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.


Roundtable Spotlights Remarkable Educational Success

Media Advisory
For Immediate Release: January 25, 2010

Contact: Doug Sprei, Director of Media Relations
dsprei@rfbd.org; (202) 684-8915

What: "Access and Achievement: A Print Disabilities Roundtable" Hosted by Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic®
Where: 101 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite 600W, Washington DC 20001
When: February 2, 2010; 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Details: Lunch provided; subjects available for interviews/photo opps until 5:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON, DC – Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), which provides the nation’s largest library of educational audio textbooks, will host a unique roundtable on February 2, putting journalists face to face with a Marine Corps veteran and students who have found extraordinary success in school and life – despite their inability to read the printed word.

The 90-minute mid-day session will present powerful testimonials from several individuals who are blind or severely dyslexic and have flourished in the classroom, thanks to crucial access to textbooks and assistive audio technology that RFB&D provides. Several students will be honored at RFB&D’s 50th annual National Achievement Awards on February 3. The roundtable participants include:

  • Michael Jernigan, a Marine blinded by a roadside bomb in Fallujah, Iraq, is now thriving in college and speaking out for veteran wounded warriors hoping to rekindle their education.
  • Alyssa Lang, diagnosed with dyslexia in her junior year in high school, struggled and compensated for years by literally memorizing every word she encountered. She graduated with a 4.31 GPA and now attends Notre Dame.
  • 37-year old Monty Anderson, undeterred by blindness, finished his double master's degree in psychology and behavioral neuroscience – and is now a high achiever in law school.
  • Michele Shepherd, diagnosed with dyslexia at 35, endured debilitating stigma and ridicule as a child, and is now making up for lost time with passionate advocacy and public speaking to kids in Virginia school systems.

Also, two nationally recognized education authorities will share perspectives:

  • James Cibulka, President of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), is the father of a dyslexic daughter.
  • Jane West, Sr. VP for Policy and Programs at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), is an acknowledged authority on education and disability issues.

-- Note to journalists: Please RSVP by January 28 to dsprei@rfbd.org or call 703-581-2498. --




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