S1.Ep10: Rethinking Weakness

posted in: Faves, Season 1, Series: Life Innovators | 0
Is it a weakness or a strength? Life innovator Justin Freedman teaches us what it means to rethink disability. This authority grew up with ADHD and is now getting his PHD with a focus on inclusive education. We learn that disability is socially constructed and that you really can do anything with the right perspective.


Justin Freedman

ADHD and Learning Disabilities Advocate, PhD Student at Syracuse University School of Education, and Former Class President of Lawrence High School

Contact: Jefreedm@syr.edu

Strengths: Focuses on abilities, seeks out personal strengths, transforms experiences into learning opportunities

Unexpected conclusion: “Fairness” is most often not based on what’s fair

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+ Search for a way to utilize existing skills

+ The world is creating the disability (disability is socially-constructed)

+ Turn a painful experience into something that catalyzes giving back

+ Inclusive teaching means developing curriculum to teach every kind of student

+ Advocate strengths in a world that doesn’t always embrace difference

+ Sometimes accepting weakness is more constructive than trying to fix it

+ If diversity is embraced, labeling differences is no longer stigmatizing

+ Diverse teaching helps all learners

+ Teaching to the needs of ADHD students often benefits all students (i.e. be more hands on, engaging, novel)

+ Some criteria for ADHD has to do with how it disrupts others

+ Ability and disability are contextual


Syracuse University School of Education

“A New Feeble Mind” by Justin Freedman


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