Ill-literacy: The Divided States of Dyslexia

Identifying Dyslexia and WindRoc Media Group (WMG) have recently announced Ill-literacy: The Divided States of Dyslexia, the first film in the School Stories documentary series. Audiences are taken through the school system in several states to reveal the single greatest cause of the current illiteracy crisis: unidentified and misidentified dyslexia.

Connecting unequal literacy instruction to the achievement gap, dropout rates, and poverty, this film calls for accountability for schools failing the 20% of students with dyslexia. Personal stories reveal how dyslexia is often ignored, misdiagnosed, and outright banned from discussion, even in cases where teachers and school psychologists want to address it.

“Struggling students are largely overdiagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and behavioral issues, and consequently up to 8.5 million dyslexic learners remain unacknowledged, struggling alone to process and meet the rigid curriculum,” says Stephen Polk, writer/director of Ill-literacy and producer of School Stories.

Ill-literacy shifts between first-person narratives and visual experiences of students, families, and leaders speaking up at schools and state capitals—all frustrated by intellectual bullying, educational mismanagement, and wasted potential.

“We wondered why we kept hearing the same untold story of dyslexia and related processing issues, why school systems fail not just students but also ignore the families and teachers who trust and depend on transparency. In three key states with low literacy rates—New York, Minnesota and California—the team identified a familiar pattern: weak legislation, dyslexia disinformation, and claims of a lack of funds to support change,” Polk reveals.

Ill-literacy: The Divided States of Dyslexia shines a light for those kept in the dark and provides a way to move forward, highlighting leaders and activist groups like Decoding Dyslexia working to change the system before more children are impacted.

Learn more about The Divided States of Dyslexia

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