Inclusive Language Toolkit from Stigma-Free Society

Inclusive Language Toolkit from Stigma-Free Society

We are very proud to have worked with the Stigma Free Society to contribute to a fantastic resource, the Stigma-Free Glossary. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the types of language to use when referring to an individual from a specific community or identity category. It provides a wide variety of definitions and terms to educate readers about inclusive language. At LDS, we continuously work on ways to be more inclusive and welcoming; the Stigma-Free Glossary is a great tool that enables us to practice this and help others practice this on a day-to-day basis.  
 
As SFS acknowledges in their materials, not all terms are universally preferred by everyone within a community and we urge you to always ask what terms people prefer and be open to learning about their preference. Self-determination is key for inclusion to advance. 
 
To learn more about how to use more inclusive language, check out the Stigma-Free Glossary here

How we build fairness and equity into our fee structure

How we build fairness and equity into our fee structure

Thanks for clicking on this link to learn more about how we set our fee structure for families we work with. Our goal is for our fees to be fair, equitable, consistent and accessible; this post helps to explain how we achieve that. 

As you are likely aware, LDS is a nonprofit charity with a mission to provide high-quality, individualized, comprehensive learning supports to children, youth and adults to help them build the skills and confidence they need to succeed in life. We take that mission seriously, and so we are always looking at ways to ensure our services are inclusive and accessible for everyone, including financially.  

That commitment to accessibility is why all of our services are offered on a sliding scale that takes into account net household income. 

The ‘full fee’ amount that we charge is still a subsidized rate that does not fully cover our costs as an organization. We work hard to fundraise via several dozens of grants and many hundreds of donations every year to ensure our fees are kept accessible. At the same time, we need to make sure we are bringing in enough revenue via donations, grants and fees that we can afford to pay the team of experienced, caring, specialized and dedicated instructors and staff that deliver our programs and services.  

So, even when a family is being offered a $10, $15 or $70 an hour sliding scale fee, we at LDS are working to subsidize the balance of that hourly fee – potentially including by requesting you work with us to obtain third party funding via CKNW Kids Fund or Variety Children’s Charity, as those are also critical components of our budget.  

In 2020 we made a very small fee adjustment, and in 2021 our fees held stable. In light of the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, inflation, and our need to retain the professionals in our team that we all rely on for specialized service, in 2022 we have adjusted our fee scale. We say adjusted because, although the top range of fees has increased, we made significant efforts to adjust the different levels of our fee scale to make these steps more consistent and have also added another option for families whose household income is less than $30,000 annually. Again, we strive for fairness, equity and accessibility across the scale and across our programs and we feel these changes help us achieve that.

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In addition, we are always seeking out special funding opportunities to make some of our programs further accessible and sometimes free of charge to qualifying students and families. We are constantly scrutinizing our processes and practices to ensure that we are operating as efficiently as possible to keep our costs down.  

If you have any questions or concerns about our fee structure, our other grant-funded programs and initiatives, or would like more information, please reach out to us anytime.  

Thanks kindly for your time reading this and continuing to be a valued part of the LDS community. It is our honour to be working with you and your family; please always feel free to reach out to let us know how we can better serve you. 

Yours truly,  

Rachel Forbes 
Executive Director

 

Is my child ready for school? What else can I do to prepare them?

Is my child ready for school? What else can I do to prepare them?

For many families of young children, the infant and toddler years seem like the toughest. Between little sleep, feeding and potty training – raising the smallest humans is a stage many look forward to moving past. However, as families arrive at the preschool years (three-to-five), new sets of questions, challenges, and worries can emerge, while possibly still battling with the challenges of sleep, feeding, and toileting you had hoped you left behind! 

While the preschool years are an exciting time when your child’s individual personality, interests, and strengths emerge, this is also a time where lots of questions about your child’s development, behaviour, and learning emerge. One of the biggest challenges that families of pre-school children face is, after finally finding a spot in a high quality early years program, then learning that their child might need additional supports or identifying areas where the family may need more guidance about their child. These challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic, where access to childcare and preschool, child health and development services, and early years screening and assessments have been increasingly difficult to both find and afford. 

LDS’s Early RISErs program was developed by a team of interdisciplinary early childhood experts who are also parents. We understand from all angles the challenges young children and their families are facing. This post is dedicated to the most common questions and concerns we see and hear from families with young children, and the ways in which families are able to receive support for these challenges in our Early RISErs program. 

