More schools are working to make a degree attainable for students with learning differences.
Rae Jacobson said she flunked out of two colleges and worked several “crummy” jobs before enrolling at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, one of two U.S. schools that exclusively serve students with dyslexia and other learning differences (LDs).
Jacobson, who has ADHD and dyscalculia, a condition that makes it hard to make sense of numbers and math concepts, earned an associate’s degree from Landmark; a bachelor’s degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and a master’s degree from Loyola University New Orleans. Today, she is a writer for the New York-based Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on mental health and learning disorders.
“We used to have a saying at Landmark whenever someone would find out about our learning differences and respond with, ‘But you seem so smart.’ We’d say, ‘Stupid is not an LD,’” said Jacobson, now 33. “It doesn’t mean you can’t learn. It just means you haven’t been taught in a way that makes sense.”