LIteracy is a right:

Advocacy & Professional Development event


@ Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Time: 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Doors open - 8:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks - 8:45 a.m.

Conference Begins - 9:00 a.m.

Tickets: $60.00

**Discount for groups of 3 or more**

TICKETS available at Eventbrite

In support of the PEPLA Student and Educator Scholarship Fund.

Please see below for details.

Manitoba Advocacy and Professional Development fundraising event for distinguished guests, families, educators, and interested community/business members for Specific Learning Disabilities – Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia.

  • Dr. Linda Siegel (Professor Emeritus at UBC and reading disabilities and dyslexia expert in Canada). Please click here for more information about Dr. Siegel.
  • Brent Sopel (originally from Saskatchewan, NHL alumni, Stanley Cup winner and founder of the Brent Sopel Foundation for Dyslexia). Please click here for more information about Brent Sopel.
  • University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg - research-based collaborative work on understanding why some children struggle with learning to read
  • Manitoba school teams sharing how they use structured literacy approach to support ALL students, including those with dyslexia
  • Manitoba Human Rights Commission will share the connection between the Human Rights Code and our Manitoba schools.
  • Manitoba families sharing their stories of hope with dyslexia

We are a group of parents and educators who have founded the Parent Educator Partnership for Literacy Achievement Inc. (Registered Non-Profit Incorporation).

The Parent-Educator Partnership presented to the Manitoba K12 Education Commission in May 2019. Please click here to read our brief (Brief # 46). Our goal is continued advocacy and change for our students so that all students can learn to read, especially those with dyslexia.

The province of Manitoba has declared October as Dyslexia Awareness month. (Oct/2019)

We believe in the strength of parents and schools working together.

Please join us for our kick-off nonprofit fundraising event which draws attention to our mission and goals.

Advocacy for

  • Dyslexia & Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Manitoba and Canadian perspectives recognizing literacy as a basic human right
  • Literacy skills as a poverty reduction strategy

Click here to donate or become a sponsor for the PEPLA Scholarship Fund.

We align with the recommendations of The Literacy and Essential Skills as a Poverty Reduction Strategy (2019) funded by the Government of Canada's National Essential Skills Initiative:

  • Governments should recognize literacy as a basic human right.
  • Literacy should be recognized as a policy priority requiring cross-departmental and cross-jurisdictional cooperation.
  • Literacy should be a central pillar within any comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.

Student Scholarship

All applications must be accompanied by documented proof of a Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia) diagnosis

PEPLA will base scholarship awards upon number of recipients.

Applications due: May 31 annually.

Please send letter of application and documentation to

Can be used to reimburse

  • Psycho-educational formal assessment
  • Accessibility tools
  • Tutoring with practitioner who uses specific learning disabilities and/or evidence-based program and/or approaches
  • Post-secondary tuition
  • Other expenses which will provide support for academic skill development or general health and well-being

For application form, please click here.

* We will require receipt of payment to disburse the scholarship award.

Teacher scholarship

PEPLA will base scholarship awards upon number of recipients.

Applications due: May 31 annually.

Please send letter of application and receipt of registration or training fees to

Can be used for:

  • Registration fees for conference
    • International Dyslexia Association
    • Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators
    • Scientific Study of Reading
    • The Reading League
    • Conference/Workshop with focus upon Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) and/or evidence-based practice
  • Professional development training for SLD and/or evidence-based methods and approaches (including cognitive science, linguistic phonics, structured literacy training, multi-sensory approaches, etc. )

For application form, please click here.

* We will require receipt of payment to disburse the scholarship award.

Improve Literacy Achievement for all Manitoba Students

Please Sign our petition at Change.Org

The Manitoba's Provincial Grade 3 reading assessment results for English, French Immersion and Francais program indicates that between 20% - 30% of the students have "not met" minimum reading level expectations. The number of Manitoba students is approximately 208,000 of which 20% (to be conservative) are displaying below reading level. This equates to approximately 41,600 students! Manitoba is not alone, in Ontario more than 40,000 children are waiting for an assessment out of 250,000 who struggle with Dyslexia. Tragically, assessment and intervention often comes too late.

1. Identifying and mandating administration of evidence-based LD/dyslexia screening tools for children as early as kindergarten;

2. Providing necessary and timely psycho-educational assessments;

3. Offering evidence-based early remediation programs in all, or at least a majority of, schools; and

4. Providing timely and appropriate accommodations for students with dyslexia/LDs that affect reading.

Our Manitoba Parent-Educator Partnership for Literacy Achievement event will hope to build momentum from the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) launch: Right to Read, a public inquiry into human rights issues that affect students with reading disabilities in Ontario’s public education system (2019).

Students who can’t read will struggle in all aspects of school, and are more vulnerable to mental health disabilities, behavioural issues, bullying and dropping out. Life-long consequences can include under-employment, homelessness, involvement with the criminal justice system, and even suicide.

Offering evidence-based structured literacy instruction in every classroom benefits all students. (Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association Position Statement on Supporting Students with Dyslexia in Ontario Public Schools) (2019)

To quote a preeminent dyslexia researcher, Dr. Sally Shaywitz, “We do not have a knowledge gap, we have an action gap.”

For those who can't read well by the end of third grade, there can be lifelong consequences, including higher school dropout and poverty rates.

From Canada West Foundation (2019) an independent, non-partisan public policy think tank that focuses on the policies that shape the West, and by extension, Canada:

"Almost half of the working-age population needs to improve not just their ability to read, but also their ability to understand and use what they have read to meet the demands of life and work. This is not an impossible goal – it can be done. But, some enduring myths about literacy keep us from understanding and tackling the problem. They can all be busted in the full document found at this link. "

Keynote Speaker - Dr. Linda Siegel

Canadian academic and researcher specializing in Dyslexia and Specific Learning Disabilities

Understanding Dyslexia and Other Learning Disabilities addresses how our educational system has failed to identify many children with learning disabilities and calls for the adoption of straightforward diagnostic techniques so that treatment options can be implemented at a young age. Many children who struggle with learning become discouraged in the classroom and isolated from their peers. Many adults whose learning disabilities were not recognized in school suffer from deep feelings of inadequacy that often prevent them from developing close relationships, finding rewarding employment, or living happily.

Please click here for Dr. Siegel's other Publications

Keynote Speaker - Brent Sopel

Brent Sopel, is an NHL alumni and 2010 Stanley Cup Winner with the Chicago Blackhawks. He is originally from Saskatchewan. Brent also has dyslexia and dysgraphia.

He has founded the Brent Sopel Foundation - dedicated to providing financial and educational assistance to help students with dyslexia fulfill their potential through early detection and intervention.

The Brent Sopel Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to helping people with Dyslexia.

An excerpt from his story:

I didn’t understand any of it. Homework — even just the thought of it — intimidated me way more than the freezing cold or falling on the ice.

Words looked weird to me, and I couldn’t deal with numbers. Math gave me headaches. I couldn’t understand how schoolwork seemed to come so naturally to other kids. It made me feel so left out.

People at school treated me like I was stupid. I got so used to it that I actually began to believe it myself. I don’t remember any of my teachers ever going out of their way to try to figure out why I had trouble learning. They just moved on — and so I did too. What else was an eight-year-old boy supposed to do?

I focused on the one thing I knew I was good at — hockey. When I was a kid, it was like the ice was the only place I felt comfortable.

Just like the farm was an island of sanity for me, so was the rink. I felt calm out there. I was accomplishing something every time I put on my skates. I was improving at something — for once.


Click here to donate or become a sponsor for the PEPLA Scholarship Fund.

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