Date of Award

Winter 1-24-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jalin B. Johnson, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Lee, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Keith Larick, Ed.D

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative research is to journey the lives of educators with dyslexia growing up as K-12 students, working in the K-12 educational environment, and the means by which those educators overcome workplace barriers as analyzed by three guidelines under the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principle, multiple means of engagement. The qualitative study was designed from a constructive inquiry perspective. This method allowed the researcher to construct reality by interpreting a group of educators’ perceptions based on their experiences and social dynamics living with dyslexia. The primary data was collected from one-on-one interviews guided by scripted questions. A supplementary gathering of data from observations and artifacts functioned as patches to fill gaps and further support data generated from the interviews. Based on the findings K-12 educators with dyslexia experience the following workplace barriers: reading challenges, writing challenges, speaking challenges, and social-emotional challenges. Another essential finding was the challenges K-12 educators with dyslexia face in the workplace are the same challenges they faced as a K-12 student. Additionally, the data showed an alignment between ways educators with dyslexia overcome workplace barriers and the principle of engagement guidelines: recruiting interest, sustaining effort & persistence, and self-regulation. A final finding revealed that educators with dyslexia focus and use their strengths to stay motivated, endure, and self-monitor despite their challenges. The strengths-based approach underpins the three guidelines of multiple means of engagement. This approach focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses to enhance an individual’s motivation, increase hope, and improve self-esteem in the midst of challenges. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that educational stakeholders include the UDL framework and a strengths-based approach to the instructional program designed to comply with the new dyslexia laws and to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of K-12 students with dyslexia.