In the headlines
8 March 2017
Holly Willoughby has spoken about her concerns that her three children may be dyslexic like her. She uses coloured scripts and advance checks on the autocue for her role as presenter on ITV’s “This Morning”. She feels that schools are better at spotting the signs of dyslexia now and so her children would be picked up sooner. She was diagnosed at 15. She also says that teaching has become more visual since she was at school.
9 March 2017
Dyslexia Scotland has been given double funding of £200,000 for 2017/18 by the Scottish Government. They have developed three online training modules called Introduction to dyslexia and inclusive practice which will be available on Addressing Dyslexia, Open University and Dyslexia Scotland’s websites and through Education Scotland’s digital sites.
18 March 2017
SNP Conference calls for more support for adults in obtaining dyslexia assessment by being able to access assessments in the workplace. The cost for an evaluation can range from £300-£500 when done privately.
23 March 2017
SEND learners are airbrushed from education policy says Chris Rossiter, Director of Driver Youth Trust in his report “Through the Looking Glass: Is universal provision what it seems?” Having reviewed 21 influential reports on achieving higher levels of literacy he feels the agencies involved ignore the 1.2 million children with SEND.
In the headlines
Iansyst strategic partnership launch
We are delighted to announce that CPD Bytes has joined forces with Iansyst as a supplier of our online courses. They will be available through their website www.dyslexic.com
31 January 2017
Psychologist and Director of the Driver Youth Trust, Christopher Rossiter has written a piece for the TES trying to put to rest once and for all the old argument that dyslexia does not exist.
4 February 2017
Ela Lourenco’s daughter, Larissa has a form of dyslexia called auditory processing disorder. Together mother and daughter have developed strategies to help promote a love of reading despite Larissa’s difficulties and they share them in this article.
13 February 2017
In a research trial sponsored by Microsoft, their product OneNote has been reported to be a useful tool to help children with dyslexia. The British Dyslexia Association ran an 11 week trial in Knowl Hill School, Surrey involving 20 pupils. The children were given Surface tablets running Immersive Reader which is part of Microsoft’s OneNote software. The researchers claim that the majority of the children taking part improved their reading skills during the trial and gained improved self-confidence and self-esteem too. The software reads out the pupil’s typing without a teacher or TA’s help. Hearing rather than reading makes it easier to spot mistakes and correct them.
14 February 2017
Fascinating research undertaken in Spain using an oscillopathic approach to developmental dyslexia: from genes to speech processing has been preprinted on BioRxiv the preprint server for Biology.
In the headlines
28 December 2016
Caitlin Glover, 12, from Chelmsford has designed a virtual reality system to help spot the early signs of dyslexia. She herself was only diagnosed with the condition when she got to secondary school. She drew on her own experience and invented a system that she believes could help primary school children not ‘fall through the gaps’ and feel defeated early on in their education. She developed a working prototype of her invention at an Acorn Accelerator course run by Acorn Aspirations, a social impact company that trains 12-19 year olds to code and develop aps.
See Caitlin’s pitch at Wayra Demo Day 2016 on youtube here
See her website www.sypereducation.com
23 January 2017
Plans for a new combined primary and secondary school in the Sevenoaks, Kent district with a dyslexia specialism have suffered a setback after county chiefs have expressed doubts over the suitability of one of the proposed sites.
They plan to call it the Da Vinci School after the Italian artist and mathematician who is believed to have been dyslexic. Entry would be open to children of all academic backgrounds and ability. It would be non-fee paying because the teachers behind the scheme, Fiona Gruneberg and Abby Lloyd say that schools are struggling to find the money to supplement special educational needs departments and there is less funding for dyslexic children leaving dyslexic children left behind or having to pay privately for dyslexic support.
24 January 2017
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have uncovered new insight into the brain mechanisms that may underlie dyslexia. Their tests demonstrate that an important feature of human memory ability “implicit memory” decays faster among dyslexics making them less able to make reliable predictions for both simple and complex stimuli. One of the report’s authors noted that “The formation of adequate predictions is crucial for becoming an expert in general, and an expert reader in particular. Achieving this depends on matching printed words with predictions based on previous encounters with related words, but such predictions are less accurate in dyslexics.”
Attempts to help people to experience dyslexia themselves
In the ongoing quest to raise awareness of dyslexia a number of people have come up with some ingenious methods of allowing people to ‘experience’ dyslexia themselves. The dyslexic graphic designer, Sam Barclay, has created the book “I wonder what it’s like to be dyslexic” using innovative typography to help people try to understand the impact of dyslexia on people’s ability to read.
He raised £55,000 for the project on Kickstarter back in November 2013. He hopes that the book is also reassuring to fellow dyslexics as it shows that someone else understands what they experience.
He himself is a successful graphic designer who has worked for Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, Wiggle Bikes, Rosie and Twine, Dyspla and Portsmouth University amongst others.
He has his own website showcasing his work and clients at www.sambarclay.co.uk
Another dyslexic designer, Daniel Britton, has used a different strategy by designing a typeface that slows down non-dyslexic readers to the speed of a dyslexic reader to help them understand and experience the frustration and difficulties dyslexics have when reading.
He wants to produce Dyslexia Educational Packs for Primary and Secondary school pupils and has raised the necessary money through the website CrowdFunder.
He himself was only diagnosed at 18 years old. He has his own website at www.danielbritton.info
And Victor Widell, a software developer has created a stir online by developing a website that he says allows people to experience dyslexia. He created it after talking to a friend with dyslexia who described what the process of reading was like to her. See the website for yourself at this link
Reactions to his site are wide and varied with seemingly every media outlet with the vaguest interest in dyslexia and many with no obvious interest picking up on the story. Some say it gives a fair impression of what their experience of dyslexia is like, while others say it does not capture their experience at all. It certainly provided a talking point and provoked interesting discussions around the topic either way which all contributes to raising awareness and understanding.