We often hear of the need for specific learning disability programming from other adult literacy practitioners. They express frustration with trying to effectively assist their learners with learning disabilities and the need for screening/assessment techniques and specialized learning strategies to help them.
The initial research concept and proposal were developed in the fall of 2002 with the goal to develop and test a literacy programming model between September 2003 and June 2004 that will deliver services based on the expressed needs of literacy practitioners.
Identifying and quantifying the needs of practitioners was the first step in making decisions on the development and implementation of an innovative programming approach. So, a survey was developed and distributed to most adult literacy programs in the province in the last quarter of 2002. We experienced an astounding return rate on this survey of 88%, which we believe is an indicator of how strongly practitioners feel about the need for information and supports in the area of learning disabilities.
Survey findings show that practitioners overwhelmingly agree on the services they believe would be helpful for promoting learning success among their students.
A quick summary of some of the major quantitative findings indicate:
Practitioners want to learn about: how to develop and use screening/assessment checklists, the screening/assessment process and how and where to make referrals for screening/assessments. They reported a limited number of agencies currently available for screening/assessments for learning disabilities.
“...it would be extremely useful to be able to identify if someone has an LD”
The researcher made telephone inquiries to these agencies to determine the type of services offered. Referrals were made either to professional psychologists for a formal assessment or for informal assessments. In all cases related to informal assessment, the researcher was either directly or indirectly referred to LITERACYWORKS.