How do I support my child with transitions? 

For adults, transitions are generally a normal and expected part of everyday. We wake up, get dressed, eat/drink, and head out the door on our way. For young children, however, transitions (no matter how frequent or common place) can be an instigator of challenging behaviour such as anger, crying, screaming, refusal, or aggression. As young children also make the large-scale transition to starting school, these transitions become an increasingly rigid part of their days.  

Supporting young children and their caregivers with transitions through modelling, strategies, and scaffolded support is a key element of Early RISErs. Opportunities to learn and practice transitions in an inclusive and supportive space with a high ratio of early years professionals allows children the space to grow in their ability to self-regulate during transitions and move between activities and places in a ways that reduce challenging behaviour. 

Why does my child act completely differently at daycare/preschool than home? 

Have you received a note, comment, or incident report from your child’s care provider that surprised you? Did you think ‘that doesn’t sound like my child’ and are unsure how to further support your child with a behaviour, issue, or social interaction that you haven’t previously observed? Young children act differently outside of the home and away from primary caregivers. It is very common for a generally friendly child to suddenly be hesitant or struggle to interact socially in a setting with many children and only one or a few adults. It’s also common for a child who is generally able to self-regulate throughout the day at home to sometimes exhibit challenging behaviour in a group setting.  

As a parent or caregiver, it is hard to understand what is happening for our child when we are not there, and this lack of information can be challenging when all we want is to support our children and help them to develop the skills they need to navigate social and educational experiences with increased independence. The Early RISErs program has been developed to have an ideal amount and length of activities and transitions to allow young children a chance to develop their skills and an opportunity for parents and caregivers to see first-hand where their child is at, and identify with our early childhood professionals what targeted support could be helpful. Families learn strategies that can be employed at home and communicated to other care or educational environments to provide your child with more consistent support and communication across their daily lives. 

Does my child need extra support? Where and how do I find it? 

‘Should I be concerned…?’ is the most common phrase we hear when speaking with parents of young children.  

What warrants a concern? Is this ‘normal’? Is there something more I can do for my child? These are all questions most families have encountered with their children. And then, if a concern persists, there are more questions. Does my child need to see a Speech and Language Pathologist? How do Occupational Therapists support children with sensory challenges? What is the difference between a behavioural consultant or behavioural interventionist? How do I get an assessment for my child?  

Navigating waitlists, referral processes, and identifying professionals and clinics can be extremely overwhelming for families who are seeking further supports.  

To support families in connecting with and receiving specific information about further services or professionals that their child might benefit from working with, the Early RISErs team consists of a registered speech language pathologist, early childhood educators, early childhood researchers, kindergarten teachers, behavioural interventionists, and a consulting occupational therapist who observes and meets with all children and families during the course of the program.  

Developing an interest in reading, printing, letters, and numbers is a key focus in early childhood that and an important part of the Early RISErs program. However, the most crucial skills and areas for development for young children as they prepare for school is social and emotional learning. Social and Emotional learning (“SEL”) is composed of 5 key areas which are important for all stages of life: self-awareness; self-management; responsible decision making; social awareness; and relationship skills.  

Because of the diversity of program staff, we are able to make targeted suggestions and referrals to families to help connect families with the supports they need quickly and seamlessly. 

Is my child ready for school? What else can I do to prepare them? 

For three-to-five year old children to develop these skills, they need to have opportunities to engage with diverse people and peers in a range of environments to develop their abilities to engage in play, navigate risk and conflict, increase their independence, and effectively communicate their needs and wants.  

The Early RISErs program integrates these key social and emotional skills throughout the program to weave opportunities for growth throughout groups times, play, structured learning activities, and transitions to support children in making successful transitions to their new school environment.  

Questions about the Early RISErs program or your child’s learning or development? Don’t hesitate to reach out to with any questions, ideas or concerns – call 604.873.8139, email us at info@ldsociety.ca, or explore resources on our website ldsociety.ca  

The next Early RISErs cohort starts in April 2022 – contact us now!

