Who We Are

Learning Disability Association of Alberta

The Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta (LDAA) was first incorporated in 1968 as the Alberta Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. In 1980, it obtained charitable status. As its mandate expanded, in 1982 the association added “Adults” to the name, before arriving at its current name in 1987. Its initial purpose was to help local chapters and community groups become more effective in advocating to the provincial government, and in particular, the department of education. Today, the LDAA supports local chapters, advocates at the provincial level on behalf of people with learning disabilities, works with Alberta Education on resource development, offers training for teachers of beginning readers who may be experiencing reading difficulties, administers two scholarship funds and maintains a web site and social media presence. Visit our website at LDAlberta.ca

The Right to Read Steering Committee

Joanne Heckbert, M.Ed.
Program Coordinator

Joanne Heckbert, M.Ed. is a reading specialist with extensive experience in assessment and working with students with reading difficulties and their parents. She has taught in the regular classroom and in highly specialized environments, and regularly consults to school boards, providing expert support on assessment and programming for students who struggle with reading and writing.

Joanne is the expert consultant to the Right to Read Program and was a member of the team who created the Reading Readiness Screening Tool.

Judy Craig

Judy Craig has a Masters degree in Reading and Language with a focus on reading disabilities. A retired principal, she is currently a consultant in the field of learning disabilities, and a Past President of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta. Judy is one of the developers of the Reading Readiness Screening Tool.

Kathryn Burke

Kathryn Burke, MA, is the Executive Director of the Centre for Literacy, a group that serves students with learning disabilities. She served as Executive Director of the LDAA for five years and was the project coordinator for the development of the Reading Readiness Screening Tool during her tenure.

Linda Siegel

Linda S. Siegel, Ph.D is a psychologist, academic and internationally respected authority on reading and learning disabilities. Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia's Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education, Linda is one of the developers of the Reading Readiness Screening Tool.

Michele Pentyliuk

Michele Pentyliuk, M.Ed is a registered psychologist and certified teacher, specializing in learning assessments and strategies for individuals with learning and attention difficulties. Michele is a Past President of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta and one of the developers of the Reading Readiness Screening Tool.

Sylvia Hannah

Sylvia Hannah has a Masters degree in Reading and Language. As a classroom teacher, reading specialist, tutor, coach and consultant, she has practiced in Alberta, British Columbia and California. Sylvia is one of the developers of the Reading Readiness Screening Tool.

Ellie Shuster

Ellie Shuster is the Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta.