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Learning My Way. Lynn Ziraldo, Executive Director, LDAYR 905-884-7933, ext. 25. Disabilities in Ontario. Just over 15.5% of Ontarians have a disability, or 1 in every 7 people

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Learning my way

Learning My Way

Lynn Ziraldo, Executive Director, LDAYR

905-884-7933, ext. 25

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region

M\LDAYR\PublicRelations\PublicEducationandAwareness\Presentations\2011\Learning My Way


Disabilities in ontario

Disabilities in Ontario

  • Just over 15.5% of Ontarians have a disability, or 1 in every 7 people

  • People with disabilities, along with their families and friends, take part in the everyday activities like everyone else

  • By providing services that welcome people with disabilities, better service is offered to everyone.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Understanding disabilities

Understanding Disabilities

There are many kinds of disabilities. They can be visible, hidden, permanent or occur only at certain times. Here are some types of disabilities:

  • Deaf-blind

  • Hearing

  • Intellectual

  • Developmental

  • Learning

  • Mental health

  • Physical

  • Speech/language

  • Vision

Disabilities vary. Being hard of hearing is different from being Deaf. Having low vision is different from being blind. A disability can happen to anyone at anytime. Some people are born with a disability. For others, the disability results from an illness or an accident. Sometimes it happens because the person is getting older. In fact, as our population ages, many of us may eventually face some kind of limitation. According to Statistics Canada, by 2031, seniors will account for between 23% and 25% of the total population. That’s double the current senior proportion of 13%.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning disabilities lds in canada

Learning Disabilities (LDs) in Canada

  • It is estimated that 5% to 10% of Canadians have a Learning Disability

  • LDs are lifelong conditions. Also, no two individuals with learning disabilities are identical, nor do they portray identical symptoms.

  • 15-30% of all participants in job training programs have learning disabilities.

  •  Adults and adolescents with LDs are at risk of developing mental health problems. 74% of people with clinical depression also had significant learning problems.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Myths and facts

Myths and Facts

Myth: Accommodations in the workplace give an advantage over other employees and/or candidates.

Fact: Accommodations allow employees with learning disabilities to be as successful at their job as others are at theirs. They allow these employees to compete on a level playing field. Fair is not always equal.

Myth: People with LDs cannot learn.

Fact: People with LDs are smart and can learn. LDs mean learning in different ways.

Myth: People with LDs are just lazy.

Fact: People with LDs often have to work harder but the results may not reflect their efforts. Some people with LDs may become discouraged because they have struggled so hard, and they may appear unmotivated or lazy.

Myth: All LDs are outgrown by adulthood.

Fact: LDs tend to be noticed most often in school, but can affect all areas of life.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

We may not realize it, but most of us work with someone who has a learning disability. Imagine that you are at a seminar with 100 people. As you look around, 5 to 10 people in this group are likely to have a learning disability.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

LEARNING DISABILITIES: a new definition“Learning Disabilities” refers to a variety of disorders that affect the acquisition, retention, understanding, organization or use of verbal and/or non-verbal information.These disorders result from impairments in one or more psychological processes related to learning, in combination with otherwise average abilities essential for thinking and reasoning. Learning disabilities are specific not global impairments and as such are distinct from intellectual disabilities.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

The Simple AnswerLearning Disabilities can affect how a person interprets, remembers, understands and expresses information. It’s important to know that people with learning disabilities are intelligent and have abilities to learn despite difficulties in processing information. Living with a learning disability can have an ongoing impact on friendships, school, work, self-esteem and daily life. People with LDs can succeed when solid coping skills and strategies are developed.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region

8


Learning my way

People with LDs are intelligent and can learn!

Learning Disabilities are brain based problems that affect one or more ways that a person takes in, stores or uses information. LDs can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and math.