Written by Jennifer Fane, PhD, LDS Director of Education, who is also a parent of a young child and a former Kindergarten teacher, teacher-trainer. Read more about her at ldsociety.ca/our-team

LDS values inclusive education

LDS values inclusive education

LDS is firmly rooted in the philosophy that Inclusive learning lies at the heart of effective education. Based on the fundamental principle that no two learners are alike, inclusive education refers to the way in which the educational community supports and addresses the individual needs of each learner, whatever they may be.

In the context of diversity and equity, some learners may experience barriers to learning and at LDS, we work towards empowering our learners by reducing these barriers and enabling them to access their learning journey.

Regardless of their strengths and needs, at LDS, we believe all learners have the right to an effective and meaningful educational experience and aim towards the inclusion and empowerment of all learners. Improving the quality of inclusion within our educational system improves education for all, and we recognize that though this paradigm shift is still being sketched, it is the initial step towards creating a well-established and cohesive community.

If you have ideas and feedback on how we can continue to improve our inclusive education practices, please reach out by email, phone or drop by.

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

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

Our RISE at Home program offers students aged 5 through 18 with a suspected or diagnosed learning difference (learning disability) one-to-one specialized support with a qualified remedial instructor. We work with our RISE model (Research-informed Individualized Student Education) to deliver customized learning support to students across Canada using our secure online platform and resources designed specifically to enhance the online learning experience and student engagement.  

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. We measure progress of our students, both quantitatively and qualitatively in terms of their development of self-confidence, social awareness, decision making and relationship building skills.

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.  

We understand that many children struggled with whole class online instruction via their schools, as one teacher trying to support the learning needs of over 20 diverse learners is exceptionally challenging. However, with your child’s one-to-one session at LDS, our instructors use an interactive platform that allows for hands on student engagement and sessions tailored to the learning, engagement, and behavioural needs of each student. Many students who struggled in whole class online sessions are able to very successful engage in individual online sessions developed specifically for them.

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. You can learn more about our AT here.

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. We develop customized learning plans and practice meticulous instructor matching and ongoing professional case management for each unique student. We also offer access to other programs to enhance social emotional and executive functioning learning for our students.

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 in BC 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!” 

LDS’s research-informed approach provides customized remedial programming that effectively meets student needs

LDS’s research-informed approach provides customized remedial programming that effectively meets student needs

Authors: Melissa Sager, Associate Director of Learning Support at Learning Disabilities Society, with support from Dr. Nancy Perry, Professor and Dorothy Lam Chair in Special Education, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education  

Original publication date: October 23, 2020

At Learning Disabilities Society (LDS), our instruction programs follow our unique Research-informed Individualized Student Education methodology (RISE Method). Developed from our intake process, BC’s Curricular Core Competencies, a broad array of research-based instructional strategies, and ongoing assessment of student learning, our RISE Method supports the learning strengths and stretches of each of our students through customized programming.  

Our Instructors offer a wide range of teaching and tutoring experiences in our centres, online learning platforms, and host schools. Our staff includes BC Certified Teachers, Special Education Assistants, Orton-Gillingham certified instructors, Speech-Language Pathologists, graduate-level subject matter specialists, and experienced inclusive education tutors.  

LDS Instructors are passionate about teaching and gifted in building rapport with students. The Learning Support Team works closely with them to design programs that encourage growth and mastery of specific skills, with the goal of helping students move more confidently towards independence, and gain empowerment through self-regulated learning.  

One of the core principles of our RISE programming is the high level of importance placed on really getting to know the students we support. We learn about our students’ unique interests, develop a comprehensive understanding of their learning profiles, and work as a team to make informed and meaningful decisions on their behalf. These decisions range from making Instructor-student placements, to choosing the most appropriate research-based curricula and/or effective teaching frameworks to promote optimal engagement through learning.  

As learning and teaching theories evolve over time to keep up with a world that is constantly changing, LDS conducts ongoing research to stay current on the most effective, research- and evidence-based methodologies and programs. We offer numerous programs and curricular options to our Instructors, and they receive ongoing training and case management from our Learning Support team, from internal and external professional learning opportunities, and from each other.  

Most importantly, we understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach to setting students up for success. LDS always considers requests from families or schools regarding specific instructional strategies, including Orton-Gillingham approach, but recognizes there also are other programming options that may be equally or more effective for students, depending on their unique learning profile and interests.  

