x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The art and science of learning disabilities

This event occurred on
October 1, 2011
10:00am - 2:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Toronto, ON

Our event will bring together speakers who address issues surrounding learning disabilities. We will have presentations that address LDs from scientific, behavioural, educational, and social points of view.

Central YMCA Auditorium
20 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON, M4Y2V5
See more ­T­E­Dx­Y­M­C­A­Academy events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Peter Skillen

Peter is currently Manager of Professional Learning for Social Media with the YMCA of Greater Toronto after 40 years teaching students & teachers. He was a founding teacher at the YMCA Academy – a secondary school serving youth who prefer an alternative approach. Peter has been involved in technology supported, project-based learning since the late 1970s and continues to explore & develop deep applications of the latest Web 2.0 technologies – particularly as it relates to learner agency, passion, motivation and cognitive intent. Peter serves on the Board of Directors of iEARN-Canada, The Educational Computing Organization of Ontario, and is global ambassador with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). He develops and supports both face-to-face and online learning for the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and is an ‘Experienced Voice’ & Community Leader with the The Powerful Learning Practice. Peter is also co-founder of the Minds On Media model of professional learning which truly reflects how he wishes classrooms to be. Peter’s passion for educational change is greatly influenced by observing the ways in which people learn in 'out of school' environments. Peter encourages all students to be mindful – to ‘take charge of their own learning’. How to achieve this is an issue he often debates with colleagues. Loves…rock-climbing, motorcycles, mountains, oceans…yeah, adventures – even at his age!! Peter Skillen, M.Ed., OCT Website – peterskillen.org Blog - The Construction Zone Twitter - @peterskillen

Dr. Kenny Handelman

Dr. Kenny Handelman is a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist who is an expert in ADD/ADHD. He is board certified in the USA and Canada, and is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Handelman teaches other doctors, residents and medical students, as well as parents, educators and kids/teens about ADD/ADHD. He speaks internationally on the subject and is often interviewed about it on television and radio. He conducts clinical research in ADD/ADHD, and writes the widely-read ADD ADHD Blog, getting over 500,000 visitors per year. Dr. Handelman's strength- based approach to ADD/ADHD has been well received by parents of kids and teens, as it provides a practical approach, which includes specifics on how to achieve success.

Dr. Stuart Shanker

Stuart Shanker is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at York University and Director of the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative at York University. He was educated at Oxford, where he obtained a First in PPE and won the Marian Buck Fellowship at Christ Church, where he obtained a First in a B Phil in Philosophy and a D Phil with Distinction in Philosophy. Among his awards are a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship and Postdoctoral Fellowship; a Calgary Institute for the Humanities Fellowship; a University of Alberta Mactaggart Fellowship; an Iszaak Walton Killam Fellowship; and the Walter L Gordon Fellowship at York University. He has received many grants, most recently a $7,000,000 grant from the Harris Steel Foundation to establish MEHRI, a state-of-the-art cognitive and social neuroscience centre. Dr. Shanker has just been appointed the Director of EPIC: an international initiative created to promote the educational potential in children by enhancing their self-regulation.

Dr. Judith Wiener

Judith Wiener is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toronto (OISE/UT), and a faculty member in the School and Clinical Child Psychology program. She was Program Chair for a period of seven years. Judy is President of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, an organization comprised of researchers in the field. She received her Ph.D. in 1978 from University of Michigan in the Combined Program in Psychology and Education. She has worked as a school psychologist for six years with school boards in Quebec and Ontario, and was a consultant and Board member at Integra, a children’s mental health centre for children with learning disabilities. Judy’s current research is on the perceptions of children and adolescents with ADHD and learning disabilities of their learning difficulties, problem behaviours and their social milieu; peer victimization and friendship patterns of children and adolescents with ADHD; and parent-adolescent conflict, parenting stress, and parent involvement in their children’s education in relation to children and adolescents with ADHD.

