Contrary to popular belief, literacy is not just about the ability to read or write - we believe that literacy is the lens through which we see the world. Literacy happens when we try to make sense of a ferry schedule or work the ticket machine at a parking lot. Literacy happens when we fill out a passport application or use a long-distance phone card. Literacy is everywhere, and virtually every element of our daily lives can be connected back to literacy in far less than six degrees of separation. At the B.C. Learning Centres for Children with Dyslexia, we see literacy as a movement - a commitment to lifelong learning.

Adult literacy in Canada:
  • 42% of Canadian adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills, with over one-quarter of Canadians aged 22 to 29 with learning disabilities reporting less than a high school certificate as their highest academic achievement;
  • 55% of working-age adults in Canada are estimated to have less than adequate health literacy skills. Shockingly, 88% of adults over the age of 65 appear to be in this situation;
  • Impoverished adults often do not have the literacy skills required to get into job training programs. They may need literacy skills upgrading before they can succeed in training programs, but only about 5-10% of eligible adults enroll in programs;
  • Fewer than 20% of people with the lowest literacy skills are employed;
  • Persons with learning disabilities were 2 to 3 times more likely to report fair to poor physical, general, and mental health;
  • Persons with learning disabilities were more than twice as likely to report high levels of distress, depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, visits to a mental health professional and poorer overall mental health compared to persons without disabilities.

  • Child Literacy in B.C.
    In 2015 there were projected to be 731,100 school-aged children within the B.C. public school system. According to the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAoC), 15% of all B.C. students suffer from learning disabilities ranging in severity. That’s 109,665 children across B.C. who on a daily basis struggle with reading, spelling and writing. If early identified and provided with timely specialized assessment and learning support, 95-98% of these children can progress through the school system with their peer groups.

    With only three private schools in B.C. providing specialized education to approximately 360 children at a tuition cost in the upwards of $20,000.00 per year and an additional 300 Orton-Gillingham trained tutors offering private services at $50-$80 per hour, for many financially challenged families either option is not feasible and their children are the ones that lose.

    While children with dyslexia may have challenges with reading, writing, spelling and sometimes arithmetic, they should not be considered unintelligent. In fact, according to many studies, a child with dyslexia’s brain is often more gifted and productive than their peers and these children are actually working harder than the average student. This is why the B.C. Learning Centres for Children with Dyslexia specifically focuses on these children by providing free-of-charge tutoring to those in Grades 2-5 to ensure some of those with the greatest minds are receiving timely access to specialized education so they may learn to read and, subsequently, read to learn.