to keep all provincial and demonstration schools open over the coming year is also important. The Consultation Report documents the many positive effects of the demonstration schools both for students and for school boards. These effects are shown to go well beyond reading, although the increases in reading achievement in the demonstration school students are dramatic. The Consultation Report notes recurring themes in what stakeholders said provided positive experiences for students with severe learning disabilities. These included specialized teaching focussed on individual learning styles, the supports in the residential program, immersion in the academic and social programs 18 hours a day, and the use of assistive technology, with trained teachers and adequate IT support.
LDAO looks forward to supporting the Ministry in implementing its goals and continuing to advocate for changes that will increase the supports and ultimately success of every student with learning disabilities in Ontario.
Prince Edward Island
At LDAPEI we have continued tutoring across the Summer focussing on Literacy and Math through the Island Reader program and JUMP Math. Programs are ongoing through the year with a small break to allow students, parents and educators to arrange workable schedules for the new school year. We are grateful to the staff and principals of schools accommodating us and other venues who opened their doors to allow the program to be accessible locally.
We have also changed offices! Still in the same building but a larger office, which allowed us to build in three tutoring rooms with soundproofing. The office has natural daylight and improved ventilation enabling us to increase and improve services for future students and families.
On September 27, LDAPEI will hold its AGM preceded by a presentation and Q and A on Executive Functioning, by Dr George Mallia. We hope parents, educators and others in attendance will gain some clarity in this area. Holland College has generously donated a room or lecture hall (subject to numbers attending).
We continue to work in raising awareness and education regarding LDs and recently were asked to present at Charlottetown Rotary. The Rotarians presented a cheque to LDAPEI to assist with services. Equally important, several Rotarians connected after to access services for relatives.
Several new and exciting things are happening in Saskatchewan. Please visit our website at www.ldas.org for full details on the many services we provide.
We will be hosting Patrick McKenna in Regina for our Annual Learning and Leadership Dinner on October 7, 2016 at the Hotel Saskatchewan. Patrick spoke in Saskatchewan previously and was one of the best speakers on ADHD that I have heard. It means so much to hear from someone who is living with ADHD.
Through the efforts of a special Italian Night fundraiser in Saskatoon, we were able to expand upon our Neurofeedback delivery with the purchase of a second set of equipment. We are keen to expand this service to our Branch Offices in Prince Albert and in Regina as soon as finances permit.
We have also been successful with a second grant through the Ministry of Economy to provide a GED/Employability Program that we are calling Destination Employment. This will provide GED preparation classes in the five subject areas: Language Arts-Writing, Language Arts-Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics. We are an approved Pearson Vue Testing Centre so all testing will be done on site. Participants will also develop job-related skills that will include resume writing, job interview skills, survival in the workplace as well as a guided and supported job search.
We are also pleased to tell you that Dr. Norman Doidge will be speaking at our October 2/3, 2017 Conference. Dr. Doidge’s presentation will be from 9 to 3:30 on October 2, 2017. Other speakers will include Barbara Arrowsmith Young and others. Watch for a “Save the Date” announcement soon.