Ill-literacy: The Divided States of Dyslexia
News on December 29, 2017
Documentary presents the cover-up behind growing illiteracy and school achievement
LOS ANGELES – WindRoc Media Group (WMG) and Identifying Dyslexia have just announced IIl-literacy: The Divided States of Dyslexia, the first film in the School Stories documentary series. The social impact documentary takes audiences through the school system in several states to reveal the single greatest cause of the current illiteracy crisis: unidentified and misidentified dyslexia. The film follows students and their families, exposing the systematic cover-up of decades of mismanagement and denial of the illiteracy problem behind increasing dropout rates and achievement gaps.
One of the best-kept secrets of modern education is the neglect of students with learning differences, who are stigmatized while denied the free and appropriate education promised by federal law. Ill-literacy gives voice to our most vulnerable students and provides a platform for marginalized families and educators to come together in order to address the roots and ramifications of our educational crisis. 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 some degree of dyslexia. Personal stories reveal how dyslexia is often ignored, misdiagnosed, and outright banned from discussion, even in cases where teachers and school psychologists are pushing to address the world’s most common learning difference.
“Struggling students are largely over-diagnosed 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. If failing and frustrated enough, these students are diagnosed and sequestered,” says Stephen Polk, writer/director of Ill-literacy and producer of School Stories.
The film series is part of a dynamic social impact engagement platform, Identifying.org, where audiences are encouraged to immerse themselves in the anecdotal evidence and compelling stories presented by the film. Ill-literacy is the first impact documentary that spotlights institutional mistreatment and neglect of families confronting school administrations as well as the educational policies that affect children’s lives. The film shifts between first-person narratives and visual experiences of students, families, and leaders speaking up at schools and state capitals—all frustrated and disturbed by intellectual bullying, educational mismanagement, lost opportunities, 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. Without infrastructure to keep schools accountable, lip service happens and the status quo prevails, dashing the trust, hopes and dreams of millions of families,” 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 attitudes and take action before more children are impacted by antiquated curriculums and mismanaged funds.
The launch of the School Stories series and its engagement platform, Identifying.org, are the first of many new media and awareness innovations from the Identifying Dyslexia brand. The film has already inspired the creation of a tie-in video assessment tool for dyslexia, and other films in the School Stories impact series—Med-ucation Inc. and Incarceration Inc.—are currently in pre-production. Together with strategic partners, the project is making strides not only in giving voice to our most vulnerable students and their parents, but also awakening widespread acceptance of dyslexia, energizing what some professors are calling the “next civil rights movement of our time.”
About WindRoc Media Group:
WMG is a full-service independent film, TV and omni-media company developing feature films, documentaries and multimedia properties, as well as providing consultation, production, and distribution services.
About Identifying Dyslexia:
Identifying Dyslexia is a nonprofit focused on media, awareness, and resources around dyslexia. We are a network of dyslexic students, families, educators, and activists united by our school stories, our achievements and our failures—being different together and learning better.
Seth Jacobson, 310-260-3331 and firstname.lastname@example.org