Mar 11, 2024

Empowering Voices: A Q&A with Eye to Eye Ambassadors from the LDA Conference

At the recent Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) conference in Orlando, Florida, Eye to Eye Ambassadors Carlye Raabe, Lydia Pinto and Lily Eisele had the opportunity to share their journeys and learn from educators and advocates. Here’s what Lydia and Lily had to say about their experiences.

Learning Disabilities Awareness Conference

L-R: Carlye, Lydia, and Lily at the 61st LDA Conference in Orlando, Florida

Why did you attend the LDA conference?

Lydia: I attended the LDA conference to have the opportunity to share part of my story with educators! I hope I was able to leave an impact on someone who I spoke with about how proud I am to have a learning difference. 

Lily: I attended the LDA conference because I wanted to share my experiences as a neurodiverse person with educators and other neurodiverse adults. I think the more we talk about our experiences, the more we do to reduce stigma and make our classrooms a more inclusive environment for neurodiverse young people!

What is one thing you learned at the LDA conference?

Lydia: Educators want us to succeed, and there are educators advocating for the rights of individuals with learning differences. 

Lily: I learned how to improve and refine my public speaking skills at the LDA conference. I really appreciated being asked questions from the audience, and it showed me that I was able to come up with well thought-out answers on the spot!

What is something you were surprised to learn at the conference?

Lydia: I was surprised to learn that there are schools with educators who still see accommodations as an advantage and not an even playing field. 

Lily: One thing I was surprised to learn at the conference is that some educators are having a difficult time discussing accommodations with other teachers and helping them understand their necessity. It can be difficult to explain the needs of neurodiverse students to other teachers.

What do you like most about being an ambassador?

Lydia: I absolutely love being an ambassador because of the incredible opportunities Eye to Eye gives us! The chance to have a group of people like me who want to share their stories, impact others, and advocate and educate others about what neurodiversity is. 

Lily: It’s hard to choose what I like most about being an ambassador! I think the most important one is being able to share my story and encourage other people to share their stories as well. It’s therapeutic for me to be able to reflect on my experiences, but I’m also helping to reduce the stigma around neurodiversity!

Why is it important to share your story?

Lydia: I believe that it is crucial I share my story because how cool is it that my story could impact another person? I often think sharing my story with my younger self would’ve been impactful, which motivates me even more to share my story now.

Lily: It’s important to share my story because it helps connect our neurodiverse community even more. The more we’re able to share our own experiences, the more we’re able to improve the experiences of all neurodiverse people!

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