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 Learning disabilities (LDs) impact the lives of millions of people all throughout the world, both children and adults in all sorts of different contexts. And although recent decades have brought a number of improvements related to information and action around this topic, there is still a long way to go!

Learning Disabilities Awareness Month seeks to increase public knowledge surrounding the issue, while improving interventions and providing support to improve the lives of everyone who is impacted by learning disabilities.

History of Learning Disabilities Awareness Month

Learning Disabilities Awareness Month has origins that date back to 1985 when US President Ronald Reagan established the event through presidential proclamation. Due to the fact that dyslexia is by far the most common of the learning disabilities, in recent years some campaigns and organizations have also referred to this as Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia Awareness Month.

More recently, some US Representatives and Senators have introduced resolutions before Congress to garner more support for this important event. The hope is that these continued efforts to promote awareness, acceptance and assistance will continue to make an enormous difference in the lives of individuals with learning disabilities in the US and worldwide.

How to Celebrate Learning Disabilities Awareness Month

Teachers, parents, community leaders and others can get involved with Learning Disabilities Awareness Month in a variety of creative ways, including some of these:

Remove the Stigma of Learning Disabilities

To help people thrive, it is important that the social stigma and shame be removed so everyone who needs help is willing to get it. Instead of focusing on what people with learning disabilities are missing, educators, parents and other leaders can work hard to focus on what ways these individuals are equipped to make a positive impact on the world. People who have LDs are incredible human beings, and Learning Disabilities Awareness Month is just the time to shout it from the rooftops!

Learn About Famous People with Learning Disabilities

Sometimes it can be difficult for people with unique challenges to find role models or people to look up to who have been overcomers. In honor of Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, take some time to learn a bit more about some of these famous people who have had LDs:

  • Walt Disney – dyslexia 
  • Jennifer Aniston – dyslexia 
  • Ryan Gosling – ADHD and reading difficulties 
  • Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine) – dyslexia and dyscalculia

Engage with Stories of People with LDs

An excellent way to get involved with Learning Disabilities Awareness Month might be to get more connected with the narrative behind the lives of people with learning disabilities. LD Online is an organization that works in association with the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, and their website offers a range of inspiring stories, artwork, and photographs submitted by people who have learning disabilities. 

Another place to find resources and stories is the non-profit organization, Understood, which offers their “Many Faces of Learning Disabilities” videos where individuals describe their personal experiences with dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, bullying, feeling judged and more. 

A similar event that is celebrated along this same theme is Learning Disabilities Week, a UK initiative that takes place during the third week of June.  

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