Vancouver Charity Offers a Specially Designed Intensive Intervention Program to Support Students with Learning Differences in ‘Getting Ahead’ before the 2021-2022 School Year


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Vancouver, B.C., May 18, 2021 – In response to the prolonged effects of COVID-19 protocols on children and youth with learning differencestoday, the Learning Disabilities Society (LDS) announced a newly designed researchinformed intensive intervention program being offered beginning this summerRISE Intensive Intervention is designed to address skill gaps remaining at the end of the 2020-2021 school year and support students with learning differences in both ‘catching up’ and ‘getting ahead’ for September. 

“After over a year of learning disruptions throughout the pandemic, students with learning differences are at increased risk of falling further behind their peers,” says Dr. Jennifer Fane, Director of Education at LDS. “This may jeopardize not only their educational progress but also their self-confidence and passion for learning, which can have devastating knock-on effects.” 

Concerns around the disruption of educational services for children with learning differences are also echoed by the BC Teacher’s Federation, who in an April 2021 news release, identified that school districts facing pandemic-related budget deficits may need to reduce or eliminate additional education supports and services for students. There is a fear these cuts will disproportionally impact students with disabilities, complex learners, and other vulnerable students.i 

“Fortunately, with the support of a generous grant from Vancouver Foundation, we at LDS have been able to develop a program that ensures these students are not left behind – regardless of family circumstance,” explains Rachel Forbes, Executive Director at LDS. “Our research-based program provides an assessment of student needs and 50 hours of customized in-person, one-to-one remedial instruction to specifically meet the literacy and mathematics needs of each student. We are confident that this program, together with our team’s holistic ongoing support, can prevent unnecessary learning declines and build back confidence in our community’s most vulnerable learners.” 

RISE (Research-informed Individualized Student Education) Intensive Intervention program will run this July and August, offering students aged 6 through 18 with suspected or diagnosed learning differences an engaging and individualized intensive program that identifies and targets the grade level skill gaps that have emerged or widened during the past school year. The program offers individualized, focussed, and supportive one-on-one instruction to build student skills and confidence. Before the onset of the program, students’ learning needs are formally assessed, and students are carefully paired with specialized remedial instructors who can address their learning needs and goals.  

Applications for the program are open now available at: Fees for the program are on a sliding scale based on household income; generous bursary support has been made possible by Vancouver Foundation.  

For more information about the RISE Intensive Intervention program, or LDS, please visit our website or contact our East Vancouver office at or 604.873.8139. 

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Media contact:  

Rachel S. Forbes  
Executive Director, Learning Disabilities Society  

About Learning Disabilities Society (LDS):  

Founded in 1970, LDS is a non-profit charity that serves children with suspected or diagnosed learning disabilities by providing customized learning support. LDS’s Research-informed Individualized Student Education (RISE) model enables students to understand their unique strengths, obtain support from specialized remedial instructors, and find success in the classroom and beyond. LDS is committed to making high-quality, affordable learning support accessible to all families, regardless of circumstance.  

About Vancouver Foundation: 

Vancouver Foundation is Community Inspired. Their vision is to create healthy, vibrant and livable communities across BC. Vancouver Foundation does this by bringing together generous donors and linking their contributions to important work that addresses the needs of our communities. Vancouver Foundation is considered a local, regional, national, and international leader in responsive and proactive grantmaking and community capacity-building initiatives and collaborations. For a view into Vancouver Foundation’s world, visit