LDS Access: Our Very Own “Magic School Bus” Comes to LDS!

LDS Access: Our Very Own “Magic School Bus” Comes to LDS!

LDS Access: our very own “Magic School Bus”


Have you ever wanted to take a ride with Ms. Frizzle on the Magic School Bus? Well, LDS is thrilled to announce the next best thing: LDS Access, a clean-energy mini-bus! 

LDS Access is Canada’s first electric mobile classroom service, coming to a neighbourhood near you soon! LDS Access will offer outreach services—including our Research-informed Individualized Student Education (RISE) and Assistive Technology (AT)—to children and youth with learning differences.  

Did you know that besides providing learning support services in our East Vancouver and North Vancouver Learning Centres, LDS also works in community schools across the Lower Mainland? That’s right, our highly specialized instructors go right into schools to help students! When the pandemic first came to BC, families at these schools not only had to cope with school closures, but many children also lost access to the RISE programming they received from LDS.  

LDS consulted with our community to develop a solution to the critical challenge of getting educational support to the children who need it the most. After significant discussion, we developed LDS Access—an outreach program operating as a “classroom on wheels.”  

LDS worked with local companies, Green Power Motor Company and National Graphic Solutions Inc. (NGSI), to create a customized, clean-energy mini school bus to support vulnerable children and youth with learning and related disabilities—our very own Magic School Bus! 

Award-winning artist Carson Ting was inspired by the LDS Access initiative. As a child, Carson had struggled with a learning disability and received special education, and he was excited for the opportunity to give back to the community. Along with his design firm, Chairman Ting, Carson created a bright and colourful external mural that wraps around the bus, capturing the essence of LDS’s mission, vision, and values.  

LDS Access also incorporates ground-breaking social robotics programming developed in partnership with the University of Waterloo’s Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL), as well as state-of-the-art assistive technologies (AT) provided by 16 AT sponsors, including Microsoft Accessibility, Mind MeisterTexthelp, and others.  

With the help of our network of educational, community, technology, and financial partners, we came together to create this unique, innovative, technology-enhanced learning support service for students most in need. 

What is LDS Access?

LDS Access is a classroom on wheels that brings RISE programming and AT devices, software, and equipment on the road to visit children with learning differences where they live. 

LDS Access features: 

  • Operates in spaces such as school and Community Centre parking lots and other publicly accessible spaces in underserved neighbourhoods. 
  • Serves communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19, namely those with a high percentage of families who face intersectional socio-economic barriers, including financial, language, disability, or educational barriers. 
  • Adapts our service—which is already financially accessible—so that it can be physically accessible for those who cannot get to our Learning Centres and for whom remote learning is not appropriate. 
  • Provides customized solutions and assistive technologies (AT) that improve student learning outcomes. 
  • Ensures physical distancing and additional COVID-19 protective measures through the design elements of the mobile classroom.  

Want more access to LDS Access?

To learn more or to sign up for a tour of the bus, please visit our LDS Access webpage 

To learn about LDS’s other assistive technologies or our AT Studio—a space dedicated to the collaborative use of leading-edge AT to help our students with learning differences—please email our AT Manager at AT@ldsociety.ca. 

Mission Makers: Emma—giving back the support she received

Mission Makers: Emma—giving back the support she received

“Growing up, I knew I wanted to work with children and youth in a supportive capacity so they can receive the support I had too,” says Emma, a Remedial Instructor at LDS and this month’s Mission Maker.  

As someone who benefitted from recreational and community engagement programs as a child, Emma understands the importance of accessible support systems. In high school, Emma began volunteering in community support programs and enjoyed working with children. Her understanding, empathy, work experience, and education make Emma an excellent, adaptive instructor for our students. 

Emma has a Bachelor’s of Kinesiology and is currently studying for a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy, both from the University of British Columbia. She enjoys being able to apply what she learns in lectures at LDS, and vice versa—to use her experience as an instructor to inform her education.  

With experience at various nonprofits and children’s programs throughout Vancouver, Emma has a diverse background working with children of various ages and abilities. She worked for a community engagement project with children at a local Neighbourhood House. Emma also has experience within the Vancouver public school system as an Education Assistant and a Community School Teen Programmer. There she focused on teaching social-emotional skills and community building.  

