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Winter 2022

A Message from the Chair

Winter and the pandemic have us all cocooning at home. The excitement of the  holidays are behind us and our families are focused on overcoming the daily  challenges of learning disabilities while adapting in school and work  environments. Hats off to our dedicated LD staff and professionals who are  supporting our families! Wishing everyone all the best for 2022! 

Thealzel Lee
Chair, Learning Disabilities Association of Canada

A Message from the Executive Director

Happy New Year! 

2022 is already shaping up to be an interesting year with a good outlook for  what’s ahead. Looking back one year, there were serious concerns about  LDAC’s very viability and wonders whether we might even still be in existence.  Fast forward 12 months, I’m happy to report that we not only met our goals but  exceeded our three year objectives in one year! On December 4, 2021 and  January 8, 2022, the board met virtually over two strategic planning retreats to  build out our scope of vision even further.  

In the coming year, LDAC’s board envisions a future where the national  association becomes a central hub of information based on the research  conducted by Canada’s leading academics and focal point for advocates and our  LD network in seeking the latest in legal case studies as it relates to access to  LD services. To get there, our plans are underway for an expanded virtual  conference in the Fall of 2022, completing our current research projects, and  exploring the possibilities of a national speakers bureau of experts spreading the  knowledge we have gained from our research to those who need it. 

Without the involvement of our provincial and territorial partners, however, none  of these initiatives will be a success. As the national organization regrouping  organizations concerned with learning disabilities, we encourage you to engage  with us in a number of ways: 

We still have spaces available for representatives on our board from the  provincial and territorial associations. In addition, our board is opening spaces up  on our various committees to be composed of members of the public at large.  After reviewing our own skills matrix, we are particularly interested in seeking out  individuals with skills sets in fundraising and business development. If you or  someone in your network would be interested in being part of a national effort to  raise the bar in advancing research in LD, please have them reach out to me!

While details are still forthcoming on our coming conference, a special task force  will soon be struck. We’re looking for not only participants in this task force but  also ideas on which topics and speakers you feel would be of value to you. 

Thank you for sticking with us. I look forward to advancing a Canada that’s more  inclusive of those with learning disabilities with you! 

Mark Buzan
Executive Director 

Committee Reports

Research Committee

Summary of Canadian Research on Reading Disabilities 

A review of recently published peer-reviewed Canadian research on learning disabilities has identified several significant areas of research focus. Articles addressing specific learning disorders in reading focused on phonics (which refers to the ability to connect letter symbols and sounds), rapid automatized naming speed (which refers to how quickly and accurately one can name a set of familiar items), and the importance of early identification and intervention. 

Some key findings came out of this research: 

  • For students with reading disabilities, speech perception difficulties impact processing auditory words.  
  • Bilingual children have an advantage when performing phonics tasks. 
  • Exposure to word pairs involving minimal phonological contrasts fosters phonological awareness. 
  • Phonological awareness and rapid automatized naming are early predictors of reading. Rapid automatized naming is a predictor in all languages. 
  • Gender differences do not appear to be a characteristic of reading disabilities. 
  • In general, the cognitive processing, reading, and reading subskills of First Nations children are, on average, below the norms for these measures.
  • Examining the ongoing effects of early literacy intervention in Kindergarten provides evidence for the long-term positive outcomes of early literacy instruction. 

Information about recent Canadian research on learning disabilities can be found on the LDAC website www.ldac-acta.ca 

Gabrielle Young, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Provincial/Territorial Updates

QUEBEC

47th Online Conference online, Learning Disabilities Institute 

After gathering over 1700 participants online last March, the Learning Disabilities Institute is pleased to announce its 47th Annual Conference on March 23-25, 2022: 

*“Heart · Head · Hands, Act with Benevolence and Competence”.*
This Conference promises to be the event of the year in inclusive education, with more than 120 speakers and 30 days of replay. 

