Abstract 445

Differences in Learning Disability Definitions and Service Delivery Models Across Canada

Poster Presentation:  Kathleen Walsh

Session B | 9:45 – 10:00 | Location: Main Corridor, 2nd Floor, Outside Room 209


Across Canada there is a lack of consensus regarding the definition and means of identification of learning disabilities (LD). With education being a provincial governmental responsibility, special education policies and legislation look very different in various parts of the country. With this current model the same student may or may not meet designation depending on where in the country they reside.

Most Canadian provinces and territories have adopted either the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013); the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAC); or the World Health Organization International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) definition of a learning disability, but inconsistencies remain. The above definitions hold different criteria and thus eligibility varies depending on the applied definition resulting in difference in service delivery.

This presentation aims to increase the awareness of professionals surrounding national discrepancies in the definition and identification of LD. Ideally, a dialogue will be ignited surrounding the benefits and hindrances of Canada’s current model including discussion surrounding changes that should be made to provide optimal assessment and support services to all students in need regardless of their geographical local.

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