Emma believes her previous experiences inform her teaching style at LDS by making content that is engaging and relatable to her students. At LDS, Emma feels that she can use her experiences and her skill set to help make a difference in her students’ lives. 

For example, Emma fondly remembers the time when one of her students asked her, “Do you know that the grocery store sells three cereal boxes for nine dollars?” At first, Emma thought this was an odd question, but when she was debriefing with the parent at the end of the session, the parent asked her child to bring the cereal boxes over.  

With the cereal boxes in hand, the student started reading the stories and the games on the back of the boxes. Emma realized that this was a huge turning point for the student. Previously, the student couldn’t read the packages or choose which cereal they wanted, but now they had a sense of autonomy and choice. “The student was so excited to able to understand what was going on in their environment. I got to see the skills being applied in real life,” says Emma. 

 “When I first learnt about LDS, I was drawn to how holistic they were,” says Emma. LDS focuses on academic outcomes, but there is an underlying focus on social-emotional skills and the child’s overall well-being. LDS also incorporates Assistive Technology and Speech-Language Pathology to best engage children in their learning. “I think having all of these evidence-based strategies and individualized supports for the students is so important,” says Emma. 

Emma also loves how important it is that LDS emphasizes affordability as part of its mission to be inclusive and accessible. LDS provides access to internal and external bursaries, so families who may not be able to afford remedial instruction can still access it. 

“It’s unfortunate that these kids are otherwise left behind because of something they can’t control like financial barriers,” says Emma. “LDS is able to remove these barriers that are preventing them from being successful in school, which is often tied to other skills like social-emotional and a sense of belonging or community.” 

—Rie 

_________________ 

Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

Assistive Technology: Lexilife’s Lexilight

Assistive Technology: Lexilife’s Lexilight

What is Assistive Technology? 

Assistive technology (AT) is any device, software, or equipment that is used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability, including a learning difference. Technologies include hardware, or physical technologies that are kept on-site at our AT Studio, and software, or technology available via a computer that can potentially be used from home. To learn more about why and how LDS uses AT, head to our AT webpage.

What does the Lexilight do?

Lexilight is a reading-aid desk lamp that can significantly reduce symptoms of dyslexia when reading printed texts. Dyslexia is a common learning difference that affects the brain’s ability to process language. Those affected have normal intelligence but have challenges identifying speech sounds and relating letters and words.

Our in-person students affected by dyslexia can use the Lexilight in their lessons to improve their comprehension and comfort while reading. Innovative lighting technology combines both pulsated and modulated light to reduce the impact of dyslexia for many readers, allowing them to read faster, longer and with less eye strain. 

Lexilight features:

  • Adjustable dials on the rear of the lamp allow you to control the pulsation and modulation of the light that reduces the mirroring effect many children with dyslexia experience.  
  • Dual function Classic light and Lexilight modes. 
  • High quality LED lights for improved colour rendering and lightwave settings for better contrast

How can my child access the Lexilight?

We offer the Lexilight as part of our AT Studio, a space dedicated to leading-edge AT technology and the collaborative use of it to help our students with learning differences. To learn more about how your child can benefit, email our AT Manager at AT@ldsociety.ca [Link to email] 

    —Rie 

    _________________ 

    Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

    Mission Makers: Cynthia—making a difference through her work

    Mission Makers: Cynthia—making a difference through her work

    Cynthia, a certified BC teacher at a specialized school for children with learning differences, has spent the last three years as a part-time Remedial Instructor with LDS. She feels that LDS is a further extension of her work in schools and a way to fill the gaps in educational support that may be unavailable in the school system.

    Teaching at LDS “is a way of doing what I love doing, but in a different capacity,” says Cynthia. Providing one-on-one remedial instruction is a very different dynamic to her work as a teacher with a classroom full of students. But it brings her a sense of pride when she’s able to use what she has learned from her past teaching opportunities to provide accessible individualized education for students.

    Cynthia has always enjoyed learning about how different minds work, including those with learning differences, which is why she pursued a BA in Psychology. Although Cynthia was unsure of what she wanted to do with her Psychology degree, with exploration and curiosity, she applied for her teaching diploma.

    Cynthia chose to study Education for her teaching degree and experienced a range of different teaching styles and environments. She again explored various teaching experiences such as teaching at Montessori schools and in an English as a Second Language program.

    Cynthia found her current career path with students with learning differences upon returning to Canada after teaching abroad. She had worked with students with autism in the past and remembered the feeling of making a difference through her work and the pride of accomplishment the students experienced with her help. So, when applying for jobs, she applied to the specialized school where she now teaches children with learning differences.

    “It’s fun, always changing, allows me to be creative, and is challenging,” says Cynthia about why she enjoys teaching. “I like working with children and learning about what they’re interested in, and deep down inside, I think it keeps me young.”

    For Cynthia, it’s essential that every student has the opportunity to learn in a way that best suits their needs, and LDS can provide a space for this. Connecting with her students is important to Cynthia. With the age group she teaches at LDS, they are old enough to be socially aware and have critical thoughts, which can lead to interesting conversations.

    Using her knowledge about what her students are interested in and what they find relatable, Cynthia curates her sessions around these topics to keep her students engaged. She has found this creates an environment where students want to attend their sessions and are willing to learn. Receiving feedback from her students’ parents about the changes they see in their children, such as volunteering to read at home or seeing their confidence grow, encourages Cynthia to continue instructing.

    “Growth is slow, but when it does change, it carries on to all other aspects of their life, which is exciting.”

    —Rie 

    _________________ 

    Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the  Communications & Fundraising Assistant at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

    Mission Makers: Kaleigh—providing play-based and arts-informed teaching

    Mission Makers: Kaleigh—providing play-based and arts-informed teaching

    At LDS, we value the varied backgrounds and passions that our instructors use to relate to our students or further enhance their instruction. In the case of Remedial Instructor Kaleigh, her background is in the arts, she has a teaching degree, and she is pursuing an acting career. Her many pursuits add value to her work at LDS because they provide her with a vast knowledge of teaching styles to help her relate to our students.

    Kaleigh has a Fine Arts degree in Theatre and a minor in Psychology. For Kaleigh, psychology shed light on how or why a person expresses themselves in a certain way, and drama was one of those ways, so her major and minor went hand in hand. This unique education allows her to be a very empathetic teacher when providing one-to-one instruction. Kaleigh is quick to notice when her students require a brain break or different teaching forms, such as visual or auditory. And as all fun drama teachers do, Kaleigh engages her students in games and takes a play-based teaching approach.

    “It’s more important now more than ever to think outside the box,” says Kaleigh about her experience as a teacher. Kaleigh’s arts background has taught her to be adaptive and think quickly to take on whatever may be occurring in the classroom. She also emphasizes how she is a visual learner who grasps concepts best through examples and play, informing her teaching style, especially when academics are challenging for diverse learners. At LDS, there are learning outcomes to be met, and Kaleigh’s knowledge and skill set allow her to adaptively teach in an engaging way so that each student can meet those outcomes.

    Kaleigh has always enjoyed the arts and music but was not introduced to drama until high school, where she took it as an elective. She enjoyed studying the arts in higher education because of the supportive community that thrives in this field. Participating in theatre requires social skills and communication and is a breeding ground for collaboration. “Whereas other areas of academics are about answering questions correctly,” says Kaleigh, “the arts are more about the process and how a student approaches the problem.”

    One of Kaleigh’s favourite things about her job with LDS is that she can help her students grow and watch the “light bulbs turn on in their heads!” while she works in the arts in her spare time. Kaleigh believes all children can benefit from being involved in the arts and that art helps kids learn self-regulation and social skills while still having fun. Kaleigh also advocates for media representation and creating space and accessibility within the arts for those with different abilities. One day, she hopes to develop a program to bring the arts to children with learning differences.

    —Rie 

    _________________ 

    Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

    Top 5 reasons your child with learning differences needs LDS’s remote learning support – RISE at Home

    Top 5 reasons your child with learning differences needs LDS’s remote learning support – RISE at Home

    RISE at Home program offers students aged 5 through 18 with a suspected or diagnosed learning difference one-to-one support with a qualified instructor. Working on an ongoing basis to improve student independence, confidence, and academic success. 

    1) Proven Results.  

