Public speaking is something that's difficult for many adults, let alone an 8th grade student. However, Lindsey S.
is used to doing hard things. She's been doing them her entire life simply by getting up, getting dressed and going to a school that focuses on printed words.
Lindsey has dyslexia. She spoke before the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations
Committee last week (March 22, 2016) to ask the state to expand their coverage of Learning Ally's school based services. Lindsey is a YES! Program
ambassador for the non-profit, which provides audiobooks and support for people who have print disabilities.
"In 2nd grade, school got a little rough," Lindsey began. "I would cry everyday in school because things were just not clicking."
After going to the school's assistant principal to ask for help, she was eventually identified dyslexic and began intensive Orton-Gillingham reading instruction.
By middle school, Lindsey was back in general education for English Language-Arts, but the reading demands were exhausting to her different-learning brain. She needed help. "We had to read Holes
and again my mom had to read them to me, which was so frustrating to me," she explained. "I hated that I couldn't read it on my own."
"And then we discovered Learning Ally. We bought a subscription, and suddenly I can go up to my room, pull it up on my iPad and read it - ear read it - which by the way is just as good as eye reading. Actually, it's even better for kids with dyslexia."
"If I had Learning ally through my school, my experiences would have been so much different. I appreciate that you give funding to some schools, but I wish my school had funding so my beginning years of struggling would have been easier. Other kids who don't have dyslexia read for free."
Watch Lindsey's testimony here:
See the lawmakers' responses to Lindsey here: