Summer 2015 Newsletter Page 4
Past President’s Message:
I continue to be impressed by the staff, passionate volunteers and strong supporters of LDANB. I wish to thank you deeply for your dedication, enthusiasm and sheer time to keep this association strong. It has taken many hours and tireless devotion of everyone involved to make LDANB a strong voice and advocate for learning disabilities.
I had the occasion to represent LDANB/TAANB at the August 12 NBDEN meeting on behalf of our Executive Director, André Deschênes. The meeting was an important opportunity to hear presentations from the Department of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour on initiatives related to the Employment Action Plan for Persons with a Disability.
The fall term ended with a farewell luncheon for Mr. Seaver Stafford combined with a welcome to LDANB luncheon for the new Education Officer. We were thrilled to hire Mrs. Natalie Bowley in October, 2014 as our full time bilingual Education Officer. Mrs. Bowley has been working diligently on the establishment of the Barton Reading & Spelling System soliciting tutors, clients, training and photocopying the material
requirements. LDANB/TAANB has successfully located classroom space at both UNB and STU to bring this program to fruition in the spring of 2015. I will continue to meet with Mrs. Bowley to develop a storyline on the Barton System for the LDANB/TAANB video. Stay tuned for more information on this project as it is still in the early stages of development.
Mr. André Deschenes, Ms. Fabienne McKay and I met with Minister Rouselle, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and Attorney General on December 11th, 2014. LDANB/TAANB Executive Director presented a well-developed request for funding of 2015 Symposium entitled: “Literacy, Learning Disabilities and Cognitive Strategies: Facilitating the Learning Process for All”. We also had the opportunity to share ideas on financial collaboration initiatives with EECD.
On December 10, 2014 André and I were pleased to provide a submission to the Financial Literacy Leader of Canada representing the needs of individuals with LDs.
On March 31st, 2015, I completed a telephone meeting with Ms. Krista Carr, Executive Director New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL). During this meeting, we reviewed processes/procedures and past practices of non-profits in reference to NB Capacity Funding. This meeting was completed as a preparatory strategy in light of the fact that the Department of Social Development has hired an external consultant to complete a review of this fund.
On behalf of LDANB, I participated in a Stakeholder Engagement Session held on Wednesday, April 14 at the Fredericton Convention Center. The government of New Brunswick met with a variety of stakeholders to gather input to help them address the ever increasing fiscal gap. The purpose of the meeting was to review Department’s budget of their programs and services and to discuss how they might reduce costs going forward. I think all stakeholders felt education was an area where there should be no reductions. We felt strongly that an investment in education was worth any projected deficit. We also felt what may be saved in nominal dollars at the K-12 level would be made up for in resources expanded in social programming. From my perspective, it was a very positive experience. Participating stakeholders presented a very strong unified voice that investment in education was key to competing in a global economy.
On June 2, 2015, I attended the Legislative Breakfast hosted by the Premier’s Council on the Status of Disabled Persons as part of Disability Awareness Week (DAW). In my role as President, I had the honour of nominating Ms. Millie LeBlanc, LDANB Moncton Director, for the The Honorable Andy Scott Award and Ms. Fabienne McKay, LDANB Vice-President Administration, for an Individual Provincial Award. I hope by the time you are reading this report that my nominations were successful!
Thank you for a rewarding and challenging two years. Our Executive Director, André and Natalie, Education Officer are fabulous people in their own right, but, as LDANB they are an unstoppable team. They have touched my heart with their passion and generosity. I know they will continue to excel moving forward.