Getting Through University with Youth2Youth

Youth2YouthIf you’re a teen with a learning disability, thinking ahead to university or college can be scary. Will the professors work with you? Will there be supports? What about applying for a student loan or finding a place to live?

For helpful information about everything from picking a university, to managing your classes, to getting a job, teens can turn to Youth2Youth is a website developed by teens with disabilities for teens with disabilities. It’s a great way to connect with others who are experiencing similar obstacles, and to get the information you need to succeed.

Getting Ready for College or University

Are you ready for college or university? Find out by visiting youth2youth’s Getting Ready section. It will provide you with tools and checklists to help you reach a decision. It will also give you some helpful suggestions as to what your career path should be.

If you don’t know which school you’d like to attend, youth2youth can help you pick the right kind of school, apply, and find funding. It can also provide you with information about living on your own.

Being at School

Once you’ve made it to college or university, youth2youth will provide you with strategies, tips and checklists to help you be a successful student. From connecting with your Disability Service Counselor, to learning to use helpful technology, to approaching professors, youth2youth will help you.

Moving On to Life After School

After you’ve graduated from college or university, youth2youth will lend helpful tips on searching for a job, responding to ads, preparing for job interviews, and more.

You’ll also receive insight on topics such as when to disclose your learning disability, when to request accommodations, and how to manage your learning disability in the workplace.

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Welcome to Holland

Welcome to Holland was written by Emily Perl Kingsley in 1987 to describe her experience as a parent of a child with Down syndrome. Kingsley is a longtime writer for Sesame Street and a creator of children’s books, videos and songs. She is a strong advocate for people with disabilities and Welcome to Holland has touched the lives of many parents who have children with disabilities.



Emily Perl Kingsley.


c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.


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Learning Disabilities in Manitoba Children and Teens

Learning disabilities affect us all. Some of us struggle with a learning disability ourselves, some of us see it in our children or our families, and some have encountered people with learning disabilities in the classroom or workplace. In fact, about 1 in 10 Canadians, including approximately 120,000 Manitobans, struggle with a learning disability and have an increasingly difficult time functioning in a world that demands high levels of literacy and numeracy.

At Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba, we provide information, support and referrals to more than 1,000 people a year through phone, email, drop-ins and appointments. We also offer education to more than 750 people a year through conferences, events and workshops, but we’re still forced to put names on our waiting lists and even now there are many people falling through the cracks.

One of the biggest places we see the need for our services is in schools. In fact more than half of the calls we receive inquiring about our programming, come from parents concerned about how their children are struggling in school. Manitoba has the second highest high school drop out rate in Canada. Many students that drop out of school do so because they are unable to cope as a result of their learning disability.

At LDAM, we have various programs for children and teens, learning how to live with their learning disabilities, but we need your help to meet the needs of the thousands we touch each year. Now, it’s easier than ever to help us support Manitobans struggling with learning disabilities. LDAM has recently registered with and is now equipped to accept online donations, and automatic monthly contributions.

By supporting LDAM you’ll be part of the solution. Your donation will go directly to strengthening the programs and services that our province desperately needs.

Too many children and teens are struggling alone when they could have help. Please consider making a commitment to give $10 a month for a year through A $10 donation provides one hour of tutoring to a child or teen who is making strides to manage their disability. Your help could make all the difference. Donate today.

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