Dyslexia Awareness Week 2018 to run from 1-7 October The week will focus on 21st century dyslexia, raising awareness of advances in research and technology

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Dyslexia Awareness Week will run from Monday 1 to Sunday 7 October and this year, will focus on 21st century dyslexia. The week, organised by the British Dyslexia Association, will include activities in classrooms, workplaces and online (using the hashtag #21stcenturydyslexia), competitions and much more.

Lord Addington, President of the British Dyslexia Association, said: “With modern support and assistive technology, being dyslexic is a major advantage. We dyslexics are all great problem solvers, can get to the crux of the matter and see the bigger picture, and make the connections to bring together successful projects. I hope our focus on 21st century dyslexia for this year’s Dyslexia Awareness Week will mean more people see dyslexia as the ability it is.”

Helen Boden, CEO of the British Dyslexia Association, said: “For too long, dyslexia has been seen as a negative associated only with difficulties reading and writing. For this year’s Dyslexia Awareness Week, we are focusing on 21st century dyslexia. We will be holding events, training and competitions looking at the massive advances in understanding of dyslexia, including the benefits it brings, and technology to support those identified as dyslexic.”

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Highlights of activity include…

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.

Cllr Peter Bradbury, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “The sails on Cardiff Bay Barrage are an iconic landmark on our waterfront and we are proud to light them green for Go Green for Dyslexia. I hope this event raises awareness of dyslexia and encourages anyone who may be affected to have the courage to seek out support that is available to them.”

Mike Jones, CEO, Nessy Learning, said: “Going green for dyslexia is about taking action. The green lights will encourage people to go and do something that will make a positive change to their life. Do you think you have dyslexia? Go and find information. Go and get tested. Go for help. When you see a building that is green it is a signal to you. No more waiting. Go and do it.”

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.

Harry Alexandre and Philip Alexandre, Co-founders of Touch-type Read and Spell, said: “We are excited to be supporting this year’s No Pens Day to show students and teachers, dyslexic or not, that technology can ensure everyone reaches their full potential and most importantly, enjoys their education.”

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 Dyslexia Awareness Week Awards. The British Dyslexia Association is looking for pupils, parents, educational professionals and organisations to make nominations to the four categories at this year’s awards.

This year, the categories include:

  • Unsung Hero – This is your chance to nominate a volunteer who has made a difference to people in their community or organisation with dyslexia. This can be anyone – a parent, an educator giving up their spare time or even a young person – who is making a difference to dyslexia awareness, identification or support.
  • Local Dyslexia Association of the Year – With almost 60 local dyslexia associations across the UK supporting people in their communities with dyslexia, this is your opportunity to recognise the amazing work they do.
  • Dyslexia-Friendly School, College or University of the Year – Every year, educational organisations make huge strides in becoming more dyslexia friendly. This award is the time to recognise those schools, colleges and universities that are leading the way in building a dyslexia friendly society.

To make a nomination for an award, visit the British Dyslexia Association website, https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/fundraising/dyslexia-awareness-week/daw-awards-2017-2.  The winners will be announced at the British Dyslexia Association Gala Dinner, which is being held on 30 November 2018 at Draper’s Hall in London.

Free Dyslexia Awareness Week webinars

The BDA will be running free webinars during Dyslexia Awareness 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, https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/events/view/name/free-webinar-in-celebration-of-dyslexia-awareness-week-2018.

Dr Abi James, Research Fellow at University of Southampton and Chair of the New Technology Committee at the British Dyslexia Association, said: “There is a huge range of technology out there that can make reading and writing much easier for people with dyslexia. This webinar will give people an insight into what is available, who it might suit and how best to embrace it. It is a pleasure to support Dyslexia Awareness Week by running this 21st century dyslexia webinar.”

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