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S5 E8: We Understand Dyslexia Better Than Ever, Yet Most Students Still Don’t Get Help

Twenty percent of people live with dyslexia, yet our public school systems are, for the most part designed for students who don’t have difficulty reading. In the past thirty years, the science around dyslexia has come a long way. Today, those who can access early screening, early diagnosis, early intervention, and appropriate accommodations are often able to thrive academically and in future careers. But many lack access to these services. That’s what Genya Devoe is working to change, both as an activist and as faculty at Antioch University School of Education, where she designed and leads our Dyslexia Studies programs. In this conversation, guest host Johanna Case, who is herself dyslexic, talks with Genya about our evolving understanding of dyslexia, best practices in treating it, and efforts to pass legislation to bring services to all students. 

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Episode Notes

Visit Antioch’s website to learn more about the Certificate in Dyslexia Studies and the Master of Education for Experienced Educators with the Dyslexia Studies Concentration, the latter of which is offered in fully online and low-residency options through Antioch University’s New England campus. 

For more resources, Genya recommends visiting the websites of The International Dyslexia Association, Decoding Dyslexia, and The Yale Center for Dyslexia.

This episode was recorded May 18, 2023, via and released May 31, 2023. 

The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University

Guest Host and Editor: Johanna Case

Host: Jasper Nighthawk

Digital Design: Mira Mead

Web Content Coordination: Jen Mont

Work-Study Interns: Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion, Carrie Hawthorn, Stefanie Paredes, and Georgia Bermingham.  

A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia Bryan, and Melinda Garland.


Genya Devoe

S5 Episode 8 Transcript

Johanna Case: [00:00:00] This is the Seed Field Podcast. the show where Antiochians share their knowledge, tell their stories and come together to win victories for humanity. I’m your guest host Johanna Case. Today, I’m excited to interview Genya Devoe, who runs our Dyslexia Studies program. 

I’m guest hosting this episode because this topic is very important to me. I work as a video and audio producer at Antioch, where I’m the editor of this podcast. Between this work and my work as a freelance non-fiction filmmaker, most people in my life don’t know that I have a severe learning disability. I am dyslexic. My learning disability was caught late. My parents got me tutors and specialists, but even with that help I could barely read at all until I was in middle school…and to tell you the truth, I’m still a slow reader. 

In preparation for this episode, I have been thinking back on my experience in school as a dyslexic kid. I remember being pulled out of class as a pre-teen so that a tutor could watch me write out letter combinations on a tray of sand. All the while, listening to my classmates laughing at Señora Nunez’s jokes, in their Spanish classes next door.

Or the panic of having a teacher say, “Today we’re going to go around the room, and each read a paragraph.” (I remember exactly where I was in the classroom when I had to read Shakespeare aloud in 7th grade or Gilgamesh my sophomore year of high school). And even though I would covertly try to locate and pre-read my section, my teacher would still end up having to help me through half of the words, while my whole class looked on, flinching with every mistake.

Even as an adult, I feel like I need to be constantly vigilant against making obvious errors: bungling simple math, reading the wrong word aloud during a meeting, or sending emails with obvious misspellings. I often feel like I need to be on a constant charm offensive to sound as intelligent and articulate as I can, to guard against the inevitable time when every new person in my life will have to adjust their opinion of me to incorporate how truly bad I am at something they take completely for granted.

But compared to most people with dyslexia (especially in the 90s when I was in grade school), I have been extremely lucky. My family took my disability seriously and had enough resources to get me tested, hire multiple tutors, take me to specialists, and get my schools to give me extended time for tests. 

I’ve had amazing teachers who saw and encouraged my intelligence and built up my confidence as a writer and an artist. And I have been able to slowly develop skills and incorporate new technologies that have allowed me to excel, especially during my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. 

For people with dyslexia, there are so many little barriers from school to work to social interactions that can keep us from engaging fully and freely. When our educational systems often only recognize and value specific forms of intelligence—this can instill a lifelong sense of inadequacy. I know firsthand how, when you struggle with traditional academic skills, it’s easy to question your overall intelligence.