They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time management and social skills.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

  • The difficulties they experience are due to impairments in one or more of the psychological processes related to learning:

  • Phonological processing (identifying and manipulating speech sounds)

  • Working memory (holding information in mind while also using the information)

  • Processing speed (speed of taking in, using, or pulling out information)

  • Language processing (understanding and expressing information using words)

  • Executive functions (planning and organizing)

  • Visual-motor processing (carrying out hand-eye activities)

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

  • LDs come in many forms and their effects are different from person to person. People with LDs have strengths but also have areas of weakness that affect one or more of the following:

  • Getting information to the brain (input)

  • Making sense of this information (organization)

  • Storing and retrieving information (memory)

  • Getting information back out (output)

  • Because LDs do not affect all areas, people with LDs can make up for weaknesses by using strengths in other areas.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

What do LDs affect?

No two LDs are the same. LDs vary greatly in form and intensity, and can affect one or more of the following areas:

ACADEMICS

SOCIAL LIFE

DAILY LIFE

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region

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Learning my way

Academics

  • Reading (sometimes called dyslexia)

  • Understanding what is read

  • Recognizing words

  • Breaking words down into their individual sounds

  • Reading fluently

  • Writing (sometimes called dysgraphia)

  • Handwriting

  • Putting thoughts on paper

  • Organizing written work

  • Spelling and grammar

  • Math (sometimes called dyscalculia)

  • Doing arithmetic and calculation

  • Using symbols

  • Understanding visual-spatial relationships

  • Learning number facts

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Daily Life

Social Life

  • Organizing and prioritizing

  • Planning and decision making

  • Learning to drive

  • Finding the way in an unfamiliar environment

  • Following multi-step instructions

  • Finding things on a cluttered desk

  • Interpreting graphs, charts or maps

  • Seeing the ‘whole picture’ or knowing what details are important

  • Understanding sarcasm

  • Figuring out how someone is feeling from their body language or facial expressions

  • Understanding the unwritten social rules

  • Taking part in groups

  • Understanding tones of voice

  • Taking turns in conversation

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

What can it feel like to have LDs?

  • LDs can affect people differently. People may struggle with:

  • Their work not reflecting their effort

  • Keeping up with work colleagues or friends

  • Being seen as lazy and not trying hard enough

  • Feeling frustrated

  • Feeling a lack of confidence

  • Feeling stupid even though they are intelligent

  • Feeling that people in their lives don’t understand them

  • Not wanting to look different from their colleagues or peers

  • Feeling shame (about having a disability)

  • Being the target of bullies

  • Feeling isolated and lonely

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

These situations may lead to:

  • Low self-esteem

  • Lack of confidence

  • Feeling dumb

  • A sense of failure

  • Appearing less motivated

  • Loneliness

  • Social withdrawal

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Learning Disabilities

  • Learning disabilities can result in a host of different communication difficulties for individuals. They can be subtle, as in having difficulty reading, or they can be more pronounced. They can interfere with a person’s ability to receive, express or process information.

  • You may not be able to know that someone has a learning disabilities unless you are told.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Visual perception what is this a picture of

Visual PerceptionWhat is this a picture of?

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Does it help if the photo is in more detail

Does it help if the photo is in more detail?

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Does it help if the image is blackened out

Does it help if the image is blackened-out?

We all look at the same image but may not all process the information in the same way. Looking at the image “in different ways” allows everyone an opportunity to process the image of the Dalmatian.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


From the previous slide

From the previous slide…

One in ten people have a Learning Disability.

It can be hard to diagnose because you can’t see it. It’s invisible.

It’s a lifelong condition.

A child with LD grows into a youth with LD who then becomes an adult with LD.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Guess who

Guess Who?

  • Clue 1: Has a trade mark for his dancing skills

  • Clue 2: The only person that knows how to bring “Sexy Back”

  • Clue 3: Dated Britney Spears in his younger years

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Justin timberlake revealed he has adhd

Justin TimberlakeRevealed he has ADHD

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Guess who1

Guess Who?

  • Clue 1: an American actor that was popular in the 1980’s for his roles in teen movies

  • Clue 2: Well known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Shepherd (Dr. McDreamy) on the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy

  • Clue 3: He has appeared in several film roles, including The Emperor’s Club, Freedom Writers, Enchanted and Made of Honor.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Patrick dempsey diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult

Patrick DempseyDiagnosed with Dyslexia as an adult

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Guess who2

Guess Who?

