Dyslexia is now an established reality. But, it did not happen overnight. For years, people passed off reading and writing difficulty as stupor or negative attitude of children. The struggle of years has paid off and educators and lawmakers have now come together to spread awareness about dyslexia far and wide. With the best intentions to make education inclusive for all, an important decision was taken in 1985. That year, the month of October was declared LD Awareness Month by US President Ronal Reagan.
Why October was declared Dyslexia Awareness Month?
Mississippi was one of the first cities where Dyslexia Awareness Month was celebrated. This initiative was taken by governor Barbour in order to make the residents of the city aware of this disorder and to spark a dialogue among parents, teachers, and other participatory entities. The city authorities organized a number of events like seminars, debates, workshops, and talk shows, etc. to keep all people on the same page. If you think that you are lagging on information about Dyslexia History, you can know a lot about it here.
This move was formalized by the US Congress in 2015 when it declared October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. This celebration has been made official through Cassidy Mikulski Dyslexia Resolution 275. With all these arrangements and laws put in place, it is time for all of us to do our constructive bit towards the cause and take meaningful initiatives. Remember every effort counts, when it is about making a big difference! Want to know about some simple activities ideas? Here are a few curated for you.
Activities for creating awareness on Dyslexia
Dyslexia awareness month is not only about raising slogans and wearing ribbons. We all need to collectively work to bring awareness into action too. Here are some activities ideas, which are impactful and I am sure, will be easy for every one of us to do:
- Attend or organize Dyslexia Awareness Events: Why not have a date blocked for an event on Dyslexia awareness? If you are living in dslexics-abundant place, or have a lot of such people in your network, you can bring those creative brains together. Know a lot in detail about them through discussions and experience sharing. People who have made it to the top in life despite suffering from the condition can be invited to share their experiences, challenges and the initiatives they took to overcome it. Also, you can invite educators, parents and law-making authorities to share their expertise on this topic through talks.
- Demo sessions and Donation drive for assistive tools: Life of dyslexics have been made much easier by assistive tools. They can do daily activities involving reading, writing or speaking with the help of these. But are all aware about these tools? Though a few in number, but every loophole needs plugging. You can be that difference maker by organizing demonstration session onhow to use these tools. Also, come up with donation drives; assistive tools do come with a cost. So, take charge of connecting financiers and Samaritans with needy dyslexics and help create sharable pool of work-supporting tools by way of donation drives and crowdfunding. All those smiles will be your bonus!
- Organizing talent programs: Dyslexics have nothing wrong with their intelligence or creative abilities. Many legendary painters, writers, poets and innovators have walked the face of the Earth in yesteryears. Hence, you can give dyslexic children and adults a platform to display their talent by organizing an event for them. It will help you create not only awareness, but memories too!
- Mark it Red on October 15: Do you know October 15 is World Dyslexia Day and that red is the color of the dyslexia awareness movement? So, paint the town red by doing simple things like wearing red on that day. Or you can also have a ribbon made in red tucked on your T-shirt or coat to say you are in. All this is nothing but a thoughtful way of saying to Dyslexics that we all are together in creating awareness initiatives.
Why awareness about Dyslexia is a must?
It is estimated that about 10-15% of Americans suffer from this disorder that interferes with reading and writing abilities. The reason behind this is the differently wired brains of these individuals and not the laid-back attitude or disinterest in studies as it was thought earlier. In fact, the exceptional cognitive abilities, problem assessment, and solving skills, and creative intelligence demonstrated by dyslexics show that they deserve the same chance in education as others. So, your being aware is very important. You must know that:
- There is a huge chunk of people in which dyslexia remains undiagnosed. It is because people don’t open up, sometimes out of shame, or at others, because of inability to explain the situation.
- A major proportion of people suffering from dyslexia drop out of education at early stages because of inability to keep up with peer performance levels.
- People don’t know that they are entitled to specialized and supplementary education supports like IEP (Individualize Education Programs), and that the schools should have assistive measures in place for students with special needs.
- There is a prominent need to create suitable work environments for dyslexics so that they can contribute to the country’s economy by leveraging their exceptional creative and imaginative skills.
Facing all those bullies and trollers for not being able to read or write or calculate based on written instructions is not an easy thing to do. Kids tend to shut themselves off from the world around due to such negative attitude of people towards them. October as awareness month gives us the pretext to give such special people the voice and support so that they also fulfill all their ambitions just like anybody else. So, come together, celebrate, talk and make the world a welcoming place for everybody including dyslexics.
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