Improving Outcomes for Native American Students With Disabilities While Respecting and Honoring Native Culture

Thomas Delaney closeup with forest pine trees rising up behind him

By Thomas Delaney, EdS School Psychologist, Interagency Partnership Supervisor and State Personnel Development Grant Director for the Minnesota Department of Education

When I was in high school in the mid-1980s, I got a copy of Richard Bach’s book “Illusions” into my hands. I can’t remember how that came to be, or who put it there, but there is a quote in that book that can always help you look in the mirror and recognize who you see, and it reads, “Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created this mess you got yourself into in the first place.”

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How I Realized I was Disabled

October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.
Eliza Young

By: Eliza Young

Disability is a broad term that may seem hard to define. There are the medical definitions and the legal definitions, but what matters to me is how my disabled community defines disability.

Who can be included in the disabled community? What unites all disabled people? The answer, like for most communities, is a set of shared experiences of the world.

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Dyslexia Awareness Month: An Interview with a Parent

Note: October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.

Kristin Kane

Kristin Kane

Resha Conroy

Resha Conroy

By Kristin Kane

October is a great month for awareness, some impressive groups come together this month to share information about a specific issue. At the heart of it is a goal that helps others understand why the issue is important and why we should pay attention. Raising awareness can take different forms, but it is the connection of people that brings meaning to why a community raises awareness.

This month is Dyslexia/LD/ADHD Awareness Month, and I had the honor of sitting down with Resha Conroy, a parent of a child with Dyslexia. She is also a member of the National Center on Improving Literacy Family Engagement Advisory Board and has started her own non-profit, Dyslexia Alliance for Black Children

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Anxiety and Learning Disabilities: The Worst Kept Secret

October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.
Athena Hallberg

By Athena Hallberg

My learning disabilities and anxiety have always gone hand in hand; however, while I was diagnosed at a very young age with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and an auditory processing delay, my anxiety disorder went undiagnosed for years. My anxiety disorder was my biggest secret — the worst kept secret, but a secret all the same.

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Ella

NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month as well as Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.

Ella and Beth Johnson

Ella and Beth Johnson

My name is Ella, and I’m a junior at Irondale High School in Minnesota. This school year, I’m busy studying for advanced placement courses, playing percussion and coordinating audio equipment in my school’s band, and making time to read book recommendations from friends. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in fifth grade, and reading print books has always been challenging for me compared with most of my classmates. However, accessible digital books from Bookshare give me the same opportunities to learn, engage, and show what I know.

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I Thought I Knew It All

Moxie and Meriah

by Meriah Nichols

I really thought I knew disability. I thought I knew what it feels like to have a disability; I thought I knew how it is to navigate a world that often does not understand or appreciate the presence of disability. I thought I knew the feelings that a disability can bring with it: the hurt, the pain, the joy, and the delight. I really thought I knew it all.

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Forming a Disability Identity as a Dyslexic

NOTE: October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.

By Rachelle Johnson, a member of the Young Adult Leadership Council of the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

As a child I was diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adults told me I was “differently abled” and to not categorize myself negatively, as in “disabled.” This introduced me to a societal view of “the disabled” and how to navigate an ableist society by distancing from the term disabled. The adults wanted this so I would not be treated in the negative ways people with disabilities often were.

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Self-Worth, Encouragement, Times of Value: These Kept Me Going

NOTE: October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.Kayla Queen

By Kayla Queen, a member of the Young Adult Leadership Council of the National Center for Learning Disabilities


When attempting to draw conclusions as to why I have been spared from many of the unfavorable statistics encountered by large percentages of people with learning disabilities, I have been able to explain it in part by the self-worth I was taught to have for myself and the times I have felt valued in school.

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IRIS Center Resources Take Educators Back to Basics

IRIS Center Logo - landscape

If 20 years of serving educators has taught us anything, it’s that a return to the fundamentals of sound practice is always a worthwhile pursuit. As schools and teachers enter into a new school year marked by uncertainty and the ever-present possibility of sudden change, this foundational approach feels especially relevant.

In this spirit, the IRIS Center has just posted one new module and completed significant updates to two others that personnel in schools and districts can use for professional development and personalized learning. And, yes, these resources emphasize a back-to-basics method.

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Voices From the Field: Interview With Rebecca Vitelli

Rebecca Vitelli is a preschool special education teacher at the Colonial Early Education Program in New Castle, Delaware. Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education with minors in human development and family studies and disabilities studies and a Master of Education in exceptional children and youth with a concentration in autism and severe disabilities from the University of Delaware. Most recently, she was named the 2020 Delaware Teacher of the Year.

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