“Learning Disabilities Society draws from a deep pool of instructors with diverse training and experienced learning support managers to provide their multi-method RISE programming that is grounded in current education research. I commend their offering of a wide range of programming options that are current, ‘state of the field’ and enable optimization of each remedial program design. Importantly, Learning Disabilities Society has diligently followed a holistic approach to instructor training, remedial program development and student assessment to deliver comprehensive individualized support that is ideally suited to each student’s needs.” – Dr. Nancy Perry, University of British Columbia Professor and Dorothy Lam Chair in Special Education  


LDS is proud to do customized intake and program design to match the unique literacy, numeracy, and executive functioning needs of our students.
 

 

LDS’s portfolio of program and curriculum options include:  

  • Sound Partners – A research-based tutoring program that provides individual instruction in early reading skills.  
  • REWARDS – A powerful research-based, short-term, and specialized program for adolescent students in grades 4–12 who struggle reading long, multisyllabic words and comprehending content-area text.  
  • Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) – The Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) model combines instructional strategies with a means to self-regulate. The goal is to teach the strategies that students need in order to write, while supporting them to be motivated.  
  • Orton-Gillingham (OG) – A direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy when reading, writing, and spelling does not come easily to individuals, such as those with dyslexia. 
  • Step Up to Writing – A multisensory, explicit, and systematic approach to teaching writing that is designed to provide clear strategies, methods, and supports for increased student success.  
  • Words Their Way – Based on years of research into invented and developmental spelling, the classroom-proven framework of this successful series is keyed to the five stages of spelling and orthographic development.  
  • Making Words – Making Words fosters high-order thinking skills and requires students to apply phonemic learning. This strategy builds holistic understanding of language by exploring how sounds form words and words form ideas.  
  • JUMP Math – An evidence-based program that has produced significant improvements in students’ achievement and attitudes in math.  
  • PR1ME Math – PR1ME Mathematics is a world-class program based on effective teaching and learning practices of Singapore, Republic of Korea and Hong Kong – consistent top performers in international studies.  
  • Dynamic Math – Guided workbooks and practice material that supports the BC Math Curriculum.  
  • The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) – World-renowned for providing evidence-based social skills treatment to preschoolers, adolescents, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, and other socio-emotional problems.  

 

 

Online Learning Tools and Resources for At-Home Study *updated Dec 2020

Online Learning Tools and Resources for At-Home Study *updated Dec 2020

With the school disruptions of the past year, it is essential to find ways to continue to provide learning opportunities and critical services to our students. Below we offer a selection of online learning resources that may prove useful in your efforts to support your child’s learning at home. Please note our top ten resources have been highlighted to supplement our RISE at Home programming!

* original post April 2020; updated December 2020

Click here to explore the BC curriculum by your child’s grade-level and subject.

 

RISE-AT SOFTWARE SUITE

LDS is offering the following programs to our students and families free of charge thanks to our generous AT sponsors. To learn more about these products, or to receive your free copy, please contact AT@ldsociety.ca. 

MindMeister  

Website and mobile app offering simple and effective tools for organizing ideas, brainstorming, taking notes and more in the form of mind maps. 

Read&Write  

Toolbar available on many platforms offering simple and effective literacy support tools like text to speech, dictionaries, highlighters, and focus aids. 

Grammarly  

A program available on many platforms that offers advanced digital writing assistance to improve spelling, grammar, tone, and wording.  

BeeLine Reader  

A browser extension that uses a simple cognitive trick — an eye-guiding color gradient — to make reading on-screen easier, faster, and more enjoyable 

Live It Earth   

A Vancouver-based company offering kids, schools and families online learning about the natural world that takes them from sea to space. Offerings include live broadcasts, expert Q&A, and fun activities that encourage kids of all ages to get away from the screen and in-touch with the world around them. 

MULTIPLE SUBJECTS

2Simple
Online curriculum resource for early years – 11 years old. Subjects include: math, science, english, design, and history.

ALBERT
Practice questions, assignments, and tests for math, science, and english language arts grade 5 – 12.

Arcademics
Boost student engagement & fact fluency with this free multiplayer educational games, math games, language arts games, and more. Designed for grades 1 – 6.

BrainPop
Animated Educational Site for Kids – Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Arts & Music, Health, and Technology. BrainPOP aligns all topics to the standards.

Breakout Edu
An immersive learning games platform to support learning in math, sciences, and language arts. Organized by grade and topic, there are a wide range of games to choose from.

