nav open nav close
  1. Home
  2. Resources
  3. Best Practices
  4. Supporting Learners with Diverse Learning Needs
  5. References and PD Resources

References and PD Resources

for Supporting Learners with Diverse Learning Needs

This section includes resources that informed this document and resources (academic articles, websites, videos, tutorials, courses, etc.) for professional development and further learning on this topic.

This guide helps LINC service providers to meet IRCC objectives and support learners with complex needs, including those with physical, learning, and mental health challenges, and those with literacy barriers. The guide provides strategies for both instructors and administrators for each of the following:

  • Building reflexivity
  • Developing awareness of and addressing learner needs
  • Empathic communication

Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA). (2019). A principles-based approach to supporting LINC learners.

This 19-page article reviews the literature on the policies and services for learners with learning disabilities in 10 countries.

Click here for full annotation and questions for reflection.

Agrawal, J., Barrio, B., Kressler, B., Ju-Hsiao, Y., & Shankland, R. (2019). International policies, identification, and services for students with learning disabilities: An exploration across 10 countries. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 17(1), 95–114.

This link provides a Duty to Accommodate Interpretive Bulletin with a printable PDF version.

Alberta Human Rights Commission. (2021). Duty to accommodate students with disabilities in post-secondary educational institutions. Human Rights Guide.

Alberta Routes offers tip sheets and workshops on various topics, including learning disabilities and mental health. Click on the Events tab for their list of current workshops.

Alberta Routes. (n.d.). Tipsheets and worksheets.

This 62-page review outlines fundamental principles in identifying and supporting English language learners with learning disabilities and provides an overview of guidelines used by those states in the United States with the largest populations of English language learners.

Click here for full annotation and questions for reflection.

Burr, E., Haas, E., & Ferriere, K. (2015). Identifying and supporting English learner students with learning disabilities: Key issues in the literature and state practice. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.

This 136-page set of guidelines from the California Department of Education supports teachers and other community members who work with learners with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

Click here for full annotation and questions for reflection.

California Department of Education (CDE). (2018). California dyslexia guidelines.

Following the model of the Canadian Language Benchmarks: English as a Second Language for Adults, this document describes ability levels of receptive American Sign Language (ASL) and productive (ASL) as well as levels of reading and writing ability of Deaf immigrants.

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks. (2019). Canadian Language Benchmarks for the Deaf.

The link includes materials to support instructors as they apply UDL guidelines in their instruction. As well, there is also a link to a collection of CAST videos on YouTube.

CAST. (2021). Learning resources.

This interactive website is a summary of the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines. It includes suggestions for UDL applications in all disciplines to ensure that learners can access learning opportunities.

CAST. (2018). The UDL guidelines.

This resource guide provides facilitators with strategies and suggestions in supporting learners with mental health issues. Included in the handbook are resources that learners can use.

Hewitt, J. E. (2017) Yes I can: Mental health guide for adult literacy facilitators. Project Read Literacy Network; Ontario Trillium Foundation.

This 30-page article reports on an experiment that explored the attitudes of 175 professionals and 167 non-professionals in India towards the life success of adults with learning disabilities.

Click here for full annotation and questions for reflection.

Jamal, G. (2019). Stereotypes about adults with learning disabilities: Are professionals a cut above the rest? Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 30(2), 7–36.

This 51-page study aimed to create mini-lessons for ESL learners based on trauma-informed practices for elementary students. The lessons' goal is to help ELL teachers address the challenges encountered when teaching students who have experienced trauma.

Click here for full annotation and questions for reflection.

Klompien, A. (2018). Best teaching practices for English language learners who have experienced trauma: A book of trauma-informed English language mini-lessons for ELL teachers. Hamline University.

Mental health first aid (MHFA) is help provided to a person who is experiencing a mental health crisis or a worsening of their mental health. Numerous 8-hour MHFA training courses are offered each month virtually and across Canada.

Mental Health First Aid Canada. (n.d.).

This link includes a list of webinars on mental health and trauma-informed care.

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). (n.d.). Mental health promotion.

This kit addresses vocabulary, legislation, and issues related to disability and accommodations. It also includes personal narratives of newcomers with disabilities and their families, providing a glimpse into the experience of Racialized immigrants with disabilities in Canada.

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). (n.d.). Accessibility kit.

This webpage connects to educational resources for parents, educators, educational agencies, and technologies for learners with disabilities. Information on webinars, online courses, and newsletters, and other publications are also available.

National Center on Accessible International Materials. (n.d.).

This link provides descriptions of a variety of disabilities. Each description includes an overview, identification, classroom challenges, instructional strategies, assistive technologies, and more.

PANDA Minnesota Adult Basic Education Disability Specialists. (2018). Categories.

This resource provides strategies for helping struggling adult learners improve their reading skills. It gives background on learning disabilities and the reading process, and lists strategies effective for learners with learning disabilities and other learners.

Scroll down at the following link to find the Practitioner's Toolkit and supporting videos.

Price, A., Auld, B., & Jerkovic, N. (2017). Rising to the reading challenges of adult learners: Practitioners' toolkit. CANLearn Society.

This 28-page article proposes a framework for supporting learners with intellectual disabilities (ID) who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD). The framework addresses the multifaceted needs of the identified learners, suggests supports to help learners cope with academic challenges, and provides educators with necessary tools in improving their instructional strategies.

Click here for full annotation and questions for reflection.

Rivera, J. C., Jimenez, B. A., Baker, J. N., Spies, T., Mims, P. J., Courtade, G. (2016). A culturally and linguistically responsive framework for improving academic and postsecondary outcomes of students with moderate or severe intellectual disability. Digital Commons@East Tennessee State University.

Tutela offers a wide variety of webinars, many of which are on topics related to mental health and trauma affected learners. To access the presentations, Sign into Tutela, and then:

  • Select Events & Webinars tab
  • Select Past Events
  • Search for relevant topics (e.g., trauma, mental health)
  • Click on View to watch the video and access handouts.

Tutela. (2021). Events and webinars.

The link contains the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, accessible in Word, pdf, and infographic versions.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Disability. (n.d.). Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD).

This manual is for ESL instructors and administrators who are supporting struggling English language learners. It includes a wide variety of strategies for making learning accessible to struggling ESL learners, along with case studies illustrating the concepts in the manual.

Wall, T., & Szasz-Redmond, E. (2013). English language learning for everyone: A resource manual for teachers with struggling English language learners. Calgary Immigrant Women's Association.

This 11-page phenomenological analysis explores how participants' educational experiences in childhood and their learner identities inform how they experienced an adult education program based on trauma-informed practices.

Click here for full annotation and questions for reflection.

Wartenweiler, T. (2017). Trauma-informed adult education: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. The Online Journal of New Horizons in Education, 7(2), 96–106.

This article addresses the inherent complexities of providing a safe classroom space while allowing learners to tell their own stories of violence. It describes the impact and potential of reports of refugees' violence to classmates in ESL classes to transform learners.

Waterhouse, M. (2016). Telling stories of violence in adult ESL classrooms: Disrupting safe spaces. TESL Canada Journal, 33 (Special Issue), 20–41.

This study explores LINC teachers’ assumptions and understandings in teaching English language learners who have experienced trauma. As well, it presents the challenges they have encountered and dilemmas they have faced when supporting these learners in a government funded program.

Wilbur, A. (2017). Creating inclusive EAL classrooms: How Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) instructors understand and mitigate barriers for students who have experienced trauma. TESL Canada Journal, 33, 1–19.