At the tutoring centre where I spend two nights each week, this article about teaching disabilities is still posted on my door; I stuck it there about a year and a half ago. I don’t direct students to it unless they’re in a position where I think it’s applicable, but most of the students read it anyway. It tends to get read in groups, and there are waves of popularity (someone will get a kick out of it and make a point of showing it to everyone who walks in). The article won’t come down until I think no one is getting anything from it anymore.
This month’s issue of Ode Magazine has this article on the necessities of having differences and variations within a category.
A very swift google of “learning disabilities” suggests that anywhere between 10% and 30% of the population have a learning disability.
So, if three out of ten people don’t have white skin, they have a skin disability? If three out of ten people don’t like chocolate, they have a tasting disability? (Okay, maybe I’d have to concede that last one.)
I’d estimate that more than three quarters of the world cannot write anything that I’d be stimulated by reading. D’ya all have writing disabilities?
I like Mr. Armstrong’s rainforest analogy; we’re mowing down brains as fast as we mow down trees. We’re also claiming to be mowing in the name of progress… in both situations.
I don’t like mowing. I don’t have a teaching disability; when a student comes to me, it’s my job to adjust to that student’s way of learning. Why? Because they’re paying me to teach them. I’m not paying them to learn. When I pay them, they’ll do it my way, I’m sure. Until then, I may find the students weird, or wrong, but never disabled.