College of Humanities

When Literacy Seems Difficult: Learning Differences in and out of the Classroom

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 2:00pm

Jerome Richfield 244

Speaker: Julie Neff Lippman, University of Puget Sound, emerita. Achieving literacy is difficult for many individuals for a plethora of reasons. For people who have learning differences like dyslexia or a non-verbal disability achieving literacy is often tortuous and frustrating even with good instruction and much hard work. We often think of learning differences as a school or classroom problem, but in fact, learning differences will follow the individual throughout his or her life. In the classroom, teachers must decide on how much emphasis to put on grammatical and syntactical errors and how flexible they should be about timely completion of work. These same questions arise in the workplace, at home, and in many facets of everyday life. There are no easy answers. But being aware of learning differences and how they might manifest themselves will, I hope, deepen your understanding of the quest for literacy. On a more practical level, we will explore possibilities for providing support and appropriate accommodations for a family member, a colleague, an employee, or a supervisor with a learning difference. What kinds of help are appropriate? Should individuals with learning differences be held to high standards? What kinds of accommodations will provide the best outcomes for everyone?