Bear the Difference Shines a Light on Learning Disabilities

Bear the difference
March 24, 2016

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Contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (March 24, 2016) – The Office of Access and Learning Accommodation and the Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities are hosting a conference called Bear the Difference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation conference center.

The one-day event is meant to inform faculty and staff, as well as others involved in education, about the disabilities that can affect students and the types of services available for them through OALA.

"It's important for people to be educated about disability services and the accommodations that are available to those students who need them," said Dae Vasek, the director of OALA. "Everyone also needs to know how we can work together as a community to support those students and aid in their success."

The conference also will provide information on the various types of physical, psychological and learning differences students can have and how they impact those individuals daily.

There will be presentations from Baylor faculty and staff, as well as special guests. Topics include anxiety disorders, ADHD/ADD and other learning disabilities.

The conference is split into three sessions, each with an A and B section.

The first session will begin with talks by Vasek and John Klocek, Ph.D., the director of the Baylor Psychology Clinic, from 10 to 11 a.m.

Vasek's presentation, "The Office of Access and Learning Accommodation Services & Hot Topics," will discuss hot topics in the world of access and accommodation. Kocek will give a presentation on anxiety disorders.

In Session Two, from 11 a.m. to noon, Tamara Hodges, Ed.D, will speak on the various learning disabilities most frequently diagnosed at the collegiate level in her presentation "Lost in Learning."

Emma Wood, Ph.D., also will give a presentation titled "From Bearing to Sharing: exploring discrimination, identity development and advocacy for persons with disabilities," which will provide a sociocultural understanding of the dynamics of power and privilege for those with and without disabilities.

The conference will close with a third session from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. Robert Duston, a business lawyer, will speak on "Legal Issues and Guidelines." Kristy Donaldson, LPC, RPT, CHST, will give a presentation on ADHD/ADD. She will explain different types of student behavior, provide an overview of the varying learning types and provide examples of best learning strategies for each student.

Vasek said she hopes attendees will develop a better awareness of services offered by OALA and that they come to understand how certain disabilities impact students.

by Jenna Press, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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