Julie Cosenza – Communication, Learning Disabilities and Higher Education

Let’s face it, no one has ever heard the term dyslexia and felt warm and fuzzy about it. Instead, the term conjures thoughts of deficiency, difficulty, and a fate of academic underachievement. But Julie Cosenza, academic counselor at JFK University, aims to reconstruct limiting beliefs such as these surrounding learning disabilities. With Cosenza at the helm, Thursday’s Soapbox will serve as an exciting step toward spinning stale disability narratives into constructive new outlooks.

While writing her dissertation in Critical Communication Pedagogy, Cosenza noticed how dyslexia was only ever described in terms of deficiency, the inability to do this or that. She wondered, was it possible to define dyslexia without using such language?

As opposed to viewing the condition as a hindrance to education, Cosenza asks, “What if we viewed dyslexia simply its own way of knowing? What might we learn about the positive aspects it has to offer higher education? What possibilities for new knowledge production might we discover? When it comes to thinking about ability in general, these questions drive a powerful shift in perspective applicable within the sphere of higher education and beyond.

Thursday Soapbox Lecture and Event Series

John F. Kennedy University Lecture and Event Series Thursday Soapbox, continues the tradition of hosting cutting-edge thinkers and practitioners from around the world. Covering a wide range of topics of vital importance in today’s world, the “Thursday Soapbox Series” will bring together students, faculty, and interested members of the public to spread knowledge, spark dialogue; and create a more informed, involved citizenry. Go to jfku.edu/events to see the full line up of speakers and events.