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Learning Disabilities Association of Kingston Update January 2021

The past year has been a time of dramatic change at LDAK due to Covid-19. We were faced with a dire predicament of significant reduction of our income coupled with increased demand for support and public health restrictions on how we operate. We met the challenge by undertaking an Online Outreach Initiative that enabled us to transform our organization from a traditional service provider to a virtual provider of expanded supports. We have been able to support community needs through the provision of webinars, online forums and resources on learning disabilities, mental health, and educational policy and advocacy issues related to Covid.

We enter 2021 in good shape, with more volunteers and board engagement, and with two professional contractors developing and delivering online supports and a broader reach of communications. At this time we have adequate funding on hand to retain these contractors for at least the next six months which will allow us to roll out and expand online outreach activities. We have three webinars planned for the coming months, and we are planning for our annual Speak Up for Ability forum in April, which will be a virtual event this year.

Funding, and especially stable and predictable funding, continues to be our biggest challenge. We depend on monthly funding from the Community Spirit Gaming Centre to support our core outreach operations. During the past five months they have been able to flow monthly allotments our way but they now face new restrictions related to Covid and this is affecting funding once again. At the same time, we have been able to attract funding from new donors that is targeted to specific projects and this helps us move forward as well. We will continue to pay close attention to consolidating and expanding opportunities for funding.

We want to acknowledge the support of the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area for their generous donation of $7,000.00 to support our Online Outreach Initiative. We truly could not have achieved what we have without CFKA’s support. The Community Spirit Gaming Centre also supported this initiative and our organization through monthly funding allocations.

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