But at the same time, dyslexia studies is now a much larger field than it was when I was a kid. And there are many researchers and educators taking this topic seriously today. They are developing best practices to make sure that learning support is standard for all students. So that getting help with dyslexia is not reserved for the economically privileged few. And they are working to make sure that this knowledge is available and common among educators at all levels.

Which is why I’m so excited to welcome Genya Devoe to the Seed Field Podcast. She has been teaching in Antioch’s education department for the last fifteen years. She has special experience in literacy, and she has become an expert in dyslexia studies, eventually founding our dyslexia studies certificate and the dyslexia studies concentration in our Master of Education for Experienced Educators. 

Genya, welcome to the podcast. 

Genya Devoe: Hi. Thank you so much. It’s great to be here.

Johanna: It’s so nice to have you. We like to start each episode by disclosing our positionality, especially aspects of our identity that might impact the conversation that we’re gonna have.

I’ll start. I’m a cisgender woman living in Los Angeles. I’m in my thirties. I’m Queer, I’m white. I grew up in New England with a lot of socioeconomic privilege. I’m currently employed. I have stable housing. I don’t have any children. I’m college educated. I don’t have a physical disability, but I am diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, and like so many of us in this day and age, I also deal with depression and anxiety. So, Genya, as much as you’re comfortable, what would you like to share about your positionality?

Genya: Thank you for sharing that. Yes. So I am a straight white woman and I am married. I have a stable [00:05:00] household, my husband and my two children. I grew up in Ohio, where I was fortunate enough to have a very privileged upbringing with great schools and a home life that was quite lovely, and I was able to attend college for my undergraduate and two graduate degrees. 

Johanna: Wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. The first question I have for you was a little, obvious and standard, but, in simple terms, how do you define dyslexia?

Genya: That’s a great question. And I almost wanna ask you first, what do you think dyslexia is?

Johanna: Very tricky. Turning it back on me. All right, so I know it’s a learning disability. I actually have a very shaky understanding of what’s literally going on in my brain. I think the way that it was explained to me when I was a kid was that it was a failure of the two sides of your brain to communicate the way that other people did. Then [00:06:00] that makes it harder for you to read and to write and those kinds of things. So that’s my understanding. What’s your understanding?

Genya: That is a great starting point.

So put pretty simply, dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. So that’s sort of it in a nutshell and we like to say that individuals with dyslexia have brains that are neurodivergent, so their brains are doing something different when it comes to the ways in which they process language. And of course, we know to be able to read, comprehend, of course, read fluently and comprehend what you’re reading. You need both the language and the word recognition piece, and so if those two are not there, reading comprehension is actually a product of those two. So if we have a deficit, then we’re going to see students and individuals who are unable to read and write as you describe, effectively. So most simply, it’s a language-based learning disability.

Johanna: Could you [00:07:00] share your journey of how you initially got involved in this kind of work?

Genya: Absolutely love to do so. As many of us who are in the space where we find, passions for which we want to be lifelong advocates. It started at, in a personal way. I was a classroom teacher and I taught elementary. So I was teaching kindergarten, first and second grade. The grades where we teach kids how to read. I was fortunate because the institution where I received my training as a classroom educator, provided the instruction so that we based the reading instruction and the writing instruction in research. So we used evidence-based practices. So it’s not true of everyone who came up around the same time. So I had a bit of experience being a classroom teacher, and then when my own son was around four and five, I noticed a few things that just, hmm, gave me a sideways glance. And, [00:08:00] I wanna make it clear that this is not the checklist for dyslexia. They just happen to be some commonalities. And one of the first things that I noticed was he can’t rhyme. And by that I mean when we think about three-year-olds and four-year-olds, they spend a lot of time with nursery rhymes, songs, and they hear them often and they often can then rhyme words. Many children actually do it on their own. If you’ve been around young kids and just like to continue to say words like mat, hat, cat, sat. And my son wasn’t doing that on his own. And I was like, huh, that’s kind of weird. I happened to ask his teacher when he was in the first part of kindergarten, if she was noticing anything else. And she’s like, no, not really. Seems to be fine. We’re reading these little leveled books, and he’s eager to try. I’m like, okay, I’m gonna keep a close eye and I continue to kind of practice with him at home and [00:09:00] see, like, maybe he just needs more exposure to some of these things that I’m seeing. I also noticed that there were some other language things happening, like words that repeat back and they weren’t properly accented, if you will.

