The Ontario Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program helps adults in Ontario to develop and apply communication, numeracy, interpersonal and digital skills to achieve their goals. The LBS program serves learners who have goals to successfully transition to employment, postsecondary, apprenticeship, secondary school, and increased independence. The program includes learners who may have a range of barriers to learning.
The Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF) is the cornerstone of Employment Ontario’s LBS Program, helping adults to achieve their goals of further education, work, and independence. The OALCF is a competency-based framework that supports the development of adult literacy programming delivered through the Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) Program.
Through the LBS Program, individuals access five services that contribute to the successful completion of a learner plan. Service providers may focus on preparing learners for different goal paths but each learner, regardless of the focus of the service provider’s programming, receives the same five services:
- Information and Referral
- Learner Plan Development
Transition-oriented programming is the overriding principle of the OALCF. The term transition-oriented programming merges three key elements:
- Goal-directed learning
- uses the learner’s goal or purpose for coming to LBS to plan and deliver training activities specific to that goal and the gaps between the learner’s current skills and those required by the goal
- Contextualized learning
- uses authentic learning materials relative to the learner’s goal and goal path
- takes into account cultural and linguistic beliefs and attitudes
- Coordinated supports and services for the learner
- help learners deal with potential barriers to learning and to reaching their goals
- provide links and referrals to service providers with the mandate and expertise to provide financial, employment, health, academic and other social service supports
- coordinate ‘wrap-around’ services to meet the range of learner needs and challenges through interagency cooperation, integrated programming, community-wide planning and active case management
The Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program serves adult learners:
- who are Ontario residents;
- whose literacy and basic skills are assessed at intake as being less than the end of Level 3 of the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) or the OALCF;
- Who are at least 19 years old. On an exception only basis, LBS service providers may serve young adults between ages 16 to 18 who demonstrate the maturity to benefit from adult education. However, returning to the regular school system should be the priority for these learners; and
- who are proficient enough in speaking and listening to benefit fully from the language of LBS instruction
- who are underemployed or unemployed or seeking essential skills
The Literacy and Basic Skills Program provides:
- basic educational and literacy services to adult Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners. The program ensures that programming respects the culture and heritage of the learner, while ensuring their literacy and numeracy needs are met in a holistic and supportive environment.
- assistance to adult learners with reading, writing and numeracy, assist learners with academic upgrading services to help individuals develop the necessary skills for entry into college/university/trade/apprenticeship programs and GED preparation
- an orientation and exposure to Native culture, which enhances oral and cultural preservation and supports those learners who have a desire to learn more about Native “Traditional Teachings”.
- Essential skills training and essential skills which are embedded in all curricula.
The Academic Upgrading and Career Entrance (ACE) Program is a Grade 12 equivalent college program that prepares participants for admission to a college level post-secondary program or apprenticeship. This program is recognized as a Grade 12 equivalency by colleges and apprenticeship programs for the purpose of admission to programming and by many employers across Ontario. This program is run in partnership with Northern College.