A new mobile classroom is aiming to help students with learning disabilities by providing access to individualized support — on wheels.
Launched by the Learning Disabilities Society, LDS Access is a mobile outreach program that will bring learning support services to students in the Greater Vancouver region who have a variety of learning disabilities.
"We've tried to remove every single barrier in supporting families with [children who have] learning differences by actually taking our classroom and our services and instructors to them," Jennifer Fane, director of education at LDS, told Gloria Macarenko of CBC's On The Coast on Tuesday.
"A student is paired with a caring and qualified instructor in their area of difference where they receive a one-to-one individualized program to help them catch up in skill gaps in areas of reading, writing and math."
Fane says the pandemic has made it a challenge for students to keep up in school, especially those with learning differences, as classes moved online.
"Students with learning differences who have been benefiting from some one-to-one support or instruction in schools … have just simply not received the services they needed in the past year and half which means that they've fallen further and further behind," Fane said.
She hopes this new program will help close the skill gaps worsened by the pandemic and also make learning more fun.
'It makes learning a special place'
Not only has the bus-turned-classroom been retrofitted with COVID-19 health and safety protocols in mind. It also sports colourful art designed by Vancouver artist Chairman Ting.
"Everyone wants to be on it, everyone wants to check it out and it makes learning a special place," Fane said.
"Learning is difficult and it's not not always enjoyable. So creating something special for students with learning differences, something just for them, that sparks the imagination and tells a story about how education can be a transformational experience, is not only something we're so pleased to have but it also brings a smile to every student who sees it."
LISTEN | Learning Disabilities Society's Jennifer Fane tells Gloria Macarenko about their classroom on wheels