So like syllables were kind of off and it was like he didn’t store hearing the words a certain way and then saying them back. So when he got to first grade, the teacher said, oh, it looks like we’re having some difficulties in reading. And I said, yes, I know, I work with him at home quite a bit. And, if you’re not seeing it translate in the classroom, I think we need to start talking about that. He happened to go to what the school offered at the time, which was a bit of intervention for students who were struggling readers. And so we didn’t have any diagnosis at this time or anything other than like he needs a little extra help. I continued to work with him at home using the instructional strategies and practices that I knew were not only great for students with dyslexia because I kind of was thinking we might[00:10:00] be going down that path. 

Johanna: hmm.

Genya: But also are just really great for struggling readers. And that’s something that’s key and we’re seeing that play out in the classrooms and I hope we can get back to that bit later. 

So as he continued through school, I continued to ask, can we do some screening, and I really think maybe some assessment for dyslexia. Can we start talking about that? Because I’m seeing more and more things that show this might be a reason why he’s having the reading difficulties and, time after time, I was told that the school basically didn’t have an option for that. We don’t have any experts in dyslexia. We don’t have teachers that are trained in providing instruction for students with dyslexia. Our educational psychologists on staff within the district don’t have the tools. We don’t have access to the assessments. But we’ll keep doing this reading intervention as it goes on, and what you described in the intro was exactly what my son was feeling. He started acting up in [00:11:00] elementary school because it was easier to kind of be the class clown,

Johanna: Mm-hmm.

Genya: and be funny, rather than to have to read aloud in class.

Johanna: Yeah.

Genya: So around that time when he was in middle school, I keep hearing that we don’t have the professionals, we don’t have the resources to help these students. And I already knew by that time that as many as twenty percent of our students have dyslexia. So it’s a large chunk of students that this district and many others are not serving. I happened to be chair of reading programs at the time within a school of education. I went to the dean and I said, Hey, we have to do something about this. It’s not okay. This is happening in our backyard. And I know our district is not the only one. And, I began working very closely with the International Dyslexia Association with some state contacts that I had made. I’ve been doing some advocacy work at the state level and just dug in and started writing a program so that we could prepare [00:12:00] teachers, leaders, administrators to be able to address the needs for these students in the classroom.

Johanna: Wow. It’s so impressive and also sad that you were able to, and kind of had to build something like that from scratch. Especially because you had that background in reading and literacy. Can you shed a little bit more light on the current state of the educational system for dyslexic students in public schools? 

Genya: Sure. There’s a light on the horizon. Not only are we seeing more and more educators choosing to find out more about dyslexia, and certainly a lot of parent grassroots efforts have been made in this space. There are a lot of states as well as districts who are moving in the direction of making sure that students with dyslexia have their needs met in the classroom. So at the state level, we’re talking about legislation that requires, not only for screening to occur in districts,

Johanna: Hmm.

Genya: At certain [00:13:00] intervals, but also to prepare educators. So that they’re ready to go into the classroom and see the needs of students with dyslexia and meet those with instruction.

Johanna: And how widespread are those kinds of efforts? Is that a state by state thing?

Genya: It is, and it’s on the rise. I know, for example, like Ohio right now has, I think. Six bills that are moving through legislation related to dyslexia effective reading instruction, the use of high quality instructional materials when it comes to literacy.

So all of those are supporting our students with dyslexia as well as those who are, you know, who may have other reading difficulties or disabilities. We have a few states across the country who have led those efforts, particularly ones who have made it important for schools of education. Or the educator preparation programs to require specific coursework that leads to graduates being able to teach our students once they get into the classroom.[00:14:00] 

Johanna: I’m interested in something that you said in our pre-meeting, which was how implementing these extra programs and different forms of educating for dyslexic students has a positive effect on all of the students and students that aren’t dyslexic. 

Genya: So when you think about if, if we go with, let’s say fifteen to twenty percent, of our students in a classroom, have dyslexia to some degree, and again, varies, when we think about what a student with dyslexia looks like, you mentioned that you have dyslexia. My son has dyslexia, and I’m sure you’re very different in so many ways, in the ways that manifests in your reading and writing. When we think about that fifteen to twenty percent, we can actually go up to about fifty percent of students having reading difficulties or struggles for which they would really benefit from the type of instruction that we provide for students with dyslexia.

So we’re talking about structured literacy, multi-sensory instruction. You mentioned the sand, tracing [00:15:00] letters and words in the sand. Yes. That’s multi-sensory. That’s great.

Johanna: Yes.

Genya: So those instructional strategies and practices are evidence-based and they are effective to help us get the fifty percent of students who need that. Like, when I was growing up as a reader, I was really fortunate. I don’t know why, but it came to me and I picked it up and loved it. 

So, being a reader and learning to read, I was up at that top fifteen percent, let’s say. I would still benefit from those evidence-based practices, which are implemented into the classroom, because what happens when I’m a second grader, I’m at that top fifteen percent. I’m reading chapter books, but then when the academic language gets more difficult, the domain specific language gets more difficult. You know, I think about, multi-syllabic words that you might encounter, come middle school. If I don’t have the skills with which to break those words apart, to understand what those [00:16:00] meanings and the words are, I’m not going to be able to progress.

So, reading a chapter book in second grade may be no problem, but if I have not cemented those skills on how to decode, I’m not going to be able to apply those then, when the words become increasingly more difficult, and the vocabulary requires me to do. So that’s why it’s really great for all students to experience this type of explicit, systematic, structured instruction rather than just go from where they are and only address the students. You know that fifteen to twenty percent with dyslexia.

Johanna: Yeah. Can you tell me more about your teaching at Antioch and the road that you’ve taken in the dyslexia studies program and the ways in which that’s changed and that you’ve built that in your time at Antioch?

Genya: Sure. Yeah. So when thinking about the program, from a design perspective, I really wanted to make sure there was, two things. [00:17:00] First, a solid foundation in what dyslexia is, and I wanted that to be grounded in current research. So I don’t know if you’re familiar, but years ago, like let’s say in the eighties, there were all kinds of weird definitions for dyslexia or, or thoughts. We didn’t really know a lot about it, so it was theorized that perhaps it had something to do with vision, for example.

Johanna: Hmm. 

Genya: It wasn’t necessarily, what we know now is it’s in the brain. We have brain scans. We can see it.

Johanna: Yeah.

Genya: But that perhaps it was, it was vision based. I wanted to make sure that we grounded everything in the program with current research and a current understanding of what we know about dyslexia. And from there, we really wanna build on what students likely already have. Because most of our students are coming into the program with somewhat of an education background. Either they’ve gone through a licensure or they’ve been in the classroom and so things like, different areas of [00:18:00] literacy. Like phonics, phonological awareness, assessment, strategies for teaching, vocabulary and fluency. All of those things make up the courses that we offer, and it’s an opportunity to build on and sometimes, correct misunderstandings that they may have built previously. So it’s really great because it takes the very beginnings, and the introductory knowledge that they may have, just about teaching, reading and writing overall. And it allows them to dive in and understand better what is explicit systematic teaching. I don’t just decide I’m gonna start teaching the letter “P” in kindergarten because that sounds great. Or the letter “S” because it’s September, right?

