Nearly 1,000 people filled New York City’s Flatiron Plaza on October 20 to experience firsthand what it’s like to live with learning and attention issues, like dyslexia and ADHD. The event, “#BeUnderstood: Make the Invisible Visible,” is part of Understood.org’s #BeUnderstood campaign in support of Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and ADHD Awareness Month this October.
Learning and attention issues can be difficult for many to understand. The event, co-hosted by Understood and the Ad Council, invited visitors to interact with simulations and art installations to help them see the challenges that 1 in 5 kids with learning and attention issues face every day.
The event is the latest in an ongoing partnership between the Ad Council and Understood, a program of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Through the support of the Ad Council, Understood encourages parents to better understand and support children with learning and attention issues. Many people mistakenly believe that children with these challenges are going through a phase or “being lazy.” When these issues go without identification and support, children struggle: students with specific learning disabilities drop out of school at three times the rate of all students.*
“Many kids with learning and attention issues feel misunderstood,” said Mimi Corcoran, president and CEO of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). “Learning and attention issues may not be as visible as other issues, but they are just as real, and just as deserving of universal understanding and support.”
“We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to participate in our event and experience the frustrations of life with a learning or attention issue,” said Lisa Sherman, President & CEO of the Ad Council. “Living with these issues can be challenging, but the fantastic resources at Understood.org can help.”
Those who didn’t attend the event can try the simulation online, and share a photo or message of support using hashtag #BeUnderstood.
Throughout October, the #BeUnderstood campaign is supporting awareness for learning and attention issues through a variety of initiatives, including a Facebook profile filter and the release of an inspirational video series featuring celebrity mentors such as Olympian Simone Biles and Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom. Content in support of the campaign has been shared on social media by WWE, Alyssa Milano and others. The campaign is supported by Understood’s 15 founding nonprofit partners, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Ad Council. For more information, visit Be.Understood.org.