Dyslexia to be explored through film, panel discussion at Mercyhurst

Dislecksia: The Movie
“Dislecksia: The Movie,” directed by dyslexic Harvey Hubbell V, is a comic documentary, but it has a serious purpose. It will give viewers a better understanding of the condition itself, the problems it makes for individuals and families, and the programs that are needed to deal with it.

As is the custom with the On Screen/In Person Film Series offered through the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts and Culture, Hubbell will be at the university to introduce his film at both the 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. showings in Taylor Little Theater on Friday, Nov. 9. In addition, he will moderate a panel discussion on the subject of dyslexia following the 7:15 p.m. screening.

The panel will be comprised of two alumni from Mercyhurst’s Learning Differences Program, James Pleasant and Nick Ceren; local reading specialists Sherry Crane and Shelley Ochterski; tutor Virginia Miller and parent advocate Mike Plazony.

Pleasant, a prison counselor at West Central Community-Based Correctional Facility in Marysville, Ohio, was a struggling reader who was placed on academic probation for the first term of his freshman year at Mercyhurst. Once introduced to the Kurzweil Screen Reader system through the university’s Learning Differences staff, he saw his GPA increase to upward of 3.5 his last three years in college.

Ceren did not learn to read until he began studying at Gow School (NY), a college prep boarding school for young men, grades 7 to 12, with dyslexia and similar language-based learning disabilities. After completing his studies there, he went on to graduate from Mercyhurst with a degree in business. He then earned his master’s degree in sustainability studies from Slippery Rock University. He is presently completing an internship in sustainable agriculture at Mercyhurst West.

About one American in seven has some degree of dyslexia. It's a condition that makes it hard to learn to read the same way other people do. With some special techniques, taught or self-invented, most dyslexics can learn to function normally. And a lot of dyslexics are brilliant, talented and successful.

In “Dislecksia: The Movie,” Hubbell presents the latest scientific knowledge about dyslexia and the experiences of dyslexics. Viewers will come to know dyslexics — and those who teach them and study them — not just as statistics or talking heads but as people. And they'll know a lot about dyslexia: its causes, its effects and what can be done about it.

Hubbell’s documentaries have won more than 50 film and video festival awards, including four Emmys. He wrote and directed the multi-award winning comic documentary, “Electronic Road Film,” which received an Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment Program. “Loop Dreams,” Hubbell's first feature-length documentary, won three Emmys for Outstanding Entertainment Program, Individual Achievement for Directing and Program Writing.

To support his documentary habit Hubbell sometimes works on feature films, including a turn as Columbia Pictures' community liaison for "Mr. Deeds," shot on location in New Milford, Conn.

On Screen/In Person is sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $4 for President’s Cardholders and free for Mercyhurst students with ID. Tickets can be purchased by calling 824-3000 or by visiting miac.mercyhurst.edu.
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