Remote learning has been a serious challenge for families. And we know it’s been harder for some families than others. For example, students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities have all faced widening gaps since the start of the pandemic.

At the beginning of 2021, we predicted that this would be the year of inclusive learning. With the spring semester winding down, we wanted to know how this year has affected the families of students with learning and thinking differences like ADHD and dyslexia.

So in April, we conducted a nationally representative study of 1,500 parents across…

By Jenny Wu

When a company wants to drive revenue through compelling digital experiences, they’ll often use design thinking — a philosophy that centers the needs of the user. Talking to users to uncover and solve their problems is a best-practice way to build products that people will consume.

But what if you’re working toward something that’s harder to measure than dollars? For example, can design thinking help drive social change?

I would say yes. In fact, I think that’s when design thinking can really shine.

For example, today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. A core priority of Understood is…

With COVID-19 restrictions loosened and the school year behind us, a clearer picture is emerging of how the pandemic impacted education for students with learning and thinking differences like ADHD and dyslexia.

In April, Understood took a closer look by surveying 1,500 parents from across the U.S. We spoke to families of neurotypical children and families of kids who learn and think differently.

Forty-four percent of parents with children who learn and think differently say their child’s legal right to access an equitable education has not been fulfilled in the move to online learning. Since the spring of 2020, many…

Summer is here, vaccines are widely available in the U.S., and remote employees are trickling back to the office. For many, life feels like it’s getting back to normal.

But one thing is clear: What’s considered “normal” has changed.

Before the pandemic, our digital and physical lives were slowly merging. Now, any remaining barriers have broken down. The pandemic gave us the urgent project of bringing our lives online in creative ways. While it may not be someone’s first choice to attend a wedding or complete a hiring process remotely, it’s no longer unthinkable. …

Yvonne Cowser Yancy, Chief Human Resources Officer at Understood

By Yvonne Cowser Yancy

In January, we predicted that workplace accommodations would take off in 2021.

We’re about to see how that shakes out.

After more than a year working remotely, employees are starting to look for a different experience than the one they left behind. As expectations have shifted, and previous perks have now become a given, employers may have to shift their perspective. Because we’ve learned that not everyone loved the way work was conducted pre-pandemic. Employers who don’t offer the more flexible, inclusive environment that employees now expect will see an increase in turnover.

Consider remote work…

Kelli Johnson

By Kelli Johnson, MA

As a speech-language pathologist, I work with people who have a variety of communication issues. Some have diagnosed disorders; others don’t. Some have labels for their challenges; others don’t.

What matters most is that they get the right help for their specific difficulties with communication, not what those difficulties are called. But a label can carry a lot of weight for people who are neurodivergent.

I’m thinking now of the label of auditory processing disorder (APD). The term describes a group of difficulties related to speech and sound. People may have trouble locating the source of…

Trynia Kaufman

By Trynia Kaufman

His file told me that he had a language disorder, ADHD, and autism. And while I knew the virtual environment might make communication more challenging, I pride myself on my ability to build rapport with students. But the first day of online tutoring with Carlos* was even harder than I’d expected.

He wasn’t responding to me. At all. I knew that many kids need extra time to process, especially when learning remotely. But what if he didn’t hear me, or didn’t understand? The noises of family life came through in the background of the call. …

For people with learning and thinking differences like dyslexia and ADHD, being understood by others is a journey.

And for women and girls, there are often additional layers that can make the journey more challenging. For example, ADHD tends to present differently across genders, which can lead to missed diagnoses among women and girls. Women with ADHD are one-third less likely to be diagnosed than men.

For this year’s International Women’s Day, we spoke to four women whose work entails supporting people with learning disabilities and ADHD. They’ve all had unique journeys and paths to where they are as leaders…

Kevin Agyakwa

By Kevin Agyakwa, Understood

Learning and thinking differences don’t discriminate. They don’t care how rich or how poor you are. They don’t care about your race or ethnicity.

While they may impact us all the same, how we go about navigating them and their implications looks very different if you’re Black.

I’ve seen it in my own family. It makes the day-to-day tasks of going to work and school more complicated for us because we worry about one of our family members. On top of this family member’s learning and thinking differences, he’s a Black individual in America. …

Understood logo

By Fred Poses, CEO of Understood

My wife Nancy and I are envious of Netflix. It recently hit a milestone of 200 million global subscribers — individuals who continuously and frequently visit Netflix for their entertainment needs.

Netflix saw an opportunity. They took advantage of an emerging distribution network and developed an algorithmic approach to help them perfectly understand their customer preferences and provide them with content in the way that they want to view it.

Co-founder Marc Randolph recently tweeted, “I never imagined this crazy idea would get this far.” When it started in 1997 as a mail order…


Shaping the World for Difference

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