Founder of Kinko's to Speak at "Success With Learning Differences" Symposium

A symposium highlighting how young men and women with learning differences often possess extraordinary talents in a range of disciplines, will take place at Yale on April 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

“Success with Learning Differences” will feature three prominent leaders of exemplifying, understanding and championing success with learning differences. The speakers are Paul Orfalea, founder and chairperson emeritus of Kinko’s, and Professors Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., and Bennett Shaywitz, M.D., co-directors of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning, Reading and Attention at Yale School of Medicine.

People with learning differences often have talents that are not typically measured by school-based assessments or standardized tests. The speakers will share personal and scientific perspectives on how to help them achieve their goals. A reception for the speakers will follow the presentations.

Orfalea worked diligently to learn to live with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. He wrote “Copy This! Lessons from a Hyperactive Dyslexic Who Turned a Bright Idea into One of America’s Best Companies” (Workman Publishing, 2005). The autobiography captures his wit and wisdom as well as his irreverence. It is filled with life lessons on overcoming obstacles and turning impediments into opportunities. Orfalea is a self-proclaimed “poster boy” for attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. He failed two grades, yet still went on to open a small copy shop called Kinko’s in 1970 and turned it into a $2 billion-a-year company. Orfalea now speaks on college campuses and meets with students, sharing lessons from his own remarkable life to inform and inspire others who may learn differently and those who teach them.

Sally Shaywitz is professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine and author of the national bestseller “Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at any Level” (Knopf, 2003). Bennett Shaywitz is professor of pediatrics and neurology and chief of child neurology at Yale School of Medicine. He is a national leader in applying functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to the study of reading and dyslexia in children and adults.

The Drs. Shaywitz are internationally recognized for their groundbreaking research using functional brain imaging, particularly fMRI, in the study of reading and dyslexia in children and adults. They lead a national effort to ensure that scientific results in this area are translated into the most effective teaching practices and accommodations for students with dyslexia and other learning differences.

The event is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the Yale University Provost Committee on Resources for Students and Employees with Disabilities, the Yale College Dean’s Office, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Yale School of Medicine.

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