‘Lack of awareness is appalling’

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Editor,

The lack of awareness of learning disabilities is appalling.

The media, as well as ordinary people who are unaffected directly, often ignore the reality that the learning disabled are all around us. Conservative estimates put the number of learning disabled at nearly five per cent. Some experts believe this number to be higher.

Despite these statistics, LDs often go undiagnosed. The fact of the matter is that learning disabilities are largely invisible. Because you can’t see them on the outside, the disability gets ignored.

This is not to say that they are ignored by everyone. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has supports in place to assist those with LDs.

Apart from the government, this October the Learning Disability Association of Canada is hosting their annual national conference in Charlottetown.

More than any time in recent memory, the eye of Canada, as far as learning disabilities are concerned, will be upon us.

Perhaps now, more than any other time, this attention could be harnessed to show P.E.I.’s contributions to the education and welfare of those with learning disabilities and their families.

This is, in short, the perfect opportunity for P.E.I. to rally as a province to create awareness for those currently affected by LDs.

P.E.I. already has a chapter of the LDAC, but they receive little media attention and are generally unknown by the average citizen.

The time is now for the LDAPEI, as well as Islanders just like you reading this letter, to step up and take advantage of this opportunity that has been given to us.

By moving together, as a province, to support those with LDs, we can show Canada that we do indeed lead the country in support for those affected.

LDs are an issue affecting many Islanders, and I hope I am not alone is saying that I hope serious action is taken in removing the stigma that is this disability.

Caitlin Kimmet

Bedeque

Organizations: Learning Disability Association of Canada, Department of Education and Early Childhood

Geographic location: Canada, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Andre
    June 03, 2011 - 10:02

    Fortunatley for those with LD's, schools are ahead of society as a whole in terms of recognizing and dealing with intellectual disabilities. Yet it still takes years for the school system to ID LDs. It should not take 2 years for a LD to be recognized. Imagine going to school for 2 years with an unrecognized disability and being expected to keep up with peers. Screening from a young age needs to be improved on PEI.