Is dyslexia a disability?” Yes, officially dyslexics carry the label “disabled.” Dyslexia is explicitly mentioned as a disability in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Often, dyslexics are also protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But what is the price we pay for this label?
Personally, all these labels “disabled, dysfunctional, impaired” (the list goes on) have always rubbed me the wrong way. Intentional or not, many often ascribe the struggles of a dyslexic *only* to the dyslexic him/herself. Research does not support this statement! Society also tells the dyslexic “it’s your fault”, “you can’t do anything about it” and “it’s a disability that you’ll just have to live with.” No evidence for this either. Finally, dyslexics are told they have a learning disability, and receive the impression that they are just generally not that smart. This is simply incorrect.
This video talks about how, by labelling dyslexics disabled, we harm their self-esteem, their perceived ability to perform tasks in life, their performance in general. It reminds us to remember that disability stems from the combination between an individual and a certain environment that creates disabling experiences.