Challenging preconceptions, Rethinking Dyslexia

So we have come to the end of our series of screenings of The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia (don’t worry if you have not managed to see it yet, there are still showings in some of our local branches, look here for details) and we have to say its success has exceeded our expectations. While we knew there was a great demand for this to be shown again after its success in Dyslexia awareness week 2012, we never expected the type of response we have received.

We showed the film to a packed house in Dumfries, Stornaway and Stirling, with an additional showing held in Glasgow organised by our wonderful volunteer Jamie-Max which sold out in record time.

The feedback we have received has been overwhelming, both from those who were involved and those who came along to see it.

“the feedback from last night’s screening in Stirling has been amazing. So positive.

Just want to know if we will be able to purchase a copy of this to use as CPD for all our staff and anyone who was unable to attend. It seems to have been a real eureka moment and it would be great to share it with an even wider audience”

“This is a great film and wish it would be shown to all schools, administrators, and decision makers! I took my 7 year old daughter, who has dyslexia, to see it in Indiana. It is really encouraging”

“This film was realistic and incredibly inspiring – a definite must see!”

“My 13 year old was happy to see it, but in truth I probably got more out of it as a parent. I would love my daughter to see it again in a couple of year’s time when she’s considering her next educational step. Having said that there’s definitely a strong argument for general viewing as it beautifully dispels the myths and uncertainties about what dyslexia is and isn’t, as well as presenting a ‘think differently’ approach to dyslexia, for both those with dyslexia and those who know very little about it.”

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Panel members at our Stirling showing said:

“Having suffered from dyslexia all my life I was very unsure of what the film would be about but after the first 5 minutes I was hooked and it was a most enjoyable experience. I have to say at point I was brought to tears as it brought back a lot of bad memories of childhood and the struggles that I had to overcome. As the film moved forward it was great to hear so many positive stories and it brought a lot of hope and motivation to other young people. Being a member of the panel was great and it is so good to see so many families in the audience as it bring hope that people are really keen to help young people become the best they can”. Paul McNeill

“I was grateful to Dyslexia Scotland for asking me to be on the panel after the showing of the film. As chair of Unite Scotland Youth committee I engage with young adults on work related issues – people who are trying to find work or speaking about rights in the workplace and things that can affect people from day to day. During the panel discussion, the question that stands out to me was ‘I’m just finishing uni and the jobs I will be going for involve a lot of reading and writing – do I put it down on my CV that I have dyslexia?’

I have heard this question a few times – sometimes about dyslexia and sometimes about other disabilities. My answer is usually the same – it is your choice whether you do this. You could also tell them at a later stage, again this is your choice. A company should not discriminate against you if you have a disability of any shape or form – but whether this happens is another matter.

I find that lack of knowledge about what dyslexia means in the workplace is usually the problem. Usually less informed Human Resources staff think it means that someone can’t read or write. (This is the answer I have got back on more than one occasion.)

I think this is the thing that needs to be tackled for the sake of people like the young man who asked the question. He has run the same race as everyone else but with massive hurdles and has managed to overcome them. But there is a problem that the company or profession that he wants to go into won’t look at his form and say ‘Dyslexia – great, an out of the box thinker with the ability to connect ideas and problem solve – we need someone like that on the team!’

They might ask what they can do to help him – and he might say he needs more time. To lots of companies time is money and all his other talents will be overlooked.

I hope he doesn’t face discrimination for having dyslexia. More awareness-raising needs to be done and companies challenged on their application process” Jamie- Max Caldwell

Creative Stirling (Read the interview with Lena Gillies our National Development Officer and Creative Stirling here)

We are overwhelmed by the response and the popularity of these events, but know that there are still many people who could benefit from seeing The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia.

We were Kings and Queens of Glamour

On 2nd May 2013 Dyslexia Scotland attending a star studded reception at the Grand Hall in Edinburgh Castle honouring the work of Dyslexia Scotland.

We were lucky enough to be one of the First Minister’s chosen charities in his Christmas card appeal in December 2012 – the painting of the Christmas card by Elizabeth BLackadder was displayed at the reception and will be auctioned later in 2013, with proceeds shared between the 4 chosen charities including Dyslexia Scotland.

We were also delighted that an amazing £100,000 was announced at the event by the Scottish Government to help to ensure that Dyslexia Scotland can continue to achieve our goals and raise awareness of Dyslexia.’

We had a fantastic evening from being piped into the event, being entertainment by musicians Eilidh Steel and Mark Neal and mingling with our ambassadors, volunteers as well as other honoured guests. It gave us the opportunity to get our glad rags on, meet some interesting and inspiring people and of course view the wonderful treasures that the Castle has to offer.

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We would like to thank everyone who came along to the event and hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. Dyslexia Scotland relies on the continued support of its volunteers, ambassadors and staff and we were so happy that we were able to share this honour with so many of them.