CK-12 Foundation
Each lesson has a reading passage, videos, optional review questions, and self-graded practice questions. The lessons can be assigned to Google Classroom. Free School closure webinar: How to teach online and learn from home with CK-12.

Classroom Secrets
Digital learning tools in all subjects for grades K-6 including spelling, history, math, and reading.

Century
The folks over at Century are allowing parents to access all their resources for free over the next few weeks. Designed for students of all ages, kids can brush up on their math, science, and reading skills.

Digital Learning Academy
An online learning platform with 32 STE(A)M courses that come with lesson plans, instructions, online materials, quizzes, worksheets, and more. Educators will receive full access to all of these courses at no cost during the coronavirus crisis.

Discovery K12
Discovery K12 provides a complete online curriculum for pre-k to 12th grade. All main subjects are covered, plus extra curriculum courses. Curriculum is free to use and available worldwide.

Edmentum
Edmentum is offering schools and districts subscriptions to its online academy and subscriptions to its online practice program. Email info@edmentum.com and watch the recorded webinar to learn more.

Edu-Together
Edu-Together will be providing selected services including online courses, staff training and tech assistance “at cost” to any schools or students who are unable to attend school due to the Coronavirus. This website has online courses for high school students in math, history, science, and languages.

Emile
Free full access to Emile games-based learning resources for reading and math. Designed for early learners and primary grades.

Fluency & Fitness
Fluency & Fitness® helps students review essential literacy and math skills, while getting in some exercise. Find over 900 videos to help your child keep learning at home and burn off some extra energy. The company is offering its subscription website free for parents to use at home during the school closures.

i-Ready
Free printable K-8 math and reading packets for students.

IXL
IXL is built on four key components: comprehensive K-12 curriculum, a Continuous Diagnostic, personalized guidance, and real-time analytics.  Free IXL access for 90 days is offered in addition to a free webinar series with strategies for at-home learning, plus implementation resources and videos to help plan for school closures.

PBS Learning Media
Videos, games, lesson plans and supplemental materials can be searched by grade level, subject area, keyword and standard. PBS Learning Media’s Google Classroom integration makes it easy to share resources.

Khan Academy
You can learn anything. Expert-created content and resources for every course and level. Always free.

Khan Academy Kids
Khan Academy Kids is a free online education program for children ages 2 – 7. the mobile app was designed by child development experts at Stanford University and engages kids in core subjects like early literacy, reading, writing, language, and math, while encouraging creativity and building social-emotional skills. Always free, no ads, no subscriptions, with an offline version available for when internet access is difficult.

Scholastic
The classroom magazines team has created a free “Learning at Home” hub for teachers and families which presents 21 days of engaging, knowledge-building learning journeys for different grade levels that can be accessed at home by kids on any device, even phones.

 Starfall
Online game-based learning for students in grades K – 3. Starfall’s emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity has proven effective in teaching emergent readers. Starfall activities are research-based and align with Individual and Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics.

Studyladder
This site provides ELA, Math, Science and other areas of study for children through 6th grade. Free unlimited access.

Walkabouts: The Active Learning Platform
Walkabouts are on-demand adventures that transform math and language content into short, movement-rich activities for Pre-K through Second Grade students.

LANGUAGE ARTS

Age of Learning
Age of Learning provides schools closed due to the coronavirus with free home access for all affected families to  digital education programs ABCmouse, Adventure Academy, and ReadingIQ. Programs serve students in preschool / pre-k, elementary school, and middle school. Access to a digital library and online educational games for learning reading skills. Designed for early learners.

Book Creator
Parents can help their school-age kids make their own books using Book Creator’s 90-day free tutorial, which lets kids write and illustrate their own creations.

Classroom Cereal
Grammar practice in free, printable short stories.

CommonLit
Browse our free collection of reading passages in all literary and nonfiction genres for grades 3-12.

Dyslexia Academy
Dyslexia-Academy is an online dyslexia school of support for Parents, Teachers and Pupils.

Ecree
Ecree provides real-time feedback on the elements of foundational academy writing: argumentation, organization and analysis. Due to COVID-19 school closings, Ecree is offering all students free access to its interactive writing assistant software until May 31, 2020.

Handwriting Heroes
Handwriting Heroes is a multisensory handwriting curriculum that teaches children how to form their letters through animations, stories and song. iPad app is being offered free of charge. Letter formation videos – always free.

