Highschooler Emery Roberts has not only chosen to advocate for herself, which takes much courage and bravery. She has chosen to advocate for other students.
Emery is a junior at Lincoln High School. In the fall of 2013 Emery was inspired by a documentary film, Dislecksia: The Movie. Armed with only an idea and a gutsy attitude, Emery formed the first Dyslexia Student Union at Lincoln High School. The student union meets once a week during lunch. They talk about their struggles and students learn how to advocate and support each other.
Emery has seen positive changes in herself and her classmates since forming the student union. Her favorite story is about the day an unknowing substitute teacher asked her firmly to “put away her iPad”. Taken off guard, she was trying to decide to either advocate to use assisted technology due to her hidden disability or quietly comply. But before she could speak up – another student piped up and said, “She is allowed to have that in class. She has a 504 plan for dyslexia.” And then another student filled in more details. This was a turning point for Emery. She was no longer alone. And her efforts were working. The dyslexia student union members felt empowered to look out for one another in the classroom!
Emery volunteers with the Oregon Branch of the International Dyslexia Association by participating on their traveling student panel that speaks at schools to raise awareness. She was featured in their recent PSA talking about the need for teacher training on dyslexia. Most recently, Emery shared her story with the Oregon Senate Committee on Education and the Workforce. And on September 23rd Emery spoke at a Portland Public School Board meeting.
Emery chooses to turn her struggles into action. Thank you to Emery and to your supportive community at Lincoln High School.