Dyslexia, one of America’s most common learning challenges, is often referred to as an invisible disability, due in no small part to the stigma of struggling with reading and writing in competitive school environments.
Now, thanks to a $20 million gift, dyslexia and similar neurodevelopmental language-processing disorders — or, learning differences — are about to get the attention they deserve.
Starting this fall, research and clinical facilities will be launched at UC Berkeley and UCSF to form the UCSF-UC Berkeley Schwab Dyslexia and Cognitive Diversity Center.
“Finally, we can bring together the best minds at both of these world-class research institutions to better understand and head off debilitating learning disorders, as well as the stigma associated with them,” said UC Berkeley psychology professor Stephen Hinshaw, inaugural co-director of the center.
The joint program will draw on research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, education and public health, among other disciplines. At UC Berkeley, it will be headquartered in Berkeley Way West, the building that houses the UC Berkeley Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, and Graduate School of Education.
It will also provide support for graduate students in these fields and training for UC Berkeley undergraduates enrolled in the campus’s Early Development and Learning Sciences minor.