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


The Learning Disabilities Association on Sault Ste. Marie and District hosted a free community workshop last night as part of Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. Led by Angie DeMarco, this workshop helped participants to understand what a learning disability is, what it is not, what it feels like and why students learn differently. Participants developed awareness and empathy regarding the processing differences that affect the academic success of students with a learning disability.

This morning, the Learning Disabilities Association of Sault Ste. Marie will plant 1,085 small flags on the Essar Hall lawn beside Northern Avenue, representing the number of students who have been identified with a learning disability within the Algoma District School Board, the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, Algoma University, and Sault College.

At 2:00 p.m., the Learning Disabilities Association of Sault Ste. Marie’s flag will be raised at the Civic Centre by Mayor Christian Provenzano will also read a proclamation marking October as Learning Disabilities Awareness Month.


Awareness events will be taking place across Northern Ontario including the offices in North Bay, Sudbury, and Timmins. “People with learning disabilities have a lot to contribute to the community,” said Dr. Ron Common, President of Sault College and Honourary Chair of Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. “If their needs are met and they fulfill their capabilities, not only do they benefit as individuals, but the community benefits as well.”

Did you know?

  • By definition, someone with a learning disability has average to above average intelligence;
  • 1 in 10 people in Ontario has a learning disability;
  • Learning disabilities impact certain skills, most of which can be improved with the right supports;
  • Because learning disabilities usually exhibit in the school system, those with learning disabilities can be identified early in life. Early intervention improves confidence;
  • When they do not receive appropriate support, individuals with learning disabilities have higher than the average rates of school dropout, unemployment, and poverty;
  • Learning disabilities can be inherited and through their child’s diagnosis, many parents realize that they have been impacted by a learning disability themselves.

(Source LDAC Pacfold survey)

The Association believes, “The greatest hurdle a person with a learning disability often has to overcome is the feeling that they are not intelligent so they begin to hide their disability and struggle in silence. However, with their creative strengths and above average intelligence, some simple support can see them excel in their educational pursuits and eventually find meaningful employment. By giving our children and youth with learning disabilities the tools they need to succeed, we can help them create successful lives. Those with learning disabilities can become among the most creative and productive members of our communities.”

The mission of the Learning Disabilities Association of Sault Ste. Marie and District 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. The Learning Disabilities Association of Sault Ste. Marie and District relies on the generous support of donors and funders. The Association has partnered with Northern Credit Union on a fundraising campaign named We Are Not Alone. You can lend your support to the campaign by logging onto www.truenorthstrong.ca or by making a donation in person at any Northern Credit Union branch.


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