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.


Overcoming Fear: Glimpsing the Brilliance of a Teen who has Dyslexia
"I always knew I was a little bit different than the other kids in the classroom." KaylaThose are the words of 18-year old Kayla Bruni. When she was in 4th grade, Kayla was diagnosed with dyslexia. "I remember being in pre-school, and you had to practice writing your name," she says.
"All the kids around me were writing their names. I didn't know how, and I knew that wasn't normal."
She remembers, "I asked my friend next to me to write my name. My teacher noticed (that I didn't write it), and I came home crying. I thought I wasn't as smart as the other kids. I should know how to write my own name ...it’s my name! That was my defining moment." Kayla's mother, Lynda, enrolled her in a reading program, but says "we now know that particular program was more of a band aid than actual remediation. I introduced her to audiobooks in 4th grade. That opened up a whole new world for her since she loved to learn!" Fast forward to today: Kayla is currently a high school senior -- and a member of the National Honor Society. "She worked VERY hard for that and we are all very proud of her," beams Lynda. "Kayla has always dabbled with making videos. She says a video is her writing. It is the best way for her to express herself." Kayla with CameraThat dabbling turned into a viral video within the dyslexia community earlier this year. Kayla never realized at the time how much people would connect with her creative work. "I was just thinking about applying for colleges ...that I need to start doing stuff ...have to worry about grown up stuff. I got stressed." In times of anxiety, she turned to an old friend - her camera. "I have this picture in my head of what my happy place is, so when I get in those moods, I go there,” says Kayla of her video titled Fear.  “There have to be other people who relate to that feeling.” Watch Kayla's video, and let us know where you go when you are visiting your happy place. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ8NyHm2GOk&feature=youtu.be kayla2After high school, Kayla has big plans for college where she wishes to learn more about filmmaking. "Each person has a story that made them the way they are. I have compassion for other people’s stories and empathy toward their lives. If I can help others access people's stories, my hope is that they can have a great understanding for why they are the way they are and why they do the things they do." One of the tools Kayla uses is Learning Ally, providing the largest collection of human narrated textbooks for people with learning and visual disabilities. We can help your child excel in subjects by providing independent access to literature in many academic fields. Browse our audiobook library, and consider membership in our organization which provides access to audiobooks, one-on-one parent support consultations, and webinars presented by leading experts in the field.  To learn more about membership, visit: go.learningally.org/parents-students/sign-up/


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