From the pressure to assimilate to the motivation to build a bridge for embracing Latinx culture, Ernesto Saldivar Jr. speaks eloquently about how literacy is valued in his community. As a teacher of language acquisition and literacy, Ernesto gives several examples of literature that have impacted his life, family, and his students.
Disabilities Don’t Have to be a Barrier to Literacy
Blind people can read. Deaf people can hear. Dyslexics can decipher and understand words. Today’s technology has opened up a world of hope and possibilities for people with reading challenges. They no longer have to be labeled or cast aside as they were decades ago.
It’s a new day for literacy equity and justice. Literacy is available to all. Well, not quite. There’s still a lot of illiteracy in the world. But devices used to help people read have become more widespread. For example, the blind can read text with the OrcamMyEye device. Neosensory devices help the deaf and hard of hearing. Dyslexics can use assistive technology such as text-to-speech scanning pen.
The 2021 calendar of world disability days are too numerous to mention, but here are a few celebrations to note that enhance literacy.
*World Blind Day, October 5–Creating awareness about eye health
*Dyslexia Awareness Month, October—Creating awareness about reading disabilities in adults and children
*World Usability Day, November 11—Creating awareness about how designers can develop products for diversity and inclusion
Let’s all be kind and considerate of people who have challenges with reading. And if you can help, please do so.
Listen to this remarkable story about a blind man who become a lawyer and judge long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990. How did Dana LaMon overcome literacy barriers to achieve his dream?
First book store to open on San Antonio’s West Side cultural districtGuadalupe Cultural Arts Center launches its Latino Bookstore
SAN ANTONIO – A historic building on the city’s West Side got a major facelift to help preserve the Hispanic and Latino culture.
On Friday, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center will debut its new book and gift shop featuring Latino artists and authors.
The new shop sits on the corner of Guadalupe and South Brazos Street inside the former Progresso Pharmacy. The iconic white and black building has been transformed into the Latino Bookstore.
“Given that we are a multidisciplinary center at the Guadalupe, and we like to cover the literary arts as well, I thought it would be important to have a hub of literary, academic and children’s offerings as well,” Christina Ballí said. Ballí is the executive director of the nonprofit.
Ballí said the project started five years ago and was made possible with bond funding from the City of San Antonio of more than $1 million. Now, they’re excited to finally open to the public and get the space activated.
“Unfortunately, we have low literacy rates. Of course, it’s a book desert, just like it’s a food desert sometimes, you know,” Ballí said. “It’s a resource desert in many ways (and) in many areas, but it’s not a cultural desert. This is a culturally-rich area. So, having a Latino specific bookstore here in this area will make it even more so more of a culturally-rich neighborhood.”
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center will open on a small scale on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m., followed by a book reading.
The book reading will be lead by authors Carmen Tafolla and Tomás Ybarra Fausto at 6:30 p.m.. The celebration will continue across the street at Plaza Guadalupe with the 30-year anniversary performance by Guadalupe Dance Company.