HOMER
Early learning reading program for ages 2-8 that is personalized to your child’s interests to help them fall in love with learning.

Libby App
Free Overdrive app for digital books and audio books. Access through libraries.

Newsela
High-interest, cross-curricular texts with accompanied lesson plans. Reading level of the articles can be adjusted. Free access to Newsela’s entire product suite for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year.

Phonics Hero
Phonics Hero teaches school-aged children to read and spell with systematic phonics. Using a step-by-step approach, the 850 games teach children the 44 sounds, the reading and spelling of words, and how to conquer sentences. Available on tablets and computers. 30 days full free access.

Pinna
Screen-free, ad-free audio streaming service for kids 3-12, featuring podcasts, audiobooks and music. Use the promo code PINNA4KIDS. To activate, create an account and enter the code in step 2 of the sign up process. Two months for free.

ReadWorks
ReadWorks is an online resource of research-based reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12. Always free.

Storyline Online
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creative illustrations. Always free.

Wonderopolis.org
Short videos and readings that answers various intriguing questions for students. There are vocabulary challenges and comprehension questions to test knowledge. Good for building vocabulary, comprehension, and reading skills for elementary and middle school students.

Writing Legends
Free writing program for students. Guides through the writing process, and promotes independence. Includes over 200 writing activities.

Vooks
Vooks brings children’s books to life with animated illustrations, read-a-long text and narrated story. The ad-free platform features a variety of titles.

MATH

Asecend Math
Ascend Math offers K12 math instruction providing an individual study plan for each student. Free service is offered from now until the end of April for schools new to Ascend Math.

Bedtime Math/ Cabin Fever Math
Bedtime Math helps families introduce math as a fun part of their daily routine, like a beloved bedtime story. Also, this resource contains ideas for hands-on activities that students can do at home to better understand math concepts.

CheckMath
Boost your math understanding by getting instant feedback on your work.

Data Classroom
DataClassroom is a web app that allows students in grades 6-12 to make graphs (line, bar, box plots, dot plots, etc.) and do basic statistical analysis. This activity uses data from the 1918 influenza pandemic to illustrate why schools are closing in an attempt to flatten the curve. Start a free 90-day trial to create classes with student accounts. Company CEO Aaron Reedy says that teachers can email him directly to extend a trial longer than 90-days.

MathCelebrity.com
Automated online math tutor, like a Google for math. Enter your math problem or search term, press the button, and it shows you the step-by-step work and answer instantly. 2nd grade through college.

Phet
Free science and math simulations for teaching STEM topics, including physics, chemistry, biology, and math, from University of Colorado Boulder.

Prodigy
Join more than million students, teachers, parents and school leaders using our zero cost math learning platform for grades 1–8.

ST Math
It’s a PreK-8 visual instructional program that leverages the brain’s innate spatial-temporal reasoning ability to solve mathematical problems.

Zearn
K-5 curriculum aims to build deep understanding and a love of learning math for all students. Always free.

XtraMath
Free math facts fluency website.

SCIENCE

Alchemie
Develops apps for learning chemistry concepts.

American Chemistry Society
Free articles for high school students to learn about chemistry topics such as chemical reactions, acids/bases, etc.

Defined Learning
Hands-on projects are based on situations in STEM careers to help learners discover their passions and choose a pathway to a promising future.

ExploreLearning Science4Us
Science4Us covers Inquiry, Physical Science, Life Science and Earth & Space Science with lessons designed for K-2 students. 1000’s of online and offline activities teach students using videos, interaction, poems, songs, and digital notebooks. Free 30-day trial.

NASA Kids’ Club
NASA Kids’ Club helps children in pre-K through fourth grade learn the ins and outs of NASA’s missions using hands-on educational games. There’s also a “Now in Space” slideshow that introduces budding astronauts to the crew currently orbiting Earth on the International Space Station.

National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids has put together a site full of free educational videos, games, and activities that center on wildlife and preservation for kids of all ages.

SEPUP
Free science simulations, scientist profiles, and other digital resources for middle school science and high school biology. No login required. Always free.

Tyto Online
Next Generation Science video game focused on middle school students. Free 60-day trial offered with the possibility of extension for schools affected by COVID-19/coronavirus closures.

HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES

Active History
British educator Russell Tarr offers tools and resources for teaching history including interactive simulations, quizzes, and games. A one-month free trial is available on request due to school closures.

Big History Project
Big History Project is a free, online social studies course that emphasizes skill development such as writing and critical thinking, as students draw connections between past, present and future.

LANGUAGE

Conjugemos
Conjuguemos makes learning verb conjugations in Spanish, French (+ 7 other languages) easy with drill practices and fun multi-player games.

ESL Library
Offering Plus subscriptions to all Standard users, and its printable lessons on Pandemics and the coronavirus are also currently free for non-members.

TECHNOLOGY

BeeLine Reader
BeeLine Reader helps students read on screen more effectively. It is used both by skilled readers (including high school and college students) and readers with dyslexia, ADHD and autism. The technology is backed by educational research and has won social impact awards from the United Nations and Stanford University. Free access to the BeeLine Reader Browser plugin for Chrome has been added.

CMU CS Academy
Online, interactive high school computer science curriculum that is entirely free.

Minecraft: Education Edition
A game-based learning platform that aims to promote creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive digital environment.

Typing Club
Always free. Master touch typing using this game / educational program.

Youth Code Jam
Free bilingual, hands-on coding activities for K-8 that can be used in school or at home, teaching basic computational thinking and computer science concepts. Adventure Mode helps drive student-centered learning.

Vidcode
Offering Vidcode’s full computer science curriculum and coding platform at no cost during COVID-19/coronavirus closures.

ARTS

Digital Theatre Plus
Three million students, at over 2,000 academic institutions, in 80+ countries have unlimited access to some of the world’s finest productions, unique backstage insights, practitioner interviews and written analysis. Free during this time.

Mark Kistler
Offering free access to free, virtual, live webcasts for art/drawing lessons for students needing to work from home during this period.

COMMUNICATION PLATFORMS

CiscoWebex
Cisco Webex is the leading enterprise solution for video conferencing, online meetings, screen share, and webinars.

ClassDojo
ClassDojo is a free tool for parent communication, sharing information, and portfolios, provide a platform for teachers to assign and students to complete and submit work online.

EdConnect
EdConnect is a video messaging tool that brings the classroom environment online.

Zoom
Online app for video conferences. Has features to project desktop screen, and a whiteboard.

ViewSonic
From creating digital content and capturing lessons with video, to organizing digital assignments, our myViewBoard education solutions help deliver classroom interaction in digital learning.

STUDY TOOLS

Quizlet
Quizlet makes simple learning tools that let you study anything. Start learning today with flashcards, games and learning tools — all for free.

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS

Centervention
Game-based interventions that focus on improving social and emotional skills in K-8 students. Educators can get a free 30-day trial and have as many students as they’d like to play the programs at school or at home. Free SEL lessons/activities and printables.

UBC and LDS collaboration brings affordable, accessible psychoeducational assessments to students

UBC and LDS collaboration brings affordable, accessible psychoeducational assessments to students

LDS is thrilled to announce to our families that we are now able to offer referrals for psychoeducational and neuropsychological evaluations to some of our families!

 

We are collaborating with the University of British Columbia’s Psychological Services and Counselling Training Centre (PSCTC). The PSCTC is a university-based setting for clinical training and research within the UBC’s Faculty of Education. The PSCTC supports graduate training in psychoeducational assessment and intervention, and in counselling, maintains an up-to-date Test Library of psychoeducational assessment and intervention and mental health and social development resources, provides service and leadership in the profession and community, and facilitates research in education.

 

This collaboration with UBC will be a game changer for many of our families, who will now have access to an affordable assessment over a time span that is potentially years faster than currently available via other means. Having this additional evidence and deeper understanding about their child’s learning strengths and stretches will help our families be better advocates for their children and ensure they get learning supports that are tailored to their child’s needs.

 

These evaluations will be offered by PSCTC at a rate that is roughly half of what is available via private practitioners. And thanks to the generous support of our donors and sponsors, qualifying LDS families will be eligible for partial to full bursary support to subsidize the cost of the assessment so that we can make it accessible and affordable to all. 

 

While LDS is facilitating these referrals and will be providing space at our Learning Centre to conduct portions of the assessment that need to be done in person, families will have a direct relationship with UBC PSCTC, will follow their procedures and policies, and will have full ownership of all reports and data generated through the evaluation process.