Brenda Sherry

Brenda is currently an Itinerant Technology Coach at Upper Grand District School Board in Guelph, Ontario, after 20 years as a regular classroom and special education teacher. Brenda’s passion for technology use in schools comes from the fact that it levels the playing field for all students; providing access to content and participation in new ways, opportunities for relevant and authentic learning within the classroom and around the world, and providing ways for ALL students to demonstrate their learning. Brenda uses social media to connect and learn with teachers both nearby and around the world. In her spare time she has co-founded Minds On Media , she chairs the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario's Annual Conference, develops and facilitates professional learning for the Ontario Teacher’s Federation and is a Connected Coach with the PLP Network in the U.S. and Australia, and a Community Leader with Ontario.

Dr. Tom Chau

Dr. Tom Chau Tom Chau, PhD, PEng, is a Senior Scientist at the Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. His recent research has focused on the investigation of novel access pathways for children and youth with severe physical impairments. At Bloorview, Chau leads the Infinity Centre for Access Innovations, a multidisciplinary research initiative to equip every child and adolescent in Canada with a means of communication. Chau's lab has come up with various innovations aimed at maximizing possibilities for children. Chau was the lead editor of "Pediatric Rehabilitation Engineering: From Disability to Possibility", the first book in a new rehabilitation science research series published by CRC/Taylor & Francis in 2010. In April of this year, his lab, in conjunction with Sunny View Public School, the TDSB and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, launched a 2-year pilot project, the Sunny View Infinity Communication Access Lab.

Ann Clarkson

Ann Clarkson Ann Clarkson, MA, PCC, ACCG, is a Family and Business Coach with a speciality in helping people living with Attention Deficit Disorder. With 20 years experience in the workplace, she specializes in coaching adults dealing with workplace stress and dissatisfaction who want to be more productive and fulfilled. As a parent of a 17 year old son with ADD and LDs, she also loves to work with parents and families. Ann coaches adults who want to improve their relationship with their spouse, parents who want to learn how to positively support their children, and young adults who are at college or university, or who are trying to figure out what they want to do in life. She is passionate about helping ADD/ADHD clients – and their families -- focus on their unique strengths and potential, and provide tools for action and learning that will help them become the best they can be. Ann completed her coach training with the ADD Coach Academy in 2006. This is the only comprehensive ADD/ADHD coach training program accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), the governing body for the coaching profession. Ann is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the ICF, and the ADD Coach Academy (ACCG). She has over 6 years and more than 1,000 hours of experience working with ADD/ADHD clients and their families across Canada and the USA. She sits on the Advisory Council of the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches (PAAC).

Dr. Tom Cunningham

Dr. Todd Cunningham Todd’s research investigates the integration of assistive technology and learning strategies for children with learning disabilities and other academic difficulties. Currently Todd is investigating the cognitive and academic remediation for the toxic effects of treatment on paediatric cancer survivors. Todd has shared his knowledge regarding intervention with parents, students, educators, school boards and other professionals across Canada. In addition to hundreds of workshops, Todd has guest lectured at universities, given keynote addresses, presented at educational and research conferences and taught additional qualification courses at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, Queen’s University and York University. Todd is currently teaching a course at the University of Toronto on adaptive and differentiated instruction for students experiencing learning difficulties in inclusive classrooms.

Kristina Farentino

Kristina Farentino Kristina Farentino is currently the Director of Innovation and Technology at the Toronto French School, where she works with faculty and staff to integrate technology to optimize student learning. A highly regarded mathematics teacher and curriculum leader, Kristina is a reflective and engaged educator, and is always searching for ways to make the educational experiences more effective, student-centered and dynamic. Kristina's more than 15 years of experience in the classroom includes speaking at OAME conferences on innovative approaches to math education, travelling abroad to run Web 2.0 symposiums, writing several Math textbooks with Nelson Thomson Learning, and constantly sharing her vision for a new type of learning in K-12 education. A B. Sc. in Mathematics and Psychology, a Bachelor of Education, and a Master's Degree in Teaching and Learning, have provided Kristina the background to create a vision to redesign the world of schools in a way that is systematic and allows for continual and meaningful innovation in a system that has struggled to recreate itself and ensure educational success is achievable by all students.

Organizing team


Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Don Adams
    Head of School
  • Aron Solomon
  • Andras Nagy
    Web and Social Media Support