Our Vision

Learning Disabilities Society (formerly, the Learning Disabilities Association Vancouver), is a research-based, non-profit organization serving children with Learning Disabilities for the past 50 years. In collaboration with UBC, we offer individualized, evidence-based programs that target student-specific learning needs.

We believe all children should have access to the academic support they need to succeed, and we seek funding options to support all families. We are focused on promoting community awareness and fostering a greater understanding of the issues and challenges faced by children with Learning Challenges. Through early intervention, our goal is to make a transformative difference in the learning and life outcomes of students. Our ultimate goal is to effect system change with wide ranging societal benefits.

Our Mission

To empower all children and youth with Learning Disabilities to recognize their unique strengths and develop the tools to achieve life-long confidence and success.

Our Values

Community, Kindness, Acceptance, Achievement

Meet the Team

Rachel Forbes

Interim Executive Director

Interim Executive Director

Rachel has a formal education in social geography, communications and law. Over the past 20 years, she has worked with dozens of non profits, charities and companies, including serving as executive director, program lead, staff lawyer, and also in a volunteer capacity on various non profit boards.

She enjoys utilizing her breadth of experience in governance, fundraising, strategy, project management and communications to build capacity within the non profit sector and she is excited to be working with the LDS team during a time of strategic growth. As a parent and as someone who grew up knowing the education system closely, Rachel is passionate about ensuring every child has access to the support they need to thrive in their education and throughout their lives.

Norlan Cabot

Director of Learning Support

Director of Learning Support

At the Learning Disabilities Society, Norlan Cabot helps children overcome those challenges and reach their full potential. With over 30 years experience as a school psychologist and special education teacher, Norlan brings a wealth of expertise and leadership to the LDS. Trained by some of the most influential names in learning disabilities, she now leads a new generation of teachers in cutting-edge instruction with the help of the University of British Columbia and community partners. Norlan gives her close, personal attention to every family at the LDS and ensures they have the needed resources for their child succeed in school and in life.

Amanda Steele

Director of Development and Communications

Director of Development and Communications

Amanda joined the LDS team in May 2019, after completing her Masters of Counselling Degree. Amanda has 15 years of senior level management experience in the non-profit sector, and possesses strong technical skills and a proven ability to successfully analyze deficiencies, potential opportunities and develop innovative and cost- effective solutions. As the Director of Development and Communications, Amanda’s role is resource development and sustainability, in addition to managing and directing the society’s internal and external communications. Amanda is passionate about fostering meaningful connections, and creating safe and supportive spaces where children can thrive.

Niki Hurst

North Shore Program Coordinator

Program Manager

Niki comes to LDS with an extensive background in community development and community programming. She has worked in sectors of youth health and wellness, chronic illness lifestyle management and sports endurance but specializes in educational programming and development. She has been working closely with school boards in the Lower-Mainland and Sea to Sky corridor developing specialized programs for three years prior to joining LDS. Niki is focused on expanding LDS’s presence on the North Shore and is excited to be working alongside community partners, teachers and parents to aid students in recognizing their unique skill-set and to foster a lifelong love for learning.

Claire Matthews

Training Program Manager

Training Program Manager

Claire joined the LDS team in March 2018 after completing her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She has over six years of teaching experience educating children and adults. As the Training Program Manager, Claire delivers and manages the LDS Remedial Instruction Training Program and leads instructors in LDS’s best practices. She is passionate about education and committed to supporting instructors to provide our superior delivery of service to our students.

Melissa Henderson

Learning Support Manager

Learning Support Manager

Melissa joined the LDS team in May 2019, as Learning Support Manager. She completed a B.A in Speech Sciences at UBC, and has a passion for linguistics, and education. With prior experience in remedial instruction and administration within remedial therapy organizations, she has seen the difference that proper support and quality instruction can make in the lives of students with learning disabilities. Melissa is truly excited to be a part of an organization that helps to make learning accessible for all students.

Laura Covaza



Prior to joining LDS, Laura spent over 7 years in Accounting, managing the finances for many not-for-profit clients. She has her Professional Bookkeeping certificate from Langara College and her Office Administration diploma from Vancouver Career College.

Lisa Kranzer

Administrative Assistant – Saturdays

Office Manager

Lisa joined the LDS team in July 2019 as Administrative Supervisor. She has a background in HR and Marketing and holds MA and MPhil degrees in Classical Studies and History. Lisa also has several years’ experience tutoring both children and adults. As the Administrative Supervisor, Lisa acts as the central hub of information management for LDS and is responsible for maintaining a smooth operation of the office. She is excited to be in a role that supports each child reaching their full potential.

Heather Liu

Administrative Assistant – Saturdays

Administrative Assistant - Saturdays

Heather joined the LDS team in March 2018 and will be assisting LDS with administrative tasks on Saturdays. She completed an Associates Degree in English, and currently volunteers as a receptionist at Qmunity, a resource center for LGBTQ2S identified folks. She has also volunteered as an English tutor in a language exchange center. She is motivated to help individuals gain the skills and resources necessary to succeed.

Meet the Board


Greg Sullivan, Ph.D.

Shoreline West Asset Management

President and CEO



Susan Aitchison 

DialoguePro Consultants


Kevin Riley


Accounting Manager


Pamela Sack


Naval Engineer


Brigid Lumholst-Smith

Maple Leaf Foods

VP Industrial Relations


Hon. Wendy J. Harris Q.C.

BC Supreme Court

Retired Justice



Hamlet Abnousi

NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics Inc.

CEO and Co-Founder