disability

Allison Light / WLRN News

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission hosted the National Beep Baseball Association's World Series this past weekend, which brought between 400 and 500 blind and visually impaired athletes from across the U.S. as well as Canada, the Dominican Republic and Taiwan to Wellington, Florida.

Part 4 of our series, "Unlocking Dyslexia."

Megan Lordos, a middle school teacher, says she was not allowed to use the word "dyslexia."

She's not alone. Parents and teachers across the country have raised concerns about some schools hesitating, or completely refusing, to say the word.

As the most common learning disability in the U.S., dyslexia affects somewhere between 5 and 17 percent of the population. That means millions of school children around the country struggle with it.

Part 1 of our series "Unlocking Dyslexia."

"It's frustrating that you can't read the simplest word in the world."

Thomas Lester grabs a book and opens to a random page. He points to a word: galloping.

"Goll—. G—. Gaa—. Gaa—. G—. " He keeps trying. It is as if the rest ­­of the word is in him somewhere, but he can't sound it out.

"I don't ... I quit." He tosses the book and it skids along the table.

At the Supreme Court on Monday, the justices heard arguments in the case of a girl with disabilities, her service dog and the school that barred the dog from the premises.

Ehlena Fry was born with cerebral palsy, which significantly limits her mobility but not her cognitive skills. So when she was about to enter kindergarten in Napoleon, Mich., her parents got a trained service dog — a white furry goldendoodle, named Wonder.

Emily Michael is a writing professor at the University of North Florida and she’s been blind her whole life.

And for the past couple years, instead of getting around by cane, she’s been guided by her black Labrador retriever, York. 


Tens of thousands of Americans with disabilities have lost their voting rights. It usually happens when a court assigns a legal guardian to handle their affairs. Now, some of those affected are fighting to get back those rights.

David Rector recently went to Superior Court in San Diego, Calif., to file a request to have his voting rights restored. Rector lost those rights in 2011 when his fiance, Rosalind Alexander-Kasparik, was appointed his conservator after a brain injury left him unable to walk or speak.

Many Floridians with disabilities can now enroll in tax-free savings and investment accounts without the threat of the money they save affecting their government benefits.

Under Florida’s Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, or ABLE, qualified disabled residents will be allowed to save up to 14 thousand dollars annually, without the cash impacting their Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid eligibility.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Marjorie Burnett is one of the founding members of Karen Peterson and Dancers, a mixed-ability dance company in Miami.

Burnett has cerebral palsy, and in the latest piece she’s rehearsing  she wants to challenge how people look at her because she’s in wheelchair.

“I want to show the audience that I’m a real person,” she says.

Burnett, 54, is performing with guest choreographer Pioneer Winter.  The piece is entitled “Gimp Gait,” a nod to the stereotypes and slurs used against people with disabilities.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Sherice Bennett is a caretaker.

She takes care of her sister who has cerebral palsy. She had two sons, two dogs and she still has the tank that used to house her turtle and fish.

It’s a role she happily fills on top of the other roles she’s taken on over the years: call center coordinator, caterer, accounts payable, executive secretary and, when that failed, school bus and truck driver.