“Don’t Dis my Ability”
Making the Invisible Visible!

The Learning Disabilities Associations of Ontario will be marking Learning Disability (LD) Awareness month throughout the month of October. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and reduce stigma to allow individuals with LDs to get the supports they need to reach their potential.

“As the impacts of the Pandemic continue, it is clear that those who already faced barriers to success now have additional challenges to overcome,” states Lawrence Barns, President & Chief Executive Officer of LDAO. “This Pandemic has heightened challenges at school, university, the workplace, and of course homes in lockdown. Learning Disabilities Associations across Ontario are calling on everyone to make extra efforts to support people living with LDs in Schools, Universities and Colleges and the workplace. Our desire is to remind everyone that COVID restrictions, and a lack of awareness have had very real negative consequences, and that support to close gaps the pandemic has created is vital in every part of our Province. While the future is still unclear, actions today can make sure we don’t leave behind people who are at higher risk of negative outcomes.”

The Stats

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

Together we can change this!

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

About the Campaign:

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

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our daily lives – with students missing significant time in school, and workers working remotely. Those with LDs are less likely to thrive in the environments that Ontario has found its new norm, making the “Don’t Dis my Ability” campaign especially important this year.

About Us:

The Learning Disabilities Associations (LDAs) of Ontario are registered charities dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth, and adults with learning disabilities in Ontario. Services to the public are provided through a network of chapters across Ontario. LDAs receive no government funding for their work and rely on the generous support of donors and funders.

Our Mission:

LDAO’s mission is to provide leadership in learning disabilities advocacy, research, education and services and to advance the full participation of children, youth and adults with learning disabilities in today’s society. We value promoting positive change through:

  • Innovation
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Credible advocacy
  • Informed public policy and
  • Quality products and services

Local Chapter information:

Please see our chapter listing here

More about Learning Disabilities:

  • By definition someone with LDs has average to above average intelligence
  • LDs impact certain skills, most of which can be improved with the right supports
  • Because LDs usually exhibit in the school system, those with LDs can be identified early in life, and early intervention improves confidence and outcomes
  • When they don’t receive appropriate support, individuals with LDs have higher than average rates of school dropout, unemployment and poverty

Dyslexia: Difficulties with oral and/or written language, i.e., listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Dysgraphia: Difficulties with writing legibly with age-appropriate speed, and with written expression

Dyscalculia: Difficulties with basic math skills, calculating, and math problem-solving

Executive Function: A set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action. People use it to perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space.

For Further Information Contact:

Lawrence Barns – President & CEO, LDAO
(416) 929 4311 x27

Learn more about learning disabilities.

Join the conversation.

Find out what’s happening in your community for Awareness Month by connecting with your local chapter.


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