ill-Literacy: The Divided States of Dyslexia

WindRoc Media Group (WMG) is in production.  ill-Literacy – The Divided States of Dyslexia, the first film in the School Stories participatory documentary series. (Click here to support the film.)

Uncovering how the refusal to identify and address dyslexia as it relates to illiteracy, rising drop out and poverty rates in the United States.

Discover the stunning challenges faced by students, their parents and teachers who collide with the school policies in several states. Discover one of the most obvious covered up causes of the current achievement gap, ADHD, and mental health crisis: our most common yet unidentified and misidentified learning difference.

“Struggling students and poor readers are largely over-diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and behavioral issues, and consequently up to 8.5 million dyslexic learners are marginalized while countless remain unacknowledged in the achievement gap, casualties of a rigid curriculum,” says Stephen Polk, writer/director of Ill-literacy:DSD and producer/director of the short School Stories : Anxious, Stupid, Fail.  

Shifting between testimonials and family narratives of students and their educators, advocates and leaders stand up at schools and state capitals—enrolling legislators with first hand accounts of intellectual bullying, educational mismanagement, and oppressive inequity.

“We kept hearing a similar secret story of dyslexia being much more than a reading disorder but a battle for academic support in school. Its so hard to get why schools fail not just students but also silence the families and teachers who trust and depend on transparency. In three key states with low literacy rates—New York, Minnesota and California—the team identified a familiar pattern: weak legislation, dyslexia disinformation, and outright discrimination” Polk reveals.

Ill-literacy: The Divided States of Dyslexia finds a few private schools that shine a light for those kept in the dark. By engaging leaders and encouraging participation, the film provides a way to move forward, introducing activist groups like Identifying Dyslexia and National Dyslexia Literacy Coalition.

Two more School Stories films are currently in pre-production: Med-ucation  focuses on widespread misdiagnoses and medication of students, while Incarcer- cation details the school-to-prison pipeline affecting students who struggle with Industrialized instead of personalized education.