    LDS students are catching up to their general classroom peers by a quarter or half grade level in one year! Learn more about our Research-informed Individualized Student Education (RISE) methodology here

    2) High-quality virtual classroom.  

    RISE at Home is offered through TutorCruncher and LessonSpace. These platforms are user-friendly, high-quality, secure, and interactive, giving our community the best remote learning experience possible. These systems facilitate the lesson without distracting our students and create a secure learning environment.  

    3) Technologically advanced.  

    At LDS we are using assistive technology to enhance best practices in our teaching and student learning and to further the accessibility and inclusiveness of our support. We are carefully identifying and assessing potential assistive technologies for specific use in individual student’s learning plans to maximize the benefit to each student. 

    4) Holistic approach to learning.  

    We coordinate with parents and guardians, classroom and resource teachers, counsellors, psychologists, family doctors, pediatricians and other professionals to build a full picture of each student’s learning profile. Developing customized learning plans and practicing meticulous instructor matching for each unique student. 

    5) Accessible and Inclusive. 

    LDS is dedicated to providing equitable and affordable access to learning support for all students. Thanks to the ongoing generous support of our donors, grantors and sponsors, we are able to connect qualifying families with external bursaries as well as provide an internal bursary fund to help subsidize the cost of our programming to families in need. Learn more about our funding options today.  

    What our families are saying…  

    “My son is enjoying his time with his Instructor. He appreciates the ability to see and speak with her and working on a variety of activities to keep his interest. During these uncertain times, the consistency of this tutoring session is helpful to maintain his motivation.” 

    “My daughter has been enjoying her sessions with our tutor using TutorCruncher and LessonSpace, it’s almost a better way to interact for her as she is a “techie” kind of kid so anything on a computer she likes! Overall big thumbs up at this end. We’ll certainly sign up for regular sessions when they become available.” 

    “My son is enjoying his time with his Instructor online and is quite interested in using TutorCruncher, he feels like he is learning something new which keeps him engaged!” 

    Assistive Technology: SMART Technologies’ SMART Board

    Assistive Technology: SMART Technologies’ SMART Board

    What is Assistive Technology? 

    Assistive technology (AT) is any device, software, or equipment that is used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability, including a learning difference. Technologies include hardware, or physical technologies that are kept on-site at our AT Studio, and software, or technology available via a computer that can potentially be used from home. To learn more about why and how LDS uses AT, head to our AT webpage.

    What Does the SMART Board Do?  

    The centrepiece of our AT Studio, SMART Technologies’ SMART Board is an industry-leading interactive display whiteboard that offers tools for LDS instructors to take their teaching to the next level. SMART Board offers a ton of effective and easy-to-use tools to make learning fun and engaging for in-person and remote learning. Built-in software allows instructors to personalize their lessons and access materials with ease, making the delivery of lessons easier and more effective than ever before.  

    SMART Board Features: 

    • 20 points of touch – Allows multiple users and tools like eraser, marker, and timer, to be used simultaneously. 
    • Built-in Android – Instructors can quickly access One Drive, Google Drive, teaching materials, and personalized tools. 
    • SMART Ink – Draw, annotate, and write on any type of document or webpage. Also allows users to move/erase notes, save files, and convert notes to text. 
    • SMART Learning Suite – Enables students to learn remotely by logging into an online classroom with an instructor via the SMART Board screen. Additionally, a SMART Board screen can be shared via Zoom for remote lessons.  
    • Supports all major computer operating systems (Windows, ChromeOS, Mac).

    How to access the SMART Board?

    We offer the SMART Board as part of our AT Studio, a space dedicated to the collaborative use of leading-edge assistive technology to help our students with learning differences. To learn more about how your child can benefit, email our AT Manager at AT@ldsociety.ca

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      How RISE at Home offers the highest quality online instruction experience

      How RISE at Home offers the highest quality online instruction experience

      When COVID-19 came to Canada, our educators had to find innovative solutions to new challenges. In March of 2020, the LDS team worked around the clock to transform our in-person instructors into online instructors so we could continue to provide the same RISE (Research-informed Individualized Student Education) instruction that our families had come to expect. After dedicating hours to researching the right online platform for our students and their families, we launched our RISE at Home online learning through TutorCruncher and LessonSpace 

