Literacy and Basic Skills Services

Ottawa’s nine different Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) programs offer free services to help you improve your skills in the following six areas:

  • Find and use information
  • Communicate ideas and information
  • Understand and use numbers
  • Use digital technology
  • Manage learning
  • Engage with others

Each LBS program differs in terms of the range of programming offered, from basic up to a grade 12 equivalency level and in terms of the number of hours of instruction offered per week.  Programs provide different types of service delivery, such as one-on-one tutoring, small groups or a classroom setting.

The choice of which LBS program best suits your needs depends upon your current skills, your preferred language of instruction, the type of setting you learn best in, the number of hours per week you can attend and which of the following five goal paths you want to pursue:

  • Employment
  • Secondary school credit
  • Postsecondary
  • Apprenticeship or other types of skills training
  • Increased independence

To be eligible for LBS services you need to:

  • Be at least 19 years old (sometimes programs serve young adults aged 16 to18 if they are mature enough to benefit from adult education)
  • Live in Ontario
  • Speak English or French at Canadian Language Benchmark Level 6 or higher, if you were not born in Canada

To learn more about each LBS program, check out the Quick Guide to Ottawa’s Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) Service Providers posted on  If you are looking for information about the choices available for completing an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or high school equivalency, take a look at the Credit and Equivalency Guide.

If you need more information, please contact Ottawa Community Coalition for Literacy:

Phone:                         613-233-3232

Email:                           [email protected]

Bell Relay:                  1-800-855-0511

Pour les programmes francophones appelez:

Moi, j’apprends           613-748-3879

La Cité collégiale        613-742-2493, Poste 2800

Our Centres:

YSB - :ITO 2.0

301 Moodie Drive, Suite 203
Kanata, Ontario K2H 9C4
Tel: 613-688-0440

YSB Employment Services

1355 Bank Street, Suite 703
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8K7
Tel: 613-236-8244