Learning Ally Blog: Access and Achievement


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.

Theater, a Microphone, and a Gift of Giving Back
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The scene – a hot cramped jury room – devoid of the 1957 humidity and cigarette haze in the Henry Fonda version – but filled with the same explosive mix of anguish, anxiety, and 12 Angry Men.12 Angry Men Scene Our Volunteer Spotlight this week lands on the fellow, 2nd on the left, who played Juror 3 in the January 2017 Sandy Spring Theatre Group production of Reginald Rose’s classic play. Steve Swift, a retired English teacher and DC Studio volunteer, moonlights on the boards and has performed in productions of: Guys and Dolls, The Sound of Music, Much Ado About Nothing, and Sherlock Holmes: The Final Solution.                  Born in Wayne, Pennsylvania, Swift worked in Pittsburgh before moving to Maryland and beginning a 30 year career in teaching and staff development for Montgomery County Public Schools.  Being a teacher, Swift says, was a “calling felt when I was 16 years old.”
He adds, “Every job I have ever had, including my volunteer work, has engaged me in educating people, helping people. I am very happy that I can use God’s gifts to serve others.”
Steve Head ShotSwift wears many hats at the Washington DC Studio. He reads. He quality checks. And he reps the organization at special occasions such as last year’s Capitol Hill visit by Learning Ally students from Ohio lobbying Congress on behalf of dyslexia legislation. “The work is very important,” he says,”…we must keep in mind that we are opening new worlds for students of every age throughout the country.” To other Learning Ally “The work is very important,” he says, "we must keep in mind that we are opening new worlds for students of every age throughout the country.” To other Learning Ally volunteers, Swift reminds that “our work engages students in great literature, complex mathematics texts, theories in psychology and a myriad of other disciplines. What could be more satisfying than that?”   If you are interested in volunteering for Learning Ally, please visit LearningAlly.org/Volunteer today.

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