Blue Ribbon Yarn Bombing

Yarn Bombing has been seen in many public places in recent years. I have been inspired by these activities and Ellie’s Blue Ribbons for Dyslexia Awareness Week (6-11 Nov in Scotland) and the photograph below shows the result. I decided to yarn bomb some of the educational and organisational equipment which can cause problems for people with dyslexia.

To my fellow ‘Made By Dyslexia‘ individuals, I say never forget that your unique neurodiverse thinking can overcome the difficulties that dyslexia causes.

To everyone who is curious about diversity and how each person’s unique talents can be used to create a better world, I would encourage you to check out the wonderful resources offered by Dyslexia Scotland.

I hope Ellie’s (and my own) blue ribbons will be worn proudly by everyone and anyone. And when people see them they will be reminded to focus on each person’s talents and not their shortcomings. May they also be a reminder that equality in some situations can be anything but fair. Situations where each individual’s strengths come together and where a few reasonable adjustments are in place to level the playing field, could create magic and wonderful things.

Doreen Kelly, Dyslexia Scotland Member and Volunteer


Tips on finding your way about

Map reading? Forget it! I have to find my way around a city by other means. When I planned a recent trip to London, I was able to find my destination and arrive there on time. There were some strategies that helped me. So I’d like to tell you about them here. I hope you might be able to use them to travel with confidence and success.

  1. I found out which bus to take, using the local travel website

I knew my journey in London would start from King’s Cross train station. I wanted to use the bus (rather than the underground) to reach my destination because you can see where you’re going from a bus, especially the upper deck.

So I needed to find out which bus route to take, and how often it ran. For that, I used the Transport for London website, which I found extremely dyslexia-friendly. Here’s the route diagram I used:

To find the times you click on an arrowhead, like this > Arrowhead

And you can access the timetable from there. I was amazed at how easy I found it to read the times and timetable.

2. I located the bus stop, using a video and Google maps

Next, I had to work out where my stop was. I saw from the route diagram that it was called R. I needed to see a photo of the stop, rather than a map of it. So I googled ‘number 91 bus route + video’ and found a video of the bus route. It has a catchy soundtrack which made me feel positive about my journey!

The video let me work out where the bus stop was, in relation to the station.

Then I used Google maps in earth view to go for a virtual walk, from the train station to the bus stop. It was quite tricky to navigate but after some perseverance I managed to see my stop. That meant I knew exactly where it was and how to reach it.

3. I found out where to get off the bus, using a landmark / Google images

The stop I needed to get off at was the terminus of the route. It should have been easy. But I still managed to get off a stop early, and I know from using buses regularly that this is a common mistake people make. So I knew I’d need a landmark. I found one on Google maps (the National Gallery). Then I looked it up on Google images so I could recognise it when I saw it. I used it to find the right road for the walk to my final destination.

Final tips

  1. You can’t pay your fare with coins or bank notes on London buses. You have to pay by contactless technology; or by Oyster Card (the travel pass for public transport in London). If you plan to pay by contactless check your bank card has the contactless icon on it.
  2. To complement any verbal instructions you are given, ask your contact for an aerial photo of the whole building with an arrow pointing to the exact entrance you’ve to use.
  3. Plan in plenty of extra time to your journey in case of delays or mistakes
  4. Ask someone for help to plan your journey if you need it. Be specific in what you ask for help with.
  5. Ask for help on your journey if you need it. If I tell someone I’m dyslexic before I ask them for help, they are more understanding and patient.

By an anonymous adult member of Dyslexia Scotland