SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) — Two campuses of the University of California (UC) have received a gift of 20 million U.S. dollars to establish a new research center to address the issue of dyslexia and other learning disorders, UC Berkeley said Thursday.
The funds, which come from financier Charles Schwab, founder of San Francisco-based Charles Schwab Corp. brokerage company, will help UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco (UCSF) create research facilities on both campuses of the university to understand and develop solutions to dyslexia and other specific neurodevelopmental differences that impact learning.
The center, to be named the UCSF-UC Berkeley Schwab Dyslexia and Cognitive Diversity Center, will be launched this fall, UC Berkeley said, which called dyslexia as one of the most common learning challenges in the United States.
“Finally, we can bring together the best minds at both of these world-class research institutions to better understand and head off debilitating learning disorders, as well as the stigma associated with them,” said UC Berkeley psychology professor Stephen Hinshaw, inaugural co-director of the center.
The new organization will also be co-directed by Marilu Gorno Tempini of the UCSF Dyslexia Center.
“The joint program will draw on research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, education and public health” to accelerate the study on the “invisible disability” with regard to reading and writing, UC Berkeley said.
Schwab, who is funding the new center, was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 40 after he struggled with reading and classroom learning from an early age.
“To help unveil the mysteries behind dyslexia and other learning challenges, we need to bring together a wide variety of experts in science, medicine, education, and public health,” he said.
UCSF said about 5 percent to 15 percent of school-aged children are experiencing disorders that involve reading, mathematics, writing and other specific cognitive functions, of whom 80 percent were diagnosed as dyslexia patients who have difficulty in recognizing written words and letters.