The RSEC Academy brings learning disability simulation workshop to Bedford High School

By RSEC Team | October 18, 2017

Parents, teachers, and students experience what it’s like to learn differently than others

The RSEC Academy’s PALD (Positive Approach to Learning Disabilities) team visited neighboring Bedford High School on Friday, October 6 to share what it feels like to learn differently than other students.

The workshop, which is offered free of charge to student and education groups, featured RSEC students Hayden, Heather, Isaiah and James, and RSEC transition coordinator Alison Batey. They presented a series of activities that replicate the experience of having learning disabilities, engaged the audience in a question-and-answer session, and shared what it feels like to be on the receiving end of uninformed and hurtful assumptions about learning disabilities.

Presented with a healthy dose of humor and an open and honest exchange, the PALD team took the audience through different scenarios that help illustrate some of the challenges students with learning disabilities face, such as:

  • Singing “the Itsy-Bitsy Spider” in front of peers to simulate what it feels like to read aloud when you are not a confident reader;
  • Describing a favorite movie without using words that contain the letter “T” to force the speaker to retrieve just the right words but at a much slower pace; and
  • Good-spirited comments from RSEC student presenters urging participants to “speed it up,” and to “speak in complete sentences” to replicate how constructive feedback can feel like anything but.

Kudos to the PALD team for explaining some of the issues that many of our students experience and overcome on a daily basis. We’re so proud of their commitment to inform the community and share their successes with others.

While the Bedford High School presentation was adapted for its district-wide professional development session, The RSEC Academy PALD team can adapt their 60-to-90-minute presentation for content, time, and audiences of all sizes. It is offered at no charge.

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