Literacy and Basic Skills

What is Employment Ontario?

Employment Ontario is a network of all of the employment, training and education services offered or funded through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD).  This includes literacy and basic skills agencies.  For more information about Employment Ontario and the other services available, please click here.

What is Literacy?

Literacy includes the essential skills needed for work, learning and life.  Literacy skills include reading, writing, math, problem-solving and computer use.  For more information about Essential Skills, please click here.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), "Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.  Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society.  (For more information about UNESCO Literacy initiatives, please click here.)

What is Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS)?

The Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program helps adults reach their goals by developing and/or strengthening their skills.  LBS services can be accessed for Aboriginal, Anglophone, Deaf and Francophone learners to meet their different linguistic and cultural needs.

The LBS program helps learners to succeed in one of the five goal paths:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Employment
  • Independence
  • Secondary School Credit
  • Post-Secondary Credit
Services of the LBS program - all individuals receive the following five services:
  • Information & referral
  • Assessment
  • Learner Plan Development
  • Training
  • Follow-up
For more information, please click here.

What is the Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF)?

OALCF is a competency and task-based framework that supports the development of programming delivered through the LBS program.  For more information, please click here.

Can I get my grade 12 through LBS?

No, but you will gain the skills to be prepared to move to your next step which may be to get a grade 12 diploma or equivalent (i.e. Academic Career Entrance (ACE) certificate, GED - high school equivalency certificate).

Who can attend LBS classes?

The LBS program is available to:

  • Ontario residents
  • 19 years of age or older - there are some exceptions for those 16 - 18 years of age
  • Communicate and understand enough to be able to direct their own learning to fully benefit from the LBS instruction
For more information, please click here.

How long does LBS take?

The length of time depends on your goals, current skill levels, and the amount of time you can give to learning.

Where can I find LBS classes?

LBS classes are available in every region of Ontario.  To find out more information:

How much does it cost to be a student in an LBS program?

The LBS program is free, however some agencies may charge a small fee to register.

When can I take LBS classes?

Most LBS classes are offered on a continuous intake.  This means there is no set start date and you can register at any time.  The LBS program is the same across Ontario but the way agencies delivery the program differs based on the needs of the community:

  • Year round or seasonal adjusted (September through to June)
  • Day time and evening options
  • On a full-time or part-time basis
  • Access for one-to-one tutoring (where available)

Can I take LBS in French or ASL?

Yes, there are LBS classes available in French for people whose first language is French.  LBS services are also delivered in American Sign Language for the Deaf community.

Can I study LBS on the Internet?

LBS training can be delivered online by the e-Channel network.  e-Channel literacy provides self-directed and supported learning for those who are unable to fully participate in other literacy programs.  For example, no services in community or for those unable to attend during agency business hours.  For more information, go to e-Channel delivery.