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Learning Differences

The mental function that causes dyslexia is a gift in the truest sense of the word: a natural ability, a talent. It is something special that enhances the individual. Dyslexics don't all develop the same gifts, but they do have certain mental functions in common. Here are the basic abilities all dyslexics share:

They can utilize the brain's ability to alter and create perceptions (the primary ability).
They are highly aware of the environment.
They are more curious than average.
They think mainly in pictures instead of words.
They are highly intuitive and insightful.
They think and perceive multi-dimensionally (using all the senses).
They can experience thought as reality.
They have vivid imaginations.

These eight basic abilities, if not suppressed, invalidated or destroyed by parents or the educational process, will result in two characteristics: higher than normal intelligence, and extraordinary creative abilities. From these the true gift of dyslexia can emerge -- the gift of mastery.

From the The Gift of Dyslexia, by Ronald Davis (1997)

Through hard work, determination, and the love and support of friends and family, Don Winkler has learned to master his learning differences, which include dyslexia, dysgraphia and dysphasia. In Don's Own Words has speeches and In The News has articles that will give you insights into how he did it, and how others might do the same.

An active participant in civic life, Don is a national spokesperson in educating people about learning differences.  He is a board member of the International Dyslexia Association, and of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and has served as a Trustee of the Forman School in Litchfield, CT, which educates learning-different children.

Don has received many e-mails from parents, educators, and other visitors to this Web site who have been kind enough to share their struggles, ideas and successes. Read their stories and Don's responses on the WinkExchange.

For a free booklet and information about learning disabilities, call the toll-free hotline 1-888-GR8-MIND (1-888-478-6463), sponsored by the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities and funded by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.  Also, check out the On Line LD Resource Guide below, which was compiled by the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation.

ON LINE LD RESOURCE GUIDE INDEX (select one of the subject headings below)




Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation

The Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation was established by Drs. William H. and Camille O. Cosby to celebrate the life and fulfill the goals and dreams of Ennis William Cosby. His common greeting to friends, old and new, inspired the name of the Foundation, which was formed in 1997. The Foundation is dedicated to:

  • being a friend to all people with dyslexia and language-based learning differences,
  • recognizing and celebrating their gifts,
  • opening the doors of learning to them, and
  • helping them to reach their full potential.

Check out this upbeat and informative website, which features stories of hope, tips for teachers, parents and students, and information about understanding learning differences.

Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation
P. O. Box 4061
Santa Monica, CA 90411

LD on Line - An Interactive Guide to Learning Disabilities

This well designed and organized website should be the "next stop" for any parent, teacher, professional or other individual looking for up-to-date, in-depth information about learning disabilities. It includes introductory and detailed writings on a wide range of topics, a national calendar of events, an extensive network of national and local resources; art work and writings by children, parents, and other individuals with learning disabilities; discussion groups with parents and national experts; a bookstore and more.

Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities
1200 New York Avenue, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005-1754

LD Resources

Meet the creative and energetic Richard and Anne Wanderman on this website, and explore its contents: a variety of resources for the learning disabilities community and a special focus on learning and technology. The site includes essays, lists of resources, software to download, and contact information for national and regional organizations, conferences, and schools.


Michigan State Improvement Grant

The Michigan Department of Education publishes a newsletter, "Investing in our Students," aimed at bringing together home, school and community resources to improve the performance of students with disabilities, including learning differences. The newsletter is published nine times per year and is available at the Michigan SIP site.


Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI)

SERI is a large collection of Internet sites of interest to those involved in the fields related to Special Education.


Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia

The Center for Dyslexia site is designed to be informative for parents, teachers, and researchers and to announce services available through the Center. This Center's operation is funded by the Tennessee legislature and all services are free of charge.



International Dyslexia Association (IDA)

formerly "The Orton Dyslexia Society"

The IDA is an international, non-profit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia. It was first established nearly 50 years ago to continue the pioneering work of Dr. Samuel T. Orton, who was one of the first to identify dyslexia and its remediation. IDA offers an international network that brings professionals in the field of dyslexia and parents together for a common purpose. Contact IDA for referral services for testing and tutoring, and for free information on assistive technologies; medical and educational research; national and local conferences and seminars; legislation; public awareness and effective teaching methods.

International Dyslexia Association
8600 LaSalle Road, Chester Building, Suite 382
Baltimore, MD 21286-2044
phone: (800) ABCD123 (for general information)
phone: (410) 296-0232 (for detailed information)
fax: (410) 321-5069

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)

LDA was founded in 1964 by a group of concerned parents. Today it has 50 state affiliates, more than 775 local chapters, and over 60,000 members, including parents, professionals, and others. LDA is devoted to defining and finding solutions for a broad spectrum of learning problems. For a free packet of information and referral to the nearest chapter, contact:

Learning Disabilities Association of America
4156 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1349
phone: (888) 300-6710
phone: (412) 341-1515
fax: (412) 344-0224

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)

NCLD is committed to "improving the lives of the millions of Americans affected by learning disabilities." It provides information, services, and programs nationwide to benefit children and adults with learning disabilities, their families, educators, and other helping professionals. Resources and services include: national information and referral (including an extensive computerized database with state by state resource listings of schools, diagnostic clinics, etc.); educational programs, including national and regional summits; public outreach and communications; and legislative advocacy and public policy. They publish an outstanding, informative magazine, Their World, and will send free information on a variety of topics.

