Funding for Learning Disabilities Project Announced

Funding for Learning Disabilities Project Announced

On Tuesday June 30th, Service Canada and MP Dona Cadman came to Literacy BC to announce the funding of the Whole Life Approach to Learning Disabilities in Adult Literacy Settings project. The event was a great success. Click here for a link to the News Release about this project on the HRSDC website.

The Whole Life Approach to Learning Disabilities in Adult Literacy Settings Project

RiPAL-BC, Literacy BC, and The BC Coalition for People with Disabilities are very pleased to announce the launch of an innovative new professional development project to support adult literacy/ABE educators working with adults with learning difficulties.

Why a professional development project on learning disabilities?

Learning disabilities are common among children and adults, about 15% of people have some kind of learning disability. In adult literacy/ABE settings, research suggests that up to 70% of adults have some kind of learning difficulty. Having a learning disability does not mean that people cannot learn. But it does mean that people need the right kinds of learning strategies, accommodations and supports so they can learn. The goal of this project is to support those who teach adults to create these kinds of learning environments.

What is a “whole-life approach” to learning disabilities?

A “whole-life approach” recognizes that learning is social, cultural, emotional and also deeply personal. Successful strategies for people with learning difficulties therefore need to be multi-modal, multi-sensory, holistic and integrated. In fact, successful learning strategies for people with learning difficulties can work for everyone. There are five components to our “whole life approach to learning disabilities.” These are:

Building relationships of trust and dialogue through intake, screening and learning profiles.

“LD friendly” classrooms: Multimodal, multi-sensory and meta-cognitive teaching and learning in classroom settings.

Taking care of the spirit: Addressing the issues that may “walk beside” LD such as fear, low self esteem and anxiety.

Creating inclusive visions: system advocacy, self advocacy and challenging stigma.

Continuing the conversation: Self-directed professional development.

How will the project support Adult Literacy/ABE educators?

The project will kick-start with the launch of a web-site in the fall and a two and a half-day training event in Vancouver (November 26-28, 2009) for adult educators. Delegates to the conference will participate in follow-up train-the-trainer and professional development activities in their regions. This will be supported by:

An interactive project website complete with interviews, demonstrations, and links to resources.

Discussions (on-line and face-to-face) with experts in the field.

Support from a “research friend” to develop new tools and strategies in practice settings

What are the next steps and how can I get involved?

The interactive project website will be open to everyone.

This project is funded by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES).