Timmins teachers are learning about going through the education system with a disability.

The Northern Ontario Centre for Learning Differences held a series of workshops with District School Board Ontario North East teachers to learn about different disabilities and how growing up with them can be hard.

Motivational Speaker and Professional Singer Lesley Andrew says she grew up dyslexic, with hearing and vision problems and asthmatic. Andrew says until the end of grade six she couldn’t read a one syllable word. She says she always thought she was stupid. She says that she proved herself wrong. Andrew says she has since graduated with honours in music and voice and completed a masters degree of Music and Performance Literature at Western in just one year. 

Andrew says she did this by setting goals and pushing her own barriers. Andrew says one thing that got her through school was looking at things like math and reading in a different way.

She says she has gotten through everything in life by looking at situations from all angles. Andrews says you learn this by failing over and over until you find a way to complete a task that works for you.

She adds that she really got to where she was today because one teacher asked her to audition for her high school’s musical.

The message that Andrew hopes all the teachers took away is to show all students that it’s okay to be different, to look at a situation from all angles and continuously set goals for yourself. She says once someone can learn to do this, no matter what they will succeed.