Students Strike Out Stigma All the Way to Capitol Hill
Stigma: A feeling of disapproval and/or shame associated with a person’s learning and/or attention issues. People within the LD/ADHD community face stigma all the time—whether it’s in school, the workplace, or in everyday life. In fact, a Tremaine Foundation poll of parents’ and educators’ knowledge of LD’s/ADHD found that:
- 51% believe that learning and attention differences are just laziness
- 66% of parents believe kids will grow out of it
- 80% link LDs with autism and developmental disabilities
Students Strike Out Stigma
That’s why it’s so important to educate and erase stigma often and always. Our chapters participated in Strike Out Stigmonth by completing activities geared towards striking out stigma and raising awareness for the 1 in 5 who learn differently. Activities ranged from chalking “LD and Proud to Be” on campus, or talking to teachers and professors with LD/ADHD about experiencing stigma, to playing Stigma Bowling or sharing their personal stories.
The month came to a close with a trip to Capitol Hill where our young advocates teamed up with NCLD’s Young Leader’s Council and courageously shared their stories with their Members of Congress and advocated for change on behalf of the 1 in 5. They experienced our national history of activism and got to meet some of its heroes face to face. They were inspired by disability rights advocate Judy Heumann, whose work led to the passage and implementation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, IDEA and the ADA. They also met Representative John Lewis who was one of the foremost leaders of the civil rights movement.
Eye to Eye Students on Capitol Hill
Though many were apprehensive upon arrival-nervous that their stories might not be impactful, by the end of the trip, the young leaders were confident and empowered.