On Flex Day (Thurs., Apr. 18, 2024), Whitney Liu, Jessica Truglio, and Melissa Matthews from the Education Access Center (EAC) presented a second PIF-funded workshop on learning differences. Faculty, staff, and administrators from various departments across campus joined together in this challenging and interactive workshop, which attracted approximately 25 participants, including new faculty.

Through various hands-on simulations, participants gained experience in what it might feel like to have a language-based learning disability (such as dyslexia). The primary goal of this workshop is to allow participants to gain a deeper understanding and awareness of the challenges and struggles that students with learning disabilities face daily and to develop genuine empathy and compassion for these students, especially as it relates to managing their daily college workload.

The workshop was organized in two parts:

Part I—Simulation Experience: After being placed into small groups, participants were assisted by several station leaders from The Learning Center and rotated through six stations. The stations focused on reading, writing, and listening skills, and participants were challenged to work through difficult language-based learning tasks at each station.
Part II—Educational Access Center (EAC) Presentation: Jessica Truglio and Melissa Matthews presented information about various learning disabilities, the referral process, and the “Do’s and Don’ts” of working with students with learning differences.

If there is enough interest, this workshop may be offered again next year. We truly hope to give more faculty, staff, and administrators a chance to experience it, as it was well-received. College students with learning disabilities deserve our genuine understanding of their challenges, and this workshop contributes a small part to this ongoing issue.

This special workshop would not have been possible without the President’s Innovation Fund and the amazing support of the following people:

Jessica Truglio & Melissa Matthews – Educational Access Center (EAC) Counselors
The Learning Center staff: Chelssee De Barra – Manager; Monique Ubungen – English Instructor & Instructional Aide II; Sqee McMullen & John Chew – Instructional Aides II; Ashley Millikan – Student Tutor; Maria Rosaria Di Criscienzo – Peer Mentor
Andrea Fuentes & Bianca Rowden-Quince – Instructional Designers, CTTL
Sherrie Wyatt – Instructional Aide II, Library; Harry Tun & Riley Chan – Student Library Assistants

Article written by Whitney Liu | Photos by Whitney Liu

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