This handbook was developed for use by Independent Living Resource Centres (ILRCs) throughout Canada as the second phase of a national literacy project undertaken by the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres (CAILC).
The handbook enables centres and other consumer groups to help empower individuals with disabilities to make their own choices and participate in the community. The handbook also increases awareness of literacy issues as they relate to people with disabilities.
The handbook begins with the personal stories of three people with disabilities who describe the barriers they faced in getting an education.
The authors have included sections on the importance of literacy to people with disabilities; making ILRCs more accessible to people with low literacy skills; and designing and implementing a disability awareness workshop.
A resource guide for adult educators
This resource guide is designed to help adult educators discover and sort through the adaptive technology that is available to help people who have learning disabilities or other challenges that affect their learning.
The authors have included information on software for reading; scanning and optical character recognition (OCR); organization and planning; writing and editing; and ease of access. They have listed both free software and programs that are available for purchase.
The authors describe some of the hardware support that is available for people with learning disabilities as well as for those with impairments in mobility, hearing or vision. For example, they describe a computer mouse that can be used by people with poor motor control and a hands-free amplifier that can supplement a hearing aid.
As well, the authors have listed some training opportunities for practitioners who want to use such technology with their students.
The authors note that the contact and purchase information is correct as of the time of publication but may change in the future.
Authors: Workplace Education Manitoba
The experience of the deaf in a hearing-majority workplace is filled with frustration, secondhand information and the annoyance of always being "the last to know." In 2007, Workplace Education Manitoba published the curriculum developed through a workplace essential skills project conducted at partner Boeing Canada Technology Ltd. in Winnipeg. Using computer training coursework as the essential skills delivery vehicle, materials were specifically designed to help level the playing field and to make equality more of a reality for deaf workers.
This fact sheet offers an overview of the impact of disabilities on literacy and suggests ways to help people with disabilities become fully integrated into society.
The authors note that one Canadian in seven over the age of 15 has a disability. About 50 percent of Canadians with disabilities experience barriers to literacy, and 20 percent of adults with disabilities have less than a Grade 9 education, more than double the rate for non-disabled adults.
They call for increased communication between disability organizations and literacy programs; the development of training about relevant issues for staff and volunteers; the creation of funding and policy initiatives at both the federal and provincial levels to promote disability and literacy programs; and continuing efforts to break down any lingering stereotypes about those affected by disabilities.
This document is part of a series developed by the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN) to address a variety of literacy-related topics.
Authors: Emerit Tourism Training
This video explains the importance both of ethics and of meeting special needs in the tourism industry.
The narrators explain that in this context, personal ethics can be summed up as doing what is right for the greater good, while professional ethics are concerned with responding to the trust customers place in a business and its employees. Cultural ethics combine the other two in ensuring that employees respond with fairness and sensitivity to people of different races, language, or cultures, and to people with special needs.
The video includes scenarios showing workers in various hospitality industries responding to three people with special needs. One of the people is visually impaired, one is hard of hearing, and one simply doesn’t speak much English.
The narrators point out things the employees do right and the areas where improvement is needed. For instance, in dealing with someone with a hearing impairment, the employee does the right thing by offering a pen and paper to help with communication. However, she asks a question while looking away from the customer, who then does not have the opportunity to read the employee’s lips.
The video is part of the Emerit training program developed by the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC), a national organization promoting professionalism and addressing labour market issues in the tourism sector.
Authors: Regina Community Clinic
This document provides a means of testing the numeracy, reading, and writing skills of employees with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
The section on numeracy includes questions about numeric values; arithmetic; understanding and calculating with currency; and physical/time relations. The reading section includes questions about reading and writing letters of the alphabet; recognizing common sounds; recognizing the parts of a sentence; and making inferences about text.
In the writing section, the assessor uses a single sample of writing to assess six different skills, including ability to respond to a question; basic spelling skills; punctuation; capitalization; sentence agreement; and ability to write complete sentences.
The sections on numeracy and reading include the answers for all questions while the writing section includes rubrics for assessing performance.
This assessment tool is used in conjunction with the corresponding document “FASD Workplace Literacy – Assessment Results Explanation.”
Authors: Regina Community Clinic
This document is used in conjunction with “FASD Workplace Literacy Assessment Instructions,” which provides a means of testing the numeracy, reading, and writing skills of employees with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
The first section of the document is to be used by a practitioner before a learner completes an FASD literacy course. Based on the learner’s response to the workplace literacy assessment, it points out areas where extra support may be required.
The second section revisits the assessment process after the learner has completed the literacy course. The authors give practical advice based on the learner’s scores on the assessment. For example, a learner whose average score on understanding numeric values is one out of a possible four points will be unable to read and understand number relationships and should avoid tasks dealing with numbers. Someone whose score is three will have few problems but may need some support understanding numbers.
20 Years of Independent Studies at Frontier College
Authors: David Greig
Full Circle is a book that celebrates and documents the achievements of Frontier College's Independent Studies Program over the past 20 years. The I.S. Program was designed to fill a need "to find ways to integrate all marginalized people, but especially people labelled 'disabled', into a welcoming community of learning."
David Grieg states: "We persevere to provide a space in which all people can be integrated into a learning community that champions each individual’s unique gifts and contributions. We persevere against changes in government priorities, funding cuts, cultural shifts, economic influences, business demands and societal expectations. We persevere because we believe in what we are doing. We believe our work has value. We believe that all people have a right to learn and to contribute and to grow as equal members of an equitable society."
Authors: NWT Literacy Council
Assistive technology can be any item, piece of equipment or system that helps work around or compensate for a disability, whether it is a learning disability or a physical disability.
Most adaptive technology is divided into one of two categories: either low or high technology solutions. High tech assistive technology usually involves computerized equipment like a computer, either software or hardware. It can also be a piece of equipment that works on its own or can connect to a computer.
The assistive technology products presented in this document cover mostly high technology aids. This list of products is not intended to be all-inclusive, but rather to provide information on products commonly available.
Authors: Kerry Duffy
This document was developed to assist the Independent Living Resource Centres to provide literacy support to consumers through their core programs.
Literacy is an important issue for Independent Living Resource Centres. Low levels of literacy skills is a fact of life for many people with disabilities. It affects their lives and the communities they live in. For a variety of reasons, the literacy rate among people who have a disability is lower than among people in the general population.