Building a Case for Training on LDs
What If Teachers Don't Have Access to the Training They Need to Support Their Students?
Students With LDs Possess Potential
Students with learning disabilities have the potential to lead fulfilling lives with their families, to achieve success in the workplace, and to make meaningful contributions to their communities. To realize their dreams though, once diagnosed, they require the support of "specific skill instruction, compensatory strategies, accommodations, and self-advocacy skills" (LDANB, 2013). Otherwise, students with LDs will fall farther and farther behind their peers academically. Repeated failure is accompanied by feelings of perceived inadequacy and low self-esteem.
Students' Need for Support
Classroom teachers play a critical role in helping students with LDs to reach their learning potential. They assist students with identifying their talents, affinities, and challenges. With this information, teachers and their students with "differently wired brains" (Armstrong, 2012) work together to leverage strengths to achieve curriculum outcomes and to manage the areas in which students struggle. In addition, classroom teachers strive to create learning environments that meet the diverse needs of all learners in their classroom by providing flexibility for:
- instructional goals
- formative & summative assessments
Teachers' Need for Support
No one person can be an expert in everything. Nevertheless, it sometimes seems that today's teachers are expected to know it all-- subject matter, pedagogy, psychology, mental health, and the list goes on... Learning disabilities is a complex domain. As a result, teachers need access to high quality training which will assist them with continuously building on their knowledge and skills-- and most importantly, transferring that new learning to where it counts-- the classroom.
What If Teachers Don't Have Access to High Quality Training?
If teachers are unable to participate in high quality training to continually deepen their understanding of LDs, to add new strategies to their briefcase, and to receive support with implementing new interventions in the classroom, then students will not receive the required support.
What is the cost of learning disabilities to individuals, families, and society in Canada?
According to a study conducted by the Roeher Institute in 2001, it was found that the incremental cost of learning disabilities from birth to retirement in Canada was $1.951 million per person. The research found that individuals with disabilities and their families shoulder 55.2 per cent of the costs. Public programs carry most of the remainder (44.7 per cent); 0.1 per cent can be attributed to private sector insurers for medication costs. (LDAA, 2015, p. 2)
To view statistics presented as graphs, continue on to the section below.
The Cost of Not Providing Training to Teachers... for Individuals, Families, and Society...