Learning Disabilities Awareness Month 2015

LD Awareness Month - October 2015
“Don’t Dis my Ability”   Making the invisible Visible!

Throughout October the Learning Disabilities Associations of Ontario will be marking LD Awareness month. This month is about raising awareness and reducing stigma to allow people to get the supports they need to reach their potential.

“People too often define the life of someone living with Learning Disabilities by the areas where their LDs impact directly, such as math, reading, writing or organizational skills,” said Lawrence Barns President and CEO of LDAO. “The goal of this campaign is for people to see beyond that to their multiple areas of strength. LDs didn’t stop Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver or John Lennon.  A person with LDs just needs the right supports to achieve success.”

The Stats
 1 In 10 people in Ontario are impacted
• 35% ff students with LDs drop out of school
• 62% of students with LDs will be unemployed a year after graduation
• 36% of youth in correctional facilities have specific learning disabilities
• Almost 50% of adolescent suicides have a diagnosis of an LD      
(Source - LDAC Pacfold survey)

Together we can change this!
However if society helps them to succeed, all of the above statistics can be radically altered, leading to successful lives that can impact our communities for the better andpeople with learning disabilities can become among the most creative and productive members of our communities.

About the Campaign:
The greatest hurdle a person with an LD often has to overcome is the stigma and public perception, labelled lazy, stupid or incompetent. They begin to hide their disability and instead struggle in silence. Yet with their strengths and above average intelligence some simple support can see them excel in their chosen field. Our hope is to see Ontario as the leader in destroying the barriers stigma creates.

More about Learning Disabilities:
• By definition someone with LDs has average to above average intelligence
• LDs impact certain skills, most of which can be improved with the right supports
• Because LDs usually exhibit in the school system, those with LDs can be identified early in life, and early intervention improves confidence
• When they don’t receive appropriate support, individuals with LDs have higher than the average rates of school dropout, unemployment and poverty
• LDs can be inherited and many parents are now finding they have been impacted in their lives as their children are diagnosed
Dyslexia: Difficulties with oral and/or written language, i.e., listening, speaking, reading, and writing
Dysgraphia: Difficulties with writing legibly with age-appropriate speed, and with written expression
Dyscalculia: Difficulties with basic math skills, calculating, and math problem-solving
Executive Function:  A set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action. People use it to perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space.