  • Clue 1:The star of the movie HANCOCK

  • Clue 2:Rose to fame as a rapper under the name of the Fresh Prince in the late 1980’s, when he starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

  • Clue 3:Other notable roles include Agent J in Men in Black, Detective Del Spooner in I-Robot, and starred in The Pursuit of Happiness

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Will smith revealed he has adhd

Will SmithRevealed he has ADHD

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Guess who3

Guess Who?

  • Clue 1: Stared in hilarious movies like, Old School, Wedding Crashers and Dodge ball

  • Clue 2: Is one of the tallest actors in Hollywood at 6 foot 5 inches

  • Clue 3: established himself as one of Hollywood’s biggest names in comedy

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Vince vaughan diagnosed with adhd

Vince VaughanDiagnosed with ADHD

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Famous people with lds and or adhd

Famous People with LDs and/or ADHD

  • Athletes:

    • Bruce Jenner

    • Magic Johnson

    • Carl Lewis

    • Greg Louganis (Olympic Diver)

    • Nolan Ryan (MLB All Star Pitcher)

    • Pete Rose (Baseball)

    • Babe Ruth (Baseball)

Actors & Movie

Industry Figures:

Jim Carey

Tom Cruise

Patrick Dempsey

Walt Disney

Whoopi Goldberg

Dustin Hoffman

Jack Nicholson

Ty Pennington (Extreme Makeover Home Edition)

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)

Will Smith

Steven Spielberg

Sylvester Stallone

Robin Williams (Happy Feet)

Henry Winkler (The Fonz)

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Famous people with lds and or adhd1

Famous People with LDs and/or ADHD

Musicians:

Christina Aguilera

Beethoven

Harry Belafonte

Cher

John Lennon (The Beetles)

Tony Bennett

Politicians:

Winston Churchill

Benjamin Franklin

John F. Kennedy

Robert Kennedy

  • Scientists:

    • Alexander Graham Bell

    • Thomas Edison

    • Louis Pasteur

  • Others:

    • Hans Christian Anderson

    • Leonardo da Vinci

    • Henry Ford

    • Tommy Hilfiger

    • Rodin

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

These individuals all have a learning disability!

They all state that they have been successful because of their learning disability

“A Different Way of Learning Can Lead to Success”

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Can You Read This?

DON’T THE LETTERS SEEM TO FLOAT ALONG THE PAGE?!

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

How Many Faces?

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Find seven dolphins

Find Seven Dolphins

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Now find them

Now Find Them…

A LITTLE HELP CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Can you decode this

Can you decode this?

Wenwehvdivklteadekdnwudz, wee myte

Rekireodio inn puttfer thaw pasauge two mayk cents

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

This is impossible to decode…just like it is, for some students who have learning disabilities, to decode written directions. When they get to use their preferred method of learning they can then begin to understand the material being taught.

Wen wehv divkltea dekdn wudz, wee myte rekire odio inn putt fer thaw pasauge two mayke cents

When we have difficulty decoding words, we might require audio input for the passage to make sense.

A pupil who has difficulty with spatialperception will definitely have difficulty decoding words.

Students challenged with visual perceptions often have strengths with auditory perception.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


How many legs does the elephant have

How Many Legs Does the Elephant Have?

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

“The toughest part about having a learning disability is not that I don’t understand…its getting other people to understand.”

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Understanding Barriers

Barriers are obstacles – things that stand in the way of people with disabilities doing many of the day-to-day activities that most of us take for granted. Barriers make shopping, working, going to a movie or taking public transit difficult, sometimes impossible, for people with disabilities.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Accommodations

Accommodations

Accommodations are adjustments or special equipment that allow people to compensate for their LDs.

Many people with LDs find that using computer software really helps them. Technology is one type of accommodation.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Because no two people have the same set of symptoms of learning disabilities, solutions are wide and varying according to the individual. Most people are familiar with accommodations for physical disabilities such as wheelchair ramps because they are visible. Accommodations for learning disabilities can also be simple solutions, such as allowing more time to complete certain tasks or arranging for different training presentations.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Accommodations1

Accommodations

Accommodations go a long way to providing a supportive environment for employees with learning disabilities. But, because most people want to be part of a team and have a real sense of belonging, it is important that the business ‘atmosphere’ also receive attention. When all employees are valued, respected and supported, your workplace becomes a workplace of choice, not of necessity.

