Learning Ally Blog: Access and Achievement

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Now more than ever, people with learning and visual disabilities are flourishing in the classroom, launching productive careers and becoming assets in their communities. This blog spotlights remarkable individuals who demonstrate that having a visual or print disability is no barrier to educational success.


Avenues to Access – A Capitol Hill Roundtable Conversation With People Who "Learn Differently"
When: February 7, 2011; 10 a.m. to Noon Where: U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center, Congressional Meeting Room North Contact:  Doug Sprei, Director of Media Relations; (202) 684-8915 WASHINGTON, DC -- Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic® (RFB&D)will host a media roundtable spotlighting remarkable people with learning differences – and the transformative impact that accessible content and assistive technology has made in their lives. This event brings journalists face to face with individuals who have overcome blindness, dyslexia and other learning disabilities – to flourish in higher education, and progress toward success in the workplace. Complementing their personal accounts, the Roundtable will explore how public policy can support students with learning differences, empower parents, and help educators gain access to critical assistive technology. Roundtable participants include:
  • Scott MacIntyre: "American Idol" finalist and entertainer; he is a visually impaired Marshall Scholar and a former RFB&D National Achievement Award winner.
  • Daniel Standage: U.S. Marine Corps veteran, blinded by a rare reaction to a vaccine received while on duty; he is now serving disabled veterans making a return to college.
  • Denna Lambert: Born with congenital cataracts, she has sidestepped visual impairment to become a manager at NASA's Goddard Space Center.
  • Ryan Ansel: A student whose years of struggling with acute dyslexia have become a powerful motivator; he is now thriving at Davidson College.
  • Kyle Wittenauer: Despite severe spatial processing deficiency and dysgraphia, he was accepted early decision at Yale to study neuroscience and play football.
  • Amy Laudeman, Public Policy Associate, National Center for Learning Disabilities will expound on policy issues with Brad Thomas, SVP Public Policy and Advocacy at RFB&D.
  • Several parents of children with learning differences will add their voices to the Roundtable, sharing firsthand accounts and family perspectives on special education.
Event notes: Credentialed media are welcome to attend; RSVP by noon February 4 to Doug Sprei, or call 703-581-2498. Remote coverage by bloggers and journalists is encouraged; please forward questions for panelists and interview requests to Doug Sprei; or call 703-581-2498. About Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic® Founded in 1948, RFB&D serves more than 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students, as well as veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom are blind, visually impaired, dyslexic or have other disabilities that prohibit them from reading standard print. RFB&D's collection of more than 64,000 digital textbooks and literature titles – delivered through internet downloads and available on Macs and PCs, CD and various assistive technology devices – is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 5,500 volunteers across the U.S. help make RFB&D’s content available, which students rely on to achieve educational success and entry into the workforce. RFB&D, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information, call (866)732-3585 or visit https://www.learningally.org.


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