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.


Emily Daly Wins National Achievement Award
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Lafayette, LA resident proves dyslexia is no barrier to educational success

Emily DalyPRINCETON, NJ – Learning Ally, a 68-year-old nonprofit serving individuals with learning and visual disabilities, has bestowed its highest award to Emily Daly of Lafayette, LA. Daly is one of six students from across the U.S. who received cash awards and traveled with their families to be honored at Learning Ally’s National Achievement Awards Gala celebration in Denver, Colorado in April. Emily is profoundly dyslexic and dysgraphic, and was told in childhood that she would never learn to read.  During freshman year in high school, she turned to a friend and asked, “How do you spell the word, 'of'? And a girl said, 'Oh my God, you’re so stupid. You must have gotten into your honors classes because they pitied you.” Today Emily is a freshman at University of Notre Dame and is deeply engaged in studying neuroscience. “You must refuse to let people label you,” she affirms, “because it destroys the greatness that lives inside each of us.”  As the winner of numerous school and literary awards, she has helped her teachers see that students with learning differences can succeed beyond their wildest dreams. "It’s truly beautiful what I believe the dyslexic mind can do," Emily says. “With the help of Learning Ally, I have learned to turn my disability into strength.” View a video profile of Emily Daly. About the National Achievement Awards Each year, Learning Ally honors exceptional students through the Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Awards, which were instituted in 1991 for high school seniors with learning differences such as dyslexia. Hundreds of students apply for these prestigious awards each year and are selected by committees of Learning Ally volunteers, board members, parents, educators, donors and staff. Students are recognized for their academic excellence, extraordinary leadership, and service to others; and they have thrived on their education paths thanks in part to their extensive use of accessible educational content and assistive technology provided by Learning Ally. NOTE: Applications for this year’s scholarship awards are open until May 31 for high school student members of Learning Ally who have dyslexia and related learning disabilities. For more information, visit http://naa.LearningAlly.org. About Learning Ally Founded in 1948, Learning Ally supports K-12, college and graduate students, veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom read and learn differently due to dyslexia, blindness or visual impairment, and other disabilities.  The organization hosts live and virtual events for families and teachers; provides instructive webinars led by experts as well as peer-to-peer sessions led by students; personal consultations for parents; and professional development workshops for educators. Learning Ally’s collection of 82,000 human-narrated audio textbooks and literature titles can be downloaded by students using their smartphones and tablets, and is the largest of its kind in the world. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Learning Ally is partially funded by grants from state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information visit www.LearningAlly.org.


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