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Recently, I attended the AHEAD! Conference, in Baltimore, MD.

13 Jul

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It was really cool!  The fact is that I cannot really imagine a bigger congregation of individuals who are, like me, hell-bent on furthering the increase in  quality of HIGHER EDUCATION of and for individuals who are learning disabled. The people who spoke all were, for the most part, amazingly well-versed in the concepts and topics about which they spoke.


Only at one point in time did I find myself yearning to unleash the pet, ferocious lion  I keep in my mind, on retainer. The particular speaker who stirred my appall seemed to have been copied, cut  and pasted into the Baltimore Hilton/Convention Center, from a different era, time and place of higher education for learning disabled individuals. His or her attitude was one I recognized but couldn’t place the vicinity of where it was I had experienced it. Then, I remembered that it was at the first school I attended in my university-level education.


Like the person at AHEAD! 2013, a professor on the payroll of one school I attended had an attitude that translated into the sentiment that “students with disabilities need to experience struggles, if they are ever going to ‘amount’ to anything.” As someone who did struggle as an undergraduate student, due to professors’ unwillingness to listen or meet me halfway, I feel that both the professor at the school I attended as an undergraduate student and the  speaker at the conference were crazy, wrong and crazy-wrong…(it may be they were/are merely lazy and cannot/could not be convinced to do anything for any students, beyond the bare minimum.)


I think that if one is of this mindset, that he or she needs to rethink his or her decision to go into education, much less to go into higher education and, jiminy crickets!, go into higher education of and for learning disabled individuals.


Here is my way of thinking…if an individual who has a learning disability is crushed into having acceptance that he or she is “flawed”, the only way that he or she will be able to succeed, to his or her fullest, is by way of becoming of the mindset that flawed is okay, if not right, or by coming to the realization that the system in which he or she is attempting to succeed is comprised of potentially “academic” malarkey.


Then, I realized that, to be at the conference, you didn’t have to be both an educator of disabled individuals and disabled, too. The facts that I had gained the stripes that my undergraduate experience had afforded me, as an LD student, and that I had gone on to tutor writing on the community college, undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels wasn’t painted, in day-glow letters, on my embodiment.


The particular speaker who got me slightly miffed, as soon as I reckoned this grand epiphany, ceased to annoy me; I just hope he or she has a bigger bark than bite, when dealing with students.


Contact me at: mattramzzz@gmail.com


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One Response to “Recently, I attended the AHEAD! Conference, in Baltimore, MD.”

  1. mattramzzz July 15, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

    My e-mail has been changed to: mattramzzz@gmail.com

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