  • Your workplace needs to be inclusive and welcoming

  • Ask yourself what you would want if roles were reversed

  • Managers/supervisors and co-workers are often the primary providers of support

  • Individuals with LDs can become full and contributing members of your workforce

  • Confidentiality is paramount. Raising awareness must be done through company/organization policy manuals, packages, handouts, etc.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Solutions ideas that work

Solutions & Ideas that Work

Auditory Perception Problems

Difficulties in receiving and/or processing accurate information from a person’s sense of hearing may be eased by the following actions:

  • Reduce background noises (telephones ringing, noisy machinery, background conversations)

  • Allow sufficient time for instructions or questions to be repeated

  • Encourage the employee to sit near the speaker at a meeting, speak slowly and deliberately, allow time for the employee to process information

  • Provide a written copy of instructions/presentations

  • Demonstrate exactly what needs to be done instead of describing the task in vague terms

  • Review steps with your employee to ensure accuracy and comprehension

  • Encourage note taking

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Solutions ideas that work cont d

Solutions & Ideas that Work cont’d

Visual Perception Problems

The inability to see likenesses and differences in shapes and forms – as in letters, words, numbers and graphs–can result in difficulties taking in and/or processing information from the sense of sight. Some can be significantly overcome by the following suggestions:

  • Provide a room/cubicle/workstations with minimal physical distractions

  • Modify a written test or training materials (provide in an alternative format)

  • Encourage the use of tapes, CDs or videos for training purposes

  • Provide voice-activated computers for written material

  • Allow assistive technology

  • Rearrange a schedule to give sufficient time to complete the task

  • Make use of oral presentations and discussions for better comprehension. Verbal instruction is extremely important.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Solutions ideas that work cont d1

Solutions & Ideas that Work cont’d

Academic Problems

There are many solutions you can allow or provide to ameliorate the difficulties in reading, writing, spelling and doing mathematics:

  • Put information on tape

  • Allow extra time for written tests

  • Allow the employee to read test questions aloud

  • Provide verbal instructions that are clear and simple

  • Demonstrate exactly what needs to be done

  • Use a coloured pen to highlight key information or instructions

  • Allow assistive technology

  • Allow extra time for reading and writing

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Solutions ideas that work cont d2

Solutions & Ideas that Work cont’d

Motor, Temporal and Organizational Problems

Some effective practice solutions include:

  • Suggest the use of an alarm, bell or timer, or verbal response as reminders

  • Allow extra time to complete the job

  • Allow work to proceed at the employee’s own pace

  • Allow extra time to process information

  • Provide one-on-one time management training

    Attention Problems

    Some effective practice solutions include:

  • Allow extra time for the worker to “get the point”

  • Paraphrase information to convey the message

  • Speak clearly or provide written information; don’t expect hints and body gestures to convey your information

  • Maintain eye contact when possible

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Consider assistive technology

Consider Assistive Technology

Assistive technology means any item, piece of equipment, product or system – whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized – that directly assists, maintains or improves functional capabilities of individuals of learning disabilities.

  • For difficulties in writing and editing: a computer with a word processor that has a spell checker, grammar and style checker, as well as editing/proofreading help and a note-taker

  • For difficulties in reading: taped instructions, taped lectures, taped books, readers’ services, page scanner with speech ability of computer program to read back the scanned page

  • For organizational difficulties: electric date books, day planner

  • For difficulties with mathematics: electronic calculator, talking calculator, graph paper, sample list of steps to follow

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Here are some tips on serving customers who have learning disabilities:

  • Patience and a willingness to find a way to communicate are your best tools

  • When you know that someone with a learning disability needs help, ask how you can best help

  • Speak normally and clearly, and directly to the individual

  • Take some time – people with some kinds of learning disabilities may take a little longer to process and respond

  • Try to find ways to provide information in a way that best works for them. For example, have a paper and pen handy, or printed material available to be provided

  • Be patient, encouraging and supportive

  • Be courteous and patient and your customer will let you know how to best provide service in a way that works for them

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Mental Health Disabilities

  • It is possible that you will not recognize a person with a mental health disability unless you are informed of it. Therefore, usually, it will not affect customer service at all.

