Dyslexia Awareness Week kicks off today and runs from 1-7 October. Here, we take a look at some of the events planned by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and find out about the organisation’s year-round work…
Go Green for Dyslexia (sponsored by Nessy Learning)
To kick off the week, on Monday 1 October, organisations and schools including M Shed and Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol and Cardiff Bay Barrage will be lighting up green for Go Green for Dyslexia along with 3,000 children in 150 schools donning green for the day. The activity is originated and organised by Nessy Learning who have been making fun, educational software for children since 1999 and offer the complete dyslexia aware solution with a suite of multisensory products aimed at making learning to read, write and spell fun.
No Pens Day (sponsored by Touch-type Read and Spell)
Every year, new technology continues to reduce the times we need to communicate our thoughts using a pen. With writing using a traditional pen and paper being something that people with dyslexia find particularly difficult, advances in assistive technology make life much easier – these range from increased access to laptops and tablets to dictation software and communicating using totally visual methods like video.
No Pens Day celebrates how far we have come with communication technology by encouraging teachers to get their classes to abandon pens for the day and embrace technology alternatives.
Local awareness events
Throughout the week, local organisations are hosting events to raise awareness among communities of 21st century dyslexia – including at schools like Newcastle College and Kings Norton Girls’ School, at local authorities Wiltshire and Leicestershire County Councils and organisations like the London Grid for Learning.
People will be sharing their events and experience through the week using the hashtag #21stcenturydyslexia.
Dyslexia Awareness Week Awards
Nominations are open through the week for the annual awards. The BDA is looking for pupils, parents, educational professionals and organisations to make nominations to the four categories at this year’s awards.
Free Dyslexia Awareness Week webinars
The BDA will be running free webinars during this week, including Realising Potential Through Enabling Technologies by Dr Abi James. Dr James’ webinar will explore why technology can help children and adults with dyslexia. Dr James will introduce some of the best technologies available in schools and the workplace, and discuss the ways to utilise them. To register for this webinar and others click here.
About The British Dyslexia Association
The BDA aims to bring about a dyslexia friendly society. Since its creation over 40 years ago the BDA has worked tirelessly to develop a network of national and international support for individuals who are dyslexic including the development of local dyslexia groups that work with the BDA to provide parents, educators and individuals with dyslexia access to services, training, information and support.
Through its activities the BDA strives to achieve its key goals:
- To build awareness of dyslexia in all sectors of society.
- Early identification of dyslexic difficulties for all in society.
- Availability of effective and appropriate teaching provision for all children and adults with dyslexia.
- Availability of appropriate assessments for all children and adults with dyslexia.
- Reasonable adjustments for individuals with dyslexia within all sectors of society (including education, employment, training and the criminal justice services).
Information is available for individuals with dyslexia across the age ranges and sectors, and for those who support them including effective strategies to help overcome dyslexia related difficulties, and how to maximise the strengths of those with dyslexia.
The training activities of the BDA are a crucial part of their work. For those within an education setting there is a wide range of training from dyslexia awareness and identification through to teaching literacy and classroom support strategies. For employers training is available to assist them in implementing reasonable adjustments for their employees with dyslexia and strategies to empower those individuals. Training is delivered through open courses for individuals, onsite bespoke training for groups and summer schools.
BDA training events help to raise awareness of dyslexia in all age ranges and sectors of society. The BDA organises around 400 face-to-face training events per year, with excellent feedback; each one bringing us closer to a dyslexia friendly society.
In 2015, the BDA launched its eLearning platform the purpose of which was to enable a wider audience to be able to access high quality training in dyslexia support. ELearning enables the BDA to bring quality training and expertise to individuals who would otherwise be unable to access this due to factors such as time and cost constraints or geographical location. Individuals can work through the modules at their own pace and also when and where it is convenient for them to do so. They can be confident in the knowledge that support with their learning and development is available from highly skilled and experienced dyslexia specialists.