Don't Be an Asshole
Digital Prints, 18" x 24," 2020
Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.
I began looking into posters and advertisements discussing specific learning disabilities that children can have. I found very little, but of that little most were poorly designed, provided incorrect and an overwhelming amounts of information, and tended to focus on one learning disability: dyslexia. Although this is the most common out of the five learning disabilities here, it does not stand alone.
My campaign Don’t Be an Asshole is meant to serve as a teaching tool for educators, parents, and other students in the learning environment. When your students seem tired, stupid or struggling, we should not immediately judge them and look closer at what might be the problem.
When they have a hard time with writing, ask them what would help them better succeed in the class. Although you cannot ask someone if they have a disability (unless they provide you with a disability accommodation letter), we can become more aware of different types of learning and ask the question “As a teacher, what can I do in my teaching to help my students succeed?”
Or “In the classroom, how can my actions/words affect others around me?”
I decided on these five learning disabilities because they are not necessarily recognizable by seeing. Many students feel embarrassed about their disorder and tend to blend into their classroom environment, hiding their struggle. As a university, we should also act as an outlet to let students know testing is available (although at a cost) and our goal is to help everyone become better learners.
As someone who was diagnosed with an Auditory Processing Disorder at seven, I have felt many doubtful emotions in school. I went through many years having people call me stupid and give up on me. You begin to feel very alone. My parents and the teachers who went out of their way to help me are the reason I graduated with my BA and MFA.