Ross Chapman – Acceptance Speech
My name is Ross Chapman and I want to thank the National Center for learning Disabilities for this honor. Winning the 2013 Anne ford Scholarship and being here tonight with all of you still seems somewhat surreal. Being chosen, along with Holly, from so many others who have powerful stories to tell about their LD is humbling. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to lend my voice and help NCLD make the world a better place for people like me.
One of the hardest parts of having LD is getting people to see that I am so much more than just a person with dyslexia. I am a son, a brother, a friend, student, and an athlete. I don’t feel sorry for myself, and don’t want any special treatment that gives me an advantage over others. Over time, I have embraced my LD and rather than allowing it to own me, I own my LD; I know what it does when I do school work, I know how it effects me in life, and I have learned how to keep it from weighing me down. It’s not always easy, but hey, that’s life!
And having LD hasn’t been all bad. It’s taught me that “attitude is everything” and while timed tests are always going to be the work of the devil, extended time and accommodations will allow me to work at my own pace, in my own way, and shine. Having LD has also helped me develop a sense of humor and helped others see and appreciate the ways that my mind works differently. And iIt makes me laugh when I hear once disbelieving teachers exclaim, “Ross is the poster-child of successful Advanced Placement students.” I want other parents and students with Learning Disabilities to know that there is hope, and “Never, Never, Never Give Up!”
My disability has not, and will not, hold me back from reaching my goals. I’m not sure where my college studies will take me. Maybe into the field of medicine, maybe into international relations, maybe a combination of both. Wherever my journey takes me, my dyslexia has taught me to stand strong and carry on.
Thank you NCLD for your confidence and support.
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