The Independent Studies Program is a community-based adult literacy program located in downtown Toronto that provides learning opportunities to people with disabilities. The program helps students work towards greater self-confidence and personal independence so that they can take part in or move on to other educational, employment or life opportunities. Most of the learners live with some form of cognitive or developmental disability, so the program is not suitable for students with diagnosed or suspected learning disabilities.
We look for volunteers who enjoy the challenges and rewards of working with adults who may have different ways of learning and defining progress. There are no "special techniques" or "expert methods" for working with people with developmental disabilities. We assist real people to develop realistic skills that help them live in the real world. The role of the tutor is to facilitate learning through encouragement, guidance and support to achieve meaningful learning goals set with a student.
Learners work on learning outcomes such as reading, writing, math and basic computer skills in a creative project-based way. These learning outcomes also include interpersonal skills, life skills, learning how to learn skills, improving confidence, self-esteem, and practical living skills.