Learning Disabilities Programs

posted May 14, 2015, 7:48 PM by Jim McNeil   [ updated Feb 12, 2019, 11:11 AM by Jessica Boudreau ]

Learning Disabilities Interventions

The Learning Disabilities Program is intended for those students who have been diagnosed through a psycho-educational assessment as having characteristics of a language based learning disability. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Center for Education recognizes that learning disabilities are lifelong. Every effort is made to accommodate student needs within the regular classroom setting. When deemed necessary, students receive degrees of intervention which may include more specialized intervention within the classroom, and/or intensive, systematic, and specialized instruction within a learning disabilities program.

The Cape Breton - Victoria Regional Center for Education recognizes that there is a need for flexibility in student programming. Student placement in a learning disabilities program starts with a referral from the Program Planning Team that includes endorsement by the School Psychologist to the Cape Breton Victoria Regional Center for Education Special Class Placement Committee. The decision to place a student within the learning disabilities program is the responsibility of the Special Class Placement Committee.

According to the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada: (Adopted January 30, 2002 Re-endorsed on March 2, 2015)

"Learning Disabilities" refers to a number of disorders that may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency.

Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more of the processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning. These include, but are not limited to: language processing, phonological processing, visual spatial processing, processing speed, memory and attention, and executive functions (e.g., planning and decision-making).

Learning Disabilities range in severity and may interfere with the acquisition and use of one or more of the following:

  • oral language (e.g., listening, speaking, understanding)

  • reading (e.g. decoding, phonetic knowledge, word recognition,comprehension)

  • written language (e.g. spelling and written expression) and

  • mathematics ( e.g. computation, problem solving)

Learning disabilities may also involve difficulties with organizational skills, social perception, social interaction and perspective taking.

Learning disabilities are lifelong. The way in which they are expressed may vary over an individual's lifetime, depending on the interaction between the demands of the environment and the individual's strengths and needs. Learning disabilities are suggested by unexpected academic underachievement or achievement that is maintained only by unusually high levels of effort and support.

Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neuro-biological factors or injury that alters the brain functioning in a manner that affects one or more processes related to learning. These disorders are not due to hearing and/or vision problems, socio-economic factors, cultural or linguistic differences, lack of motivation or ineffective teaching, although these factors may further complicate the challenges faced by individuals with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities may coexist with various conditions including attentional, behavioral and emotional disorders, sensory impairments or other medical conditions.

For success, these individuals with learning disabilities require early identification and timely specialized assessments and interventions involving home, school, community and workplace settings. The interventions need to be appropriate for each individual's learning disability subtype and, at minimum, include provision of:

  • specific skill instruction

  • adaptations

  • compensatory strategies

  • self-advocacy skills

Learning Disabilities Program Locations

The program is offered at designated elementary and middle schools throughout the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Center for Education.

Elementary (Grades 3-5)

Boularderie Elementary

Bras d'Or Elementary

Brookland Elementary

Coxheath Elementary

Cusack Elementary

Ferrisview Elementary

Glace Bay Elementary

Greenfield Elementary

Harbourside Elementary

Jubilee Elementary

Mountainview Elementary

Riverside Elementary

Shipyard Elementary

St. Anne's Elementary

Sydney River Elementary

Tompkins Elementary

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Breton Education Center

Cabot Secondary School

Dr. T. L. Sullivan

Malcolm Munroe Middle School

Oceanview Education Centre

Sherwood Park Education Centre

Sydney Mines Middle School

Whitney Pier Memorial Middle School

* At the High School level,  Learning Strategies Courses may be available at Grades 10, 11 and 12.

Transition Planning

Ongoing teacher assessment will determine the degree of intervention required within the learning disabilities program. Successful remediation of skills deficits and student independence will allow for the student to transition from the Learning Disabilities program. The school based program planning team determines when a student no longer requires Learning Disability programming interventions and may recommend classroom based strategies and adaptations.

Also, through the program, the student will gain:

  • An overall awareness of learning strengths and challenges

  • An understanding of their learning disability

  • An opportunity to develop self-advocacy skills, i.e., to convey unique strengths and challenges


· Learning Disabilities Association of Nova Scotia

· Learning Disabilities Online

Special Education: Department of Education:

· http://www.ednet.ns.ca/index.php?t=sub_pages&cat=968

- Minister’s Review of Services for Students with Special Needs - Review Committee Report and Recommendations

- Response to The Minister’s Review of Services for Students with Special Needs

Resources for Teachers:

· LD @ School

- Learning Disabilities Online

· National Center for Learning Disabilities

· Learning Disabilities Association of Canada

· Resources for Learning Disabilities

· Division for Learning Disabilities

-Teaching Gifted students with Learning Disabilities

Resources for Students:

· Resources for Students with Learning Disabilities

· Articles for Children to find out more about this common problem

- Smart Kids With LD

Resources for Parents:

- LD @ Home

- Interventions and Resources for Parents and teachers

- Home to School Connection - LDOnline