Ever since we went online in 2020, we have increased our anglophone content. In 2022, we have scheduled over 50 anglophone speakers from across Canada, the United States and Europe. We are proud to announce Sue Swenson, president of Inclusion International and consultant for the White House, as our closing speaker. Other internationally known speakers are Gordon Porter, Temple Grandin, Andy Hargreaves, Barbara Blackburn, Jodi Carrington, Kathleen Gallagher, Peter Vermeulen, Shelley Moore and several others. 

Check out the program: https://institutta.com/evenements/online-conference-2022/program

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“MISSION : NON AUX ÉTIQUETTES! ”
Inspirational testimonials to succeed WITH learning challenges 

ADD, ADHD, ASD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia … The new children’s book  MISSION: NON-AUX ÉTIQUETTES! presents 12 inspiring testimonials from 

Quebecers from all walks of life who live with a learning disability or difficulty.  Young readers (from 7 years old) will discover beyond labels and prejudices how they can succeed WITH learning challenges. 

Among the testimonials: television host Charles Tisseyre, artist and poet Laura Doyle Péan, race car driver Marie-Soleil Labelle, psychologist Katia Bissonnette, and other people with varied backgrounds living in different regions of Quebec. What do they all have in common? Their perseverance and willingness to say NO to labels. 

Designed in collaboration with the Institute for Learning Disabilities, this new book follows the publication of “NON AUX ÉTIQUETTES!” published in 2020. The lively and dynamic texts of  Martine Latulippe are fully illustrated with color portraits and comic strips by Phil Poulin. Appropriate fonts make it easier for people with dyslexia to read. A glossary at the end of the book explains the different diagnoses. 

An essential book to read in class or at home to discover inspiring human beings and their invaluable advice to say NO to labels! 

The book is available in French. For more information: https://bit.ly/3n7Iv2b

YUKON 

Two years ago, AURORA Workshops (the workplace division of LDAY) was delivering workshops exclusively in person. This often meant long road trips around the territory in spring and fall, but we thought that was the only way to effectively deliver workshops that had lots of hands-on activities and engaging discussion. Now, after a lot of learning and trialing, almost all of our workshops are available either in person or online – except “20 Brain-Based Tips for Less  Terrible Zoom Meetings” (only offered online, obviously). This is proving to be so essential for supporting workplaces and adult learners during the pandemic but will have long-term benefits in terms of our outreach around the Yukon. https://www.auroraworkshops.com/workshops.html 

https://webmail.ldacacta.ca/imp/view.php?imp_img_view=view_thumbnail&actionID=view_attach&id= 2.2&muid=%7B5%7DINBOX1130&view_token=4W6mhbzirVMuSfvC0MAq5DO

Stephanie Hammond
Executive Director
128A Copper Road
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2Z6
867-668-5167
www.LDAYukon.com 

 

NEW BRUNSWICK 

The staff at LDANB-TAANB, Ainsley Congdon (Executive Director), Priscilla  Grimmer (Office Administrator), and Taylor Armstrong (Tutor Coordinator) are looking forward to a productive and busy 2022! 

Guiding much of our year will be the association’s first strategic and operational plan. During 2022 LDANB-TAANB will continue to provide support for Chapter development and growth into other regions of the province, the pilot of a French-language tutoring program, and to increase our abilities to fundraise in challenging times. 

Our Barton Tutoring Program continues to provide tutoring to students from across New Brunswick. The Winter 2022 semester is our largest to date with 127  students placed with a tutor. In 2022, we are looking at expanding our programming offerings in order to continue to meet the needs of students and adults in New Brunswick. 

After a successful first year with 31 applicants, the LDANB-TAANB Scholarship will be awarded again in 2022 to a high school student entering post-secondary or a current post-secondary student who is returning to studies in the fall of  2022. Full details and applications will be posted to our website and social media in February. 

Ainsley Congdon
She/Her
Executive Director