Given that the theme of this year’s Dyslexia Awareness Week was Positive About Dyslexia, I thought now was a really good time to highlight one of the ways in which this can be achieved. I know it’s an old, well-known saying, but knowledge really is power and I don’t think this is truer than in the case of an often misunderstood condition like dyslexia.
I was oblivious to the memory issues some people with dyslexia have before I