We have a scope and sequence that we follow and it’s for a reason. So that students are able to build words once they have several sounds. They’re able to make those words and then they can read those words and they can [00:19:00] write those words. And again, you mentioned multi-sensory learning. That’s something else that we wanted to make sure. That’s a principle of effective instruction for students with dyslexia, commonly found in approaches like Orton-Gillingham. So we really wanted to make sure that that was a part of the way that we equip teachers and those who are gonna be working with students. So we have some tutors and we have some advocates. We want to make sure that they’re equipped with all of that knowledge so they can take it then into practice with their students.

Johanna: Yeah, that’s fascinating. I’m wondering if you could paint a side by side comparison specifically when we’re talking about equity. Depending on where you live and how well funded your school is and many other factors you’re gonna have really different educational experiences as a dyslexic student. What is a standard bad case scenario and then what is a standard good case scenario?

Genya: sure. one thing I’ll note,[00:20:00] when it comes to equity, and we can dig in further and deeper on this one example, I was fortunate enough to have my son. in a district, that was a very well funded district, and they didn’t have what they needed to serve these students. And the difference often that we see is it’s not necessarily what’s happening and the funding inside the schools or for the schools, it’s what is being experienced outside the schools by the families. So for example, I’m privileged that I can provide my son if I wasn’t educated myself in this but I could seek out additional support for him.

Johanna: Yeah.

Genya: One of the biggest reasons that I got into the advocacy side of this is because we have so many families who are unable to do that. So they’re at the mercy of what their school does, or does not, provide, and they don’t have the ability to seek additional outside tutoring and support. We have many parents in different efforts that I’ve been [00:21:00] involved in who are very privileged in that they can actually pull their children out of their public school where their needs are not being met and send them to a private school. And while we have other children in families who are unable to do that, who are just sitting and suffering in their schools because they’re not provided that opportunity. So I think that’s something that’s sort of outside of the school and the classroom, but it’s real.

Johanna: Absolutely.

Genya: That’s why there are so many people in advocacy to try to change that and try to make sure, I feel that our public schools should be a great leveling space. They should be a space for equity. And if we’re not doing that in some areas, those need to be addressed. And this is one of them.

Johanna: Absolutely.

Genya: You may have heard lately. literacy is a civil right

Johanna: Yeah.

Genya: Everyone deserves to receive that instruction so that they can be a reader and writer. And we’re failing students in many ways in many schools because we don’t have that available.

Johanna: Yeah, I’d [00:22:00] actually love to jump in for a second and just ask, how much does outside tutoring usually end up costing? Like what are we looking at here that like families bear the burden of.

Genya: It depends on the level of expertise of the tutoring, for example. So we have anything from a tutor, someone who may be trained in Orton-Gillingham, for example, and who may be able to provide that type of instruction all the way up to what we consider like an educational therapist, which would be someone who has much more experience. But even for the tutoring, you’re looking at a hundred dollars an hour. If I were go find a tutor for my son, one of the things we know about dyslexia and about students with dyslexia is that repetition is key.

Johanna: Yeah. So you need so many hours.

Genya: So many hours. So it’s not just like, “Hey, I need help with my calculus homework, can I have a tutor once a week,” this is, you know, sometimes, particularly in the summers, it’s every day, five days a week. It may be that during the school year or maybe, [00:23:00] you know, three days a week. It may be ninety-minute sessions. So that really adds up.

Johanna: Yeah. Wow. and so if we’re imagining the student who doesn’t have the family resources to seek outside help, what would they get in school?

Genya: This is one of the things that’s exciting because I think this is changing. So perhaps you and I could set something on our calendar for maybe two or three years from this date and we’ll come back with an entirely different story. There certainly is reading intervention offered in schools. The problem with a lot of that is that it’s based in instructional strategies and practices that’s not research based. 

So that’s kind of a problem.

Johanna: So interesting. 

Genya: Right, there’s actually studies to show that it’s actually harming students, a certain method or a manner in which we see in the classroom and in intervention it actually can harm students.

Johanna: Wow.

Genya: But different types of reading [00:24:00] intervention, that occur where students are pulled out, brings its own issues. I think being out of the core classroom, which all students should be in their core, in their grade level core. And it varies whether it’s a small group or whether it’s independent and what type of programs the school actually offers.

