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…

By Nathan Friedman

When marketers talk about “influencers,” they generally refer to a social media influencer — someone on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok with millions of followers who often charge brands to promote products to their audiences. Consumers often look to these influencers because they trust them, and their recommendations influence purchases and start trends.

However, amid our fascination with social media influencers, we often forget the original influencers: people like doctors, teachers, and mentors who influenced our parents as we were growing up. …

By Fred Poses

It has been quite a year. The pandemic changed the way we operated and lived in so many ways. Many of us were living in close quarters with our immediate families. For some, that resulted in heightened awareness of how our kids learn. In fact, an Understood study found that 72 percent of parents noticed learning challenges or differences in their children. If your work environment changed because of COVID, you might have even started to notice some of your own challenges, like having trouble paying attention or processing information.

Maybe you’d like to better understand what…

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…


Shaping the World for Difference

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