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Michaela Korges, Cactus Writer

Stephen Spielberg and Thomas Edison have more in common than fame. According to the International Dyslexia Association, they also have a learning disorder caused by “a different wiring of the brain.”

The Dyslexia Center of Utah notes that Dyslexia is the most common learning disability affecting 20% of the U.S. population. Dyslexia is caused by a neurological disorder and commonly runs in families. Some other interesting facts about Dyslexia include:

  • A study at Yale found that the numbers of girls and boys who have dyslexia are about the same.
  • Dyslexics often enjoy and excel at solving puzzles.
  • Dyslexics require extra time and effort to process language information.
  • Dyslexia can affect spoken language, written language and language comprehension.

Naturally, college goes from a challenge to a feat when every chapter, lecture slide, and exam takes longer to read.  However, if they seek treatment early on, those with Dyslexia can become successful students and employees.

Students who are struggling with dyslexia should contact Cheryl Hernandez, the disability coordinator at CAC, and schedule an appointment. There, one would show documents that would help the disability coordinator determine what kind of accommodation a student might need. Hernandez stressed that, according to law, “I can’t go to a student and say ‘hey you may need this’… the students must self-disclose.”

For students with dyslexia that appointment could open up a new realm of resources. Hernandez named some of these including a quiet room and extra time for taking tests. CAC can also hire a student who would take notes in class without knowing for whom. Hernandez explained that “what some people don’t realize about dyslexia is… sometimes converting that information when you’re listening… can be difficult as well.” She also mentioned the CAC can provide a variety of text-to-speech programs to those who might benefit from them.

Dyslexia does not have to be something to be trudged through alone. “I don’t want to set up barriers for the students,” Hernandez said. For those with dyslexia, there are options at CAC that might remove some of those barriers toward their education.