One of the unfortunate things that we’ve seen in just the past, you take out Covid, but the last ten years, let’s say, is that we’ve had a lot of funding on the literacy side for intervention decrease. Now we started to see that swing back because we had Covid funds and we’re seeing the need to really increase that because of what happened during the time of school closures. You know, there was a time when there were literacy coaches in every building, maybe, maybe one or two. to say that all their practices were great, but it just had more attention to it. but it can vary. And one of the things that I think you probably know, is that so many students with dyslexia go under the [00:25:00] radar.

Johanna: Yeah.

Genya: So, it’s one thing to have students who have been diagnosed, it’s another to have students who, have been referred for some type of an intervention meeting because it’s suspected that they have ADHD, and that’s a great mask for dyslexia. They can occur simultaneously and that can be a comorbidity, but oftentimes we see students acting out.

Johanna: Yeah.

Genya: Or having other behaviors as a result of the fact that they can’t read and they can’t read because they haven’t been taught.

Johanna: Yeah. That is so interesting. So on that note, these legislative efforts that are hopefully going to start taking place would just like much more funding for this, more evidence-based teaching methods in the classroom. What else?

Genya: One of the best things that I’ve seen that I would love to see in all 50 states is a required dyslexia screener for students.

Johanna: Yeah. Does that exist anywhere?

Genya: Yes, there are several states who already have that, so [00:26:00] that’s a key because then, and it’s just a screener, so it’s just a red flag here. We need to take the student through some additional testing and additional assessment to kind of see what’s going on. And so I think that’s key. The other thing, as I mentioned, is the legislation requiring instruction for all students to be based in the science of reading, and scientifically based reading research.

Johanna: Mm-hmm.

Genya: And that of course benefits all students, but it also provides an opportunity for teachers to understand when they’re providing this type of instruction and it’s very explicit, then they can easily see how can take the repetition of that type of instruction for students who may have additional needs, like students with dyslexia.

Johanna: So we’ve been talking about dyslexia as a disability, which I understand why it’s classified that way, but like all differences, we can frame it as not worse, but just different. If we talk about it that way, do you see any ways that the dyslexic mind can be a friend [00:27:00] or an asset?

Genya: Yeah, that’s something that’s really been a topic as of late, or at least in some of the groups that I’m in.

I mentioned being neurodivergent earlier, and when I speak about my son or when he speaks even, he knows what that means.

Johanna: Mm-hmm. . 

Genya: I think that in of itself is a bit empowering, because neurodivergent, it, my brain is doing something differently, right? Differently than what’s typical.

Johanna: Yeah.

Genya: There are so many of us who are divergent in so many different ways. So I think that’s an empowering term. I also think it reminds us that this is something in our brain. This is a language-based brain disability. So it’s something that’s happening in the brain of dyslexic. And as I mentioned, it does show up on brain scans. We can see actually what’s happening in students with dyslexia and how it’s happening differently than it may happen, let’s say in my somewhat neurotypical brain.

I think one of the things, this is not a [00:28:00] generalization by any means, but I think we see some similarities when it comes to creativity and problem solving in students with dyslexia. Of course, in other students as well. I consider myself to be somewhat creative, but I think that, you know, when we talk about being neurodivergent, I think that kind of makes sense, right?

Like, “Oh, I can see how my friend with dyslexia has a really different way of thinking about this problem, and came up with a really interesting solution.” One of the things that I always kind of caution against is we do want to make sure that we’re not simply saying like, “Oh, having a dyslexia brain is a gift. It’s the best thing.” I think that can, of course we want to empower, we want to advocate, but we don’t want to sort of dismiss.

Johanna: Absolutely. 

Genya: And make it not a thing

Johanna: Yeah. Also, it can feel kind of patronizing. 

Genya: Yes. Like, “Oh, great. I’m really creative. Thanks, but I can’t read the words on a page.”

Johanna: Yes. 

Genya: [00:29:00] Yeah.

