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More services available for learning disabled

By Staff

September 15, 2009 – The Learning Disabilities Association of Sault Ste. Marie (LDA) has had funding approval of $61,554 from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities under the Ontario Job Creation Program for their ‘Opening Doors’ Project.

The one-year funding has allowed for the hiring of two full-time staff, an adult services manager and a community technology manager; and for project costs
including computers, assistive learning software and specialized training for the two participants.

This project will allow the LDA to improve, enhance and increase services in the community.

The LDA of Sault Ste. Marie is announcing that it has hired Precious Cedolia as the adult services manager and Paul Yendell as the community technology manager.

The Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has been passed.

It speaks to the “. . . removal and prevention of barriers to the full participation of all Ontarians in the life of the province.”

The AODA uses the Ontario Human Rights Code’s definition of “disability.”

This definition includes physical, mental health, developmental and learning disabilities.

Barriers for individuals with learning disabilities are unique and are not limited by intelligence.

The new legislation will affect and include all schools, businesses and agencies.

The LDA in the Sault will be providing information workshops for employers, agencies, schools and individuals to educate about accommodations necessary for compliance with the new legislation.

“Learning disabilities refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average, but often-above average, abilities essential for thinking and reasoning,” [noted the] Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, January 30, 2002.

Learning disabilities range in severity and may interfere with the acquisition and use of one or more of the following: oral language (e.g. listening, speaking, understanding); reading (e.g. decoding, phonetic knowledge, word recognition, comprehension); written language (e.g. spelling and written expression); and mathematics (e.g. computation, problem solving).

They may also involve difficulties with organizational skills, social perception, social interaction and perspective taking.

Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors or injury that alters brain functioning in a manner which affects one or more processes related to learning.

For success, individuals with learning disabilities require early identification and timely specialized assessments and interventions involving home, school, community and workplace settings.

The interventions need to be appropriate for each individual’s learning disability profile.

With the proper interventions, these individuals can become productive, contributing, creative individuals who can independently carry out job descriptions in unlimited fields.

The Learning Disabilities Association of Sault Ste. Marie is dedicated to provide leadership in awareness, advocacy, education, recreation, accommodations and services to advance the full participation and success of children, youth and adults with learning disabilities in today’s world.

For more information on all available services, contact the LDA by phone at 942-4310 or by

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