Jun 12, 2023

Amplifying Neurodiverse Voices: Reflections on Dyslexia Awareness Day

The 8th Annual Dyslexia Awareness Day: Advocating for Literacy for All event in New York left a lasting impression on participants, igniting a profound sense of solidarity in building support for the dyslexic community and those who learn differently. After the event, many participants couldn’t help but reflect on the impact of the May 17th event, which included a panel of talented neurodiverse individuals and allies who shared their stories and amplified the importance of investing in neurodiverse students.

The event brought together a diverse group of advocates, educators, professionals, and individuals passionate about promoting literacy for all. The atmosphere was buzzing with energy and enthusiasm as like-minded individuals united to share experiences, strategies, and insights regarding dyslexia and learning differences.

“I want to thank Eye2Eye for their support in making the 8th Annual Dyslexia Awareness Day: Literacy for All a tremendous success. On May 17th, passionate students, advocates, parents, and legislative leaders from across New York State gathered at the Capitol to share their experiences with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. We highlighted best practices and legislation to incorporate the science of reading into the classroom to tackle New York State’s literacy crisis. It’s critical that students get the support and resources they need to learn and thrive and fulfill their incredible potential. “Our collective efforts and shared commitment to promoting literacy for all will continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of those facing these challenges,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (AD-52, Brooklyn).

One of the event’s highlights was a panel discussion moderated by Eye to Eye President Marcus Soutra, featuring remarkable participants, including Eye to Eye’s own inspiring young leader, Sammi Sapira, Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson, and Dr. Sinayi Canton. The conversation centered around the experiences of neurodiverse individuals and the significance of investing in their education.

Marcus Soutra speaks at Dyslexia Day
Photo Credit: Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

“I wanted to get involved with Dyslexia Day because I wanted to inspire young kids and make sure that they heard from other students who were dealing with a similar situation and seeing where they could be in a couple of years,” said Eye to Eye’s young leader and Ambassador from NYC, Sammi Sapira. “It’s really important as a young kid. I didn’t meet someone with dyslexia who I knew had dyslexia until I was in seventh grade. It’s really important to hear or see other older kids cause it shows you that you’re going somewhere even if you have dyslexia or any other learning difference.”

Young adults at eighth annual dyslexia awareness day NYC
Photo Credit: Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

The 8th Annual Dyslexia Awareness Day provided a platform to raise awareness among attendees. Through personal testimonies, the event emphasized the importance of advocacy and support for neurodiverse students. The panel discussed the need for comprehensive educational policies that address the unique challenges faced by individuals with dyslexia and other learning differences.

After the panel, dozens of young people and individuals from the neurodiverse community eagerly approached the microphone to share their personal stories and reflect on the significance of the day. They expressed how the event resonated with them, emphasizing the importance of awareness, acceptance, and empowerment. Their powerful stories highlight the impact of coming together as a community to advocate for neurodiversity and inclusive education.

Beyond the panel discussion, the event fostered connections and built a strong network of individuals passionate about supporting the dyslexic community. To watch the panel discussion, please click here.

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