The sweet spot there is making sure that we recognize the things that we know are true. Students with dyslexia, individuals with dyslexia do not have a lower IQ. It is not IQ correlated. Students with dyslexia can learn to read and write with proper instruction.

It just might look different then what’s happening in the classroom at the same rate, with the same volume that happens with other students. While we can say there’s creativity that might come from, and not all students or individuals with dyslexia, but there may be some, some of those common traits that we say like, oh, that’s really interesting. And as you said, not to be patronizing, but to empower and just think that dyslexic brain is working differently and it’s not solely just in the space of language for many individuals.

Johanna: Absolutely. And I think it’s so interesting how, understandably, that’s the researched part of it, like how dyslexia affects our academic time, you know, our, our writing and our reading. But [00:30:00] of course, it affects so many other areas of our lives in I’m sure negative and positive ways, and I’m endlessly fascinated in how I can better understand how my dyslexia is aiding me or affecting me in my relationships or all sorts of, of ways that there just isn’t research on. 

Genya: Absolutely. And I think it’s important too for individuals with dyslexia, those that are fortunate enough to have someone who is supporting them and advocating for them, to help them understand all of the components and things that sort of are coming into play as they’re making decisions.

So an example I have for you also comes from my own personal life with my son. He knows the ways in which he learns best and the type of study he needs to do. He understands, in his college coursework, which method of delivery works really well for him and which doesn’t. So he can advocate for himself and he can make choices to say, [00:31:00] this is a path I think will make sense for me, with these three courses in this line, or, even when thinking about a career, for example, what a career requires and what he might be interested in because of what his brain does and how it works and what gets him really fired up and energized. All of that kind of leads to someone being able to advocate for themselves and understand and know themselves rather than someone who has dyslexia, who’s sitting in a classroom or sitting at home sort of like, I don’t understand why I’m not getting it. I don’t understand why I’m not getting this lecture delivered this way, or I don’t understand why I can’t make sense of this book that my friend is reading and we’re talking about.

Johanna: I love to hear it described that way. Sometimes I think that, if we take any other category of skill where it’s like, what if, the only way that you could get ahead in the world, in your job and in school was being a good soccer player, [00:32:00] you know? And there’s just so many people who are just always going to be bad soccer players and how, sort of unfortunate, it just happens to sort of conflict with this very necessary skill for so many of us to move forward in our world. But I do think it’s so wonderful to have this conversation and hear about the legislative changes and also just to know that there are so many different nice things that are happening as far as technological advances that can help dyslexic students. Have your computer read something to you or have a really high quality spell checker. And so I do feel that kids growing up with dyslexia now have a, hopefully, a really different experience than me or my grandmother who was also dyslexic, who was just told that she was stupid. And, I feel very hopeful from this conversation. So thank you so much, Genya.

This was such a pleasure. I really appreciate talking to you.

Genya: Thank you so much. It was great. Thank you. [00:33:00] 

Johanna: The Certificate in Dyslexia Studies and the Master of Education for Experienced Educators with the Dyslexia Studies Concentration are available through Antioch’s New England campus. We will have links to more information in our show notes. We also link there to websites of several organizations working in dyslexia studies and activism that Genya recommended. We post these show notes on our website, the seed, where you’ll also find full episode transcripts, prior episodes, and more. The Seed Field Podcast is produced by Antioch University.

I’m Johanna Case. This week’s guest host and a seed field editor. The Seed Field host is Jasper Nighthawk, and he was this week’s engineer. Our digital designer is Mira Mead. Jen Mont is our web content coordinator. Sierra Nicole E. DeBinion, Carrie Hawthorn, Stefanie Paredes, and Georgia Bermingham are our work study interns.[00:34:00] 

A special thanks to Karen Hamilton, Amelia Bryan and Melinda Garland. Thank you for spending your time with us today. That’s it for this episode. We hope to see you next time and don’t forget to plant a seed, sow a cause and win a victory for humanity. From Antioch University. This has been the Seed Field Podcast.