Welcome to this LD@school online learning module for educators!

This module is intended to provide an introductory overview of the components of reading instruction in the primary years, and how to tailor instruction to meet the needs of struggling readers, some of whom may have learning disabilities (LDs). The module will present the various ways that LDs can affect reading development, and will provide guidance for educators in developing a balanced reading program that supports the needs of all learners while maintaining their motivation to read.

The menu on the left hand side of this screen displays the outline of this module, which should take approximately 45 - 60 minutes to complete. To begin the module, you will complete a self-assessment to gauge your current knowledge of this topic. Then, the body of the module will provide you with information, strategies, and resources to help you support your students. To conclude, you will complete a final self-assessment to consolidate your learning.

Learning goals

  • Understand LDs in reading and how they may present in the primary classroom
  • Understand the components of evidence-based literacy instruction
  • Identify strategies, interventions, and accommodations to support students who are struggling to learn to read in accordance with the recommendations of the Right to Read report

Upon completion, it is our hope that you will apply what you learn in this module to your daily practice to help support the needs of students with LDs, as well as all your other students.

Thank you to our collaborators!

This online learning module was developed in collaboration with Dr. Deborah P. Berrill and Dr. Raymond Leblanc. This learning module was updated by Allyson Cousineau Grant. The LD@school team would like to sincerely thank Dr. Berrill, Dr. Leblanc, and Ms. Cousineau Grant for the vital role they played in the creation of this module!

Photo of Dr. BerrillDr. Deborah P. Berrill has been involved in education for over 35 years, initially as a classroom teacher and later as a member of the Queen’s University Faculty of Education. Dr. Berrill then became the Founding Director of the Trent University School of Education and Professional Learning, where she developed a mandatory course for B.Ed. candidates entitled Supporting Literacy and Learners with Special Needs. Helping teachers learn how to support students with learning disabilities has been a career-long passion for Deborah and she has given innumerable workshops to elementary and secondary school teachers and has served on many Ministry of Education Learning Disabilities Advisory Committees, including for the development of the new PPM8. Photo of Dr. Leblanc

Dr. Raymond LeBlanc is vice-dean of research and professional development, professor in the Faculty of Education, and a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Ottawa. His research interests include ASD, developmental disabilities, learning styles, language and communication, learning disabilities, qualitative methodologies, cultural psychology, and well-being. He is co-director of a collection in neuropsychology and special education, which has published over 20 books.


For more than 13 years, Allyson Cousineau Grant has worked at the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) with children and adolescents who have a variety of communication difficulties, including difficulties in speech, language, reading and writing. Ms. Cousineau Grant also provides assessment and intervention services with preschool- and school-aged children, at a private office. In these varied contexts, she collaborates with the teaching staff and special education technicians to support them in their interventions with special needs students in the classroom setting. This strong collaboration allows her to identify and integrate winning strategies for supporting such students. In recent years, as part of the Master’s Programs in Speech-Language Pathology and in Audiology at the University of Ottawa, Ms. Cousineau Grant has taught the following courses: Troubles du développement du langage en milieu scolaire [Language development disorders in a school setting], Développement et fonctionnement typique de la communication [Development and typical functioning of communication], and Concepts d’orthophonie pertinents à l’audiologie [Concepts of speech-language pathology that are relevant to audiology]. She is also delighted to provide the course in Développement de la lecture et de l’écriture, évaluation et intervention en milieu francophone en ligne [Development of reading and writing, assessment and intervention in a Francophone online setting] for the University of Alberta. Passionate about teaching and about the education of apprentices in speech-language pathology, she participates in supervising interns in order to give them the necessary tools to apply theories, strategies and effective priority interventions in a school setting. She has many areas of interest as a speech-language pathologist, but Ms. Cousineau Grant focuses her efforts on language, reading and writing disorders, as well as on augmentative and alternative communication (AAO).