 

Everyone at LDS would like to thank the professors, staff and students at UBC’s PSCTC for offering this invaluable opportunity to our families. We cannot wait to help more families access the learning supports they need and deserve! 

 

How do referrals work? 

LDS families will be referred to the PSCTC; a professor will arrange an initial intake screening call to see if and what degree of evaluation might be most appropriate for each child. If you are interested and have not yet been contacted by us, please reach out to info@ldsociety.ca to discuss this opportunity.

 

More about psycho-educational and neuro-psychological assessments at PSCTC (from https://psctc.educ.ubc.ca/facilities-services/ )
The PSCTC Assessment Clinics offer psycho-educational assessments and/or consultation for children and youth who have questions about their cognitive, academic, social-emotional, or behavioural strengths and weaknesses in order to provide diagnoses and/or to develop strategies to meet their individual learning needs. Clinicians are interns, senior graduate students, current doctoral students, or recent graduates from the UBC school psychology training program. Interns commonly fulfill this rotation during the summer months. Overall coordination of work in the Clinics is provided by the Professional Practice Leader, working with other doctoral trained, registered psychologists or Certified School Psychologists.

 

The PSCTC also has a neuropsychological assessment clinic where the emphasis is on neuropsychological evaluation of children and youth to help identify areas of strength and weakness to help with their medical treatment, educational planning, and treatment (such as therapy/counselling or behavioral management). The evaluation will be appropriate for children and youth who are experiencing difficulties with learning, attention, behaviour, or social functioning, difficulty with emotional control, medical or developmental problems that affect the brain, or brain injuries from accidents, medical treatment, or other experiences. The assessment reports will also provide support for children and youth who may have a history of cancer, concussion or traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, ADHD, learning disabilities, Tourette’s Syndrome, and other medical conditions. This assessment clinic will also provide supervised training opportunities for School and Applied Child Psychology doctoral students and is a primary training rotation for doctoral interns in the BC School and Applied Psychology Internship Program. 

RDSP: What You Need to Know about Registered Disability Savings Plans

RDSP: What You Need to Know about Registered Disability Savings Plans

October is RDSP Awareness month! Here at the Learning Disabilities Society, our mission is to provide equitable, affordable access to learning support for all students to navigate their school years. One way that families of our students can secure affordable learning support beyond their child’s school years is through a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). With an RDSP in place, we believe parents are better equipped to prepare for their child’s financial future.

 

What can an RDSP do for you?

The RDSP is a savings plan designed specifically for people with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities. This long-term savings plan helps the holder become financially prepared for the future. It is an incredibly rewarding plan: for every $1 contribution, the government will match up to $3, based on family income. The RDSP provides up to a maximum of $90,000.00 in matching grants and bonds without affecting your child’s eligibility for additional disability benefits.

An exciting feature of the plan is that anyone can contribute! Family, friends, community members, anyone who wants to support your child can do so. Another important feature is that an RDSP does not reduce any other disability benefits received by your child—now, or in the future. Once matured, the holder chooses how the money is spent. This provides a safety net for your child’s schooling, housing, or health expenses. Whatever comes up as necessary in your child’s life, they will have an extra level of financial security and independence.

 

How to start an RDSP:

  • You must already be receiving the Disability Tax Credit.
  • If you are not already receiving the Disability Tax Credit and need assistance setting it up, help is available with the Disability Alliance BC.
  • Go to your bank. All of Canada’s major financial institutions offer the RDSP.

 

Why you should start an RDSP today:

  • An estimated 500,000 people across Canada could benefit from an RDSP, but so far only about 200,000 plans have been opened.
  • Endowment 150: eligible people with disabilities can redeem a one-time $150 grant to contribute to their RDSP.

 

RDSP Resources to get started:

Free service for eligible families to learn about and apply for a Vancity RDSP: http://equalfutures.ca/

More about #RDSPAwareness Month: https://www.rdsp.com/rdsp-awareness-month/ 

More about RDSP at Vancity: https://www.vancity.com/Investments/TypesofInvestments/RDSP/ & https://www.vancity.com/Investments/TypesofInvestments/RDSP/RDSP2/ 

Apply for the $150 endowment: https://www.rdsp.com/endowment-150/

 

Additional Information and helpful links:

 

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