National Center for Learning Disabilities
381 Park Avenue South, Suite 1401
New York, NY 10016
phone: (888) 575-7373 (for general information)
phone: (212) 545-7510 (for detailed information)
fax: (212) 545-9665

Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D)

RFB&D was established in 1948 to provide recorded textbooks to veterans blinded in World War II. Today, RFB&D provides educational materials at every academic level in recorded and computerized formats to individuals who are unable to use standard print. Books, texts, and reference materials are available to people with dyslexia, or with visual, perceptual, or physical disabilities.

Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic
20 Roszel Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
phone: (800) 221-4792
phone: (609) 452-0606
fax: (609) 987-8816

The Schwab Foundation for Learning is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to “helping kids with learning differences be successful in learning and life.” The Foundation, based in San Mateo, CA, has collaborative ties to research and advocacy organizations nationwide, including the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities and the National Institutes of Health. Schwab, a parent’s guide to learning differences, is on the web at

Schwab Learning
1650 South Amphlett Boulevard
San Mateo, CA 94402
Telephone: 650. 655.2410


Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

ADDA has a particular interest in the needs of adults with ADD, but their services do address children and family issues. They provide information and local resources as well as an annual conference about adults and ADD.

Attention Deficit Disorder Association
P.O. Box 972
Mentor, OH 44601
phone: (800) 487-2282 (for general information)
phone: (440) 350-9595
fax: (440) 350-0223

Children & Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CH.A.D.D.)

CH.A.D.D. "works to improve the lives of people with ADD." It is a national organization with over 32,000 members and more than 500 chapters, providing support and information. CH.A.D.D. has four primary objectives: 1) to maintain a support network for parents who have children with ADD and adults with ADD; 2) to provide a forum for continuing education of parents, professionals, and adults with ADD about the disability; 3) to be a community resource for information about ADD; and 4) to make the best educational experiences available to children with ADD so that their specific difficulties will be recognized and appropriately managed within educational settings.

Children & Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
499 NW 70th Avenue, Suite 101
Plantation, FL 33317
phone: (800) 233-4050 (for general information)
phone: (954) 587-3700
fax: (954) 587-4599


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

ASHA is a membership organization comprised of speech/language pathologists and audiologists. It also provides information and referrals to the public on speech, language, communication, and hearing disorders.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
10801 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
phone: (800) 638-8255
phone: (301) 897-5700
fax: (301) 571-0457


Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)

AHEAD is an international, multicultural membership organization of post-secondary institutions and professionals committed to full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities. AHEAD’s members are typically involved in the development of policy and in the provision of support services to persons with disabilities in higher education. The Association offers training programs, workshops, publications and conferences.

Association of Higher Education and Disability
P.O. Box 21192
Columbus, OH 43221-0192
phone: (614) 488-4972
fax: (614) 488-1174


Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division of Learning Disabilities (DLD)

CEC is an international, professional association with over 52,000 educator members who are primarily special education teachers, administrators, college faculty, and education consultants. Their principal purpose is to advance the education of all exceptional children and youth. DLD is the division of the CEC that focuses on the special needs of individuals with learning disabilities. CEC conducts an annual conference and publishes a newsletter and magazines.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division of Learning Disabilities (DLD)
1920 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1589
phone: (888) 232-7733
phone: (703) 620-3660
website (CEC):
website (DLD):

Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD)

The CLD is an international organization of and for professionals who establish standards of excellence and promote innovative strategies for research and practice through collaboration and advocacy.

Council for Learning Disabilities
P.O. Box 40303
Overland Park, KS 66204
phone: (913) 492-8755
fax: (913) 492-2546


ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)

The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC) is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s information network. ERIC EC responds to requests for information on special/gifted education, serves as a resource and referral center for the general public, conducts general information searches, and publishes and disseminates free or low-cost information on special/gifted education research, programs and practices.

phone: (800) 328-0272 (V/TTY)

Higher Education and the Handicapped (HEATH)

The HEATH Resource Center operates the national clearinghouse on post-secondary education for individuals with disabilities. The Center serves as an information exchange on educational support services, policies and procedures, adaptations, and opportunities at American campuses, vocational-technical schools, adult education programs, independent living centers, and other post-secondary training entities.

HEATH has started a new electronic newsletter, published four times a year. It contains lots of useful information. To subscribe to the newsletter, send an e-mail message to:

Higher Education and the Handicapped
1 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036-1193
phone: (800) 544-3284 (for general information)
phone: (202) 939-9320 (to talk to a staff member, TTY)
fax: (202) 833-4760
to download information and text documents (directory: Heath Resource Center): gopher://

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY)

NICHCY is an information clearinghouse that provides free information on disabilities and related issues, focusing on children and youths (birth to age 35). Free services include personal responses, referrals, technical assistance and general information searches.

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013-1492
phone: (800) 695-0285 (V/TTY)
phone: (202) 884-8200
fax: (202) 884-8441

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Copyright © 2001, Donald A. Winkler. All rights reserved. The material contained within this Web site
may not be reproduced or disseminated without prior written consent from Donald A. Winkler.