  • But if someone is experiencing difficulty in controlling their symptoms or is in a crisis, you may need to help out. Be calm and professional and let your customer tell you how you can best help.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region

52


Learning my way

Here are some tips on serving customers who have mental health disabilities:

  • Treat a person with a mental health disability with respect and consideration

  • Be confident and reassuring. Listen carefully and work with your customer to meet their needs.

  • If someone appears to be in a crisis, ask them to tell you the best way to help. However, if in crisis the individual may not be able to communicate well. Be patient and provide support when necessary.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Talking about Disabilities: Choosing the Right Words

Words can influence and reinforce perceptions of people with disabilities. They can create either a positive view of people with disabilities or an indifferent, negative description.

If you’re not familiar with a disability, wait until the individual describes their situation to you, instead of making assumptions.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region

54


Questions to consider

Questions to Consider:

At the workplace level:

  • What is the physical layout of the worksite/workplace/workstation?

  • What specific equipment is used in this work setting?

  • What sort of lighting is used? What is the noise level?

  • Does the work setting have visual distractions?

  • How can the physical environment of the work setting be altered so that the employee is able to do the job?

  • Can the job duties be restructured so the employee’s duties are easier?

  • What assistive technology could be used?

Legal Considerations

  • If and an employee can’t do a specific job, can he or she do it with accommodations?

  • If the employee still can’t do this job, can he or she do another job?

  • If not, can the employee do the other job with accommodations?

    At the individual level:

  • What are the individual’s tasks?

  • What job duties are problematic?

  • What exactly does the person have difficulty doing?

  • What accommodations are needed to compensate for the LD?

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

Here are some tips that can help make your communication with or about people with disabilities more successful:

  • Use ‘disability’ not ‘handicap’

  • Put people first. ‘Person with a disability’ puts the focus on the person instead of their disability

  • For specific disabilities, say ‘person with epilepsy’ or, in the case of learning disabilities, say ‘a person with a learning disability’ or ‘people with learning disabilities’

  • Avoid statements that make it seem like a person with a disability should be pitied such as ‘victim of,’ ‘suffers with,’ or ‘stricken with’ a particular illness or disability.

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


How to help people with disabilities

How to Help People with Disabilities

  • Treat people with disabilities with respect and consideration

  • Patience, optimism and a willingness to find a way to communicate are your best tools

  • Smile, relax and keep in mind that people with disabilities want to experience helpful customer service

  • Some disabilities are not visible so take the time to know the client/customer

  • Be patient

  • If you’re not sure what to do, ask, “How can I help you?”

  • If you can’t understand the customer, just politely ask again

  • Good communication starts with listening carefully

  • Look at the individual, but don’t stare. Speak directly to the person and not their interpreter or someone who is with them.

  • Use plain language

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


For success

For success:

Persons with learning disabilities require specialized interventions in home, school, community and workplace settings, appropriate to their individual strengths and needs, including:

  • Specific skill instruction

  • The development of compensatory strategies

  • The development of self-advocacy skills

  • Appropriate accommodations

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


After this session you have

After this session, you have…

  • Gained a better understanding of how to transform your workplace into a physical and cultural environment, supportive of employees with learning disabilities

  • Learned the essentials in providing accommodation

  • Discovered some of the ‘effective practices’ in providing accommodation so that persons with learning disabilities can perform their job and be on an equal playing field with other workers. This in turn builds their confidence and self-esteem

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

True diversity is exemplified by companies that hire people who are different – knowing and valuing that they will change the way you do business.

-Dr. Santiago Rodriguez, Director of Diversity for Microsoft

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Learning my way

L

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nin

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Le

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Learning

Let’s help turn things around!

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


Questions comments

Questions/Comments

Reprinted with Permission from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region


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