      We chose TutorCruncher with the full student experience in mind. Far from the surface are the nitty-gritty detailsscheduling, invoicing, timesheetspersonal and organization-wide calendars, reporting to parents and to staff, data tracking, apps that sync people, apps that sync appsWe can also all rest easily knowing that the limited data that’s stored in TutorCruncher is on Canadian servers, is in line with Canadian privacy laws, and adheres to the highest data privacy standards (the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)). Choosing the right software was essential. TutorCruncher helps us coordinate the system that surrounds the student. With software to simplify our operations, we can minimize our resources devoted to administration and maximize developing more resources for families 

      TutorCruncher is more than a business management system. Integrated into each scheduled lesson is an interactive whiteboardLessonSpacewhere our instructors and students meet. Many features of LessonSpace will feel familiar. We can see and hear each other through video calls, similar to FaceTime or Skype. On the interactive whiteboard, we can collaborate on schoolwork and the individualized lessons designed by our instructors. Using a collaborative whiteboard may be new for many of our students, but don’t worry. This one is easy to get started and easy to use. And after each session, parents can access lesson reports to keep updated on their child’s progress.  

      The online whiteboard is “1-click connect.” It literally walks into a virtual classroom. Your paper and pencil are waiting. Screensharing on the whiteboard is like watching your instructor work out a problem on paper. It has separate tabs, just like turning to a new chapter in a book. It even has built-in graph paper for everyone working on their math skillsEven though it’s online, it feels familiar.  

      Together, TutorCruncher and LessonSpace are user friendly, high-quality, secure and interactive—giving our kids, families, and instructors the best experience possible. These systems facilitate the lesson without distracting our students and create a secure learning environment. And they help LDS make learning accessible to more families in our community. 

      Our mission is to empower the unique strengths of our students. The foundation of this service is employing instructors with diverse skill sets. Behind our capacity to individualize student learning is our ability to connect students with instructors experienced in creating a unique experience for each of their students, as no two students are the same.  

      We find ourselves in a different world these days. Developing our online community is no longer just about keeping our students safe, it is also about keeping our services accessible. When it is important—or even just more convenient—for a child to learn from home, LDS will be there with RISE at Home.

      We will continue to research and investigate new modes of teaching.  It is a great time for fostering creative solutions, and we look forward to joining you online via RISE at Home to keep our kids learning! 

      Do you have questions, comments or feedback on RISE at Home? Want to find out more information about how we can help your child who has a suspected or diagnosed learning disability? Please get in touch at info@ldsociety.ca or 604.873.8139 ext. 102.

      Mission Makers: Sarah—creating community at LDS

      Mission Makers: Sarah—creating community at LDS

      “Since joining LDS as Community Manager, Sarah’s work has been fast-paced and ever-changing. Initially hired for a part-time, remote position, within weeks she was packing up her life in Ontario to move across the country to take on a full-time role in Vancouver. This speaks volumes about Sarah’s work ethic and adaptability. As the Community Manager, her current responsibilities include fundraising campaigns, community advancement, special projects, and communications. Her role combines her desire to strengthen community and create change. 

      At LDS, community means a place that is both inclusive and accessible. Sarah emphasizes and relates to the aspect of her job description that is to maintain the “health and well-being of our community.” She goes above and beyond to hold space for each student to feel heard and valued. 

      Sarah has a Bachelor’s in International Development, which helped develop her critical eye for analyzing both macro- and micro-level problems. She then received a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations, which gave her the tools to bring solutions and a big-picture vision to organizational issues. She gained experience in communications positions at large corporations but did not find the competitive, sales-focused environment motivating or fulfilling.  

      Her education and her mother’s career as a social worker inspired her to want to take on a career beyond the typical, corporate Public Relations (PR) or Communications job path. “I didn’t know I wanted to work for a nonprofit organization,” says Sarah. “I just knew I wanted work that aligned with my desire to create systems change,” and she realized she could do that by working for a nonprofit. 

      Sarah found work as a Project Manager at a private school that served children with learning differences. She enjoyed being able to exercise her creativity to complete big-picture projects and initiatives. Sarah appreciates PR’s earned media aspect and interacting with customers and clients to find solutions to their issues and listen to their stories, which helped guide her to her current position. 

      At LDS, there are service deliverables and a mission as there are at many other nonprofit organizations. But what stands out to Sarah is “our work in advocacy, in transforming individual lives of children and youth, and bringing attention to the issues that face our society as a whole.” Sarah believes that the importance of LDS and nonprofit organizations is that they go beyond finding a temporary solution and work to solve the root of the problem to create lasting change.   

      Sarah’s favourite part of her job is working on large projects that make LDS stand out, as she likes project-based work where she can create, design, and bring her visions to life from start to finish. “I feel personally motivated by the projects we are doing and inspired by the people I’m working with,” says Sarah. 

      About her time at LDS, Sarah feels that she is part of a well-oiled machine on a long-term mission to help children with learning differences; one that will create a more accessible and inclusive community and, eventually, bring systems change to our society.  

      “We all contribute differently,” Sarah says. “Most of my work is on the communication and fundraising side of things, while others are part of program delivery or finances. Everyone plays a different role, but we are all working towards the same overarching goal.” 

      Alongside her Community Management role, Sarah is working towards a Non-Profit Management Certificate at Simon Fraser University to take a new approach to management and support LDS to reach its vision and mandate. 

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Mission Maker: Stuti—practicum student experiences LDS

      Mission Maker: Stuti—practicum student experiences LDS

      In May 2021, Stuti, an education assistant (EA) student, joined LDS for her practicum. As an organization specializing in individualized remedial instruction for students with learning differences, this experience was slightly different from a public or private school-based practicum setting. We hoped that we could provide an eye-opening experience of the impact educational assistants and specialized instruction can have on students’ lives. 

      Stuti was a science teacher in her home country of India and has always enjoyed working with children. However, when she immigrated to Canada, her Indian qualifications did not allow her to work within the Canadian school system. In March 2020, due to COVID-19, she was laid off from her job, and it gave her a chance to reevaluate. She wanted to return to a career that brought her joy and fulfilment. 

      It wasn’t until Stuti began looking into education programs that she came across educational assistance and specialized instruction for students with learning differences. “Back in India, I saw very little concept of inclusive education,” says Stuti, but at LDS, Stuti saw how the theories and concepts she’d learned in her program apply in educational settings. “I wanted to be part of this difference.”  

      “I had ideas of what the common challenges of autism were, but I didn’t know in-depth, or what exactly the support systems can be and how lives can be improved,” says Stuti. “I am more excited now for being an EA.” 

      Stuti also kindly took the time to write about her experience in her own words:  

       

      What an experience! My EA Internship   

      Currently, I am pursuing Education Assistant Certification, for which I did my practicum with the Learning Disabilities Society in Vancouver, an experience that was invaluable in so many ways. I was given the opportunity to get involved even more than I ever imagined. My experience of working with LDS has been significant in terms of learning as well as building on my current skills. The LDS instructors are so professional, talented, creative, polished, and artistic. Every instructor gives their own magical touch to the lesson plan by introducing different strategies as well as diverse kinds of reinforcements, which make it more entertaining as well as engaging for the student. 

      The practicum experience was amazing. It challenged me in so many ways. I found myself participating, as well as applying my course knowledge in the field. I got the chance to learn in-depth about learning disabilities and how to address individual needs. Also, LDS gave me the opportunity to learn about new strategies which I had not heard of before, like the Orton-Gillingham approach and Phonological Awareness Screening Test (PAST). Working with students in different settings like online, one-to-one, or in groups has made me aware of the challenges that one may encounter and how executive functioning skills can help to overcome those challenges. Working with the LDS team has helped me add more tools to my toolkit, which in turn will help me successfully assist individuals with diverse needs. I feel grateful to the entire team for sharing their strategies with me and giving me an opportunity to practice them with students.    

      —Stuti & Rie 

      _________________ 

      Stuti (she/her) joins LDS as an Education Assistant practicum student. Currently studying Disability and Community Studies at Douglas College, she hopes to use this chance to experience working with children with diverse abilities firsthand and gain a deeper understanding of what is it means to have a disability. She has two years of experience working as a science teacher in India. Stuti is passionate about education and believes everybody deserves an equal opportunity to receive it. 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Early RISErs for 3-5 yr olds: applications open now!Learn more!