DYSLEXIA AWARENESS AND RESDOURCE CENTER

Carpinteria Street

Santa Barbara, California

 

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The Center provides direct one-on-one services to adults with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. The Center also provides services to the families and parents with children affected with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. The Center disseminates current materials on dyslexia and attention deficit disorder to anyone who asks for it. The Center also conducts outreach and training seminars for public and private schools, for the juvenile court systems, for drug and alcohol programs, for literacy programs, and for Homeless and Mission programs. Other services offered by the Center include the provision for an extensive Dyslexia Book, Video and Audio Library.

 

 

The Library is designed to be used by professionals as well as the lay public. The Library is currently used by over twenty separate programs and agencies throughout the local area including the Santa Barbara County Office of Education, the Santa Barbara County Social Services Agency, and the Santa Barbara Literacy Program.

 

 

 

II. PROBLEM STATEMENT

 

Dyslexia is an invisible learning disability. It is caused by a difference in brain structure which is present at birth and is often hereditary. As a result, incoming and outgoing information gets scrambled as it travels between the senses and the brain. This condition does not affect the intelligence level---yet it does impair one’s ability to learn, retain and express information. According to studies cited by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 15 percent of American students are affected by Dyslexia. The United States Department of Education in 1992 cited that 50 percent of all students in Special Education in public schools have Learning Disabilities.

 

The National Longitudinal Transition Study (Wagner 1992) stated that 35 percent of students identified with learning disabilities drop out of high school.

 

According to the Office of the Inspector General on " Functional Impairments of AFDC Clients", learning disabilities are one of the most common impediments keeping welfare clients from becoming and remaining employed.

 

 

The quest for literacy is crucial to the development of our society. Illiteracy is recognized as a major obstacle to economic growth and a serious social problem in the United States. The Orton Dyslexia Society believes that people with dyslexia, a specific learning disability, account for 60% of the "illiterate population." Dyslexia respects no social, economic, or

cultural boundaries. Because dyslexia often goes undiagnosed and untreated, a number of children affected with undiagnosed dyslexia become juvenile offenders or enemies of themselves and society.

 

 

III. PROGRAM OBJECTIVE

 

The good news about dyslexia is that it is a condition that can be helped if it is recognized. People with dyslexia can be helped if they are well diagnosed and taught using multi-sensory educational methods. According to Dr. Larry B. Silver, Director of the National Institute of Dyslexia, people with dyslexia can learn to master a language and work with their disorder. They often have highly developed brains ranking them as gifted and above average intelligence. If their disability is overcomed, they frequently make significant contributions to society.

 

The objective of the Center’s program is to increase the community’s

awareness of dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, ( a condition that often

accompanies dyslexia) by:

 

• increasing the ability to recognize the effects of dyslexia and attention deficit disorder on employer and employee relationships.

 

• increasing the recognition and understanding of dyslexia and attention deficit disorder by teachers and school administrators in the public and private school system,

 

 

• increasing the recognition and understanding of the Juvenile Court System to the effects of dyslexia and attention deficit disorder on juveniles

 

• increasing the recognition and understanding of the effects of dyslexia and attention deficit disorder on people found in our local Alcoholic, Drug Free, and Homeless Programs.

 

 

 

IV. METHODS

 

In order to meet the objectives of this program the Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Center offers the following Educational and Resource Program:

 

• parent advocacy training seminars.

 

• employment training programs for employers and employees who are effected by dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

• seminars and teacher training programs for teachers who have students affected with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder in their classrooms.

 

• speaker bureau programs that address the social, educational, and emotional needs of those affected by dyslexia or attention deficit disorder and the laws that protect them.

 

• dyslexia outreach programs for the public and private school sectors for students, teachers, and administrators in the elementary and secondary schools.

 

• seminars and resource training programs for the juvenile court system on dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

 

• augmentation of new parent support groups at the center for parents with children affected by dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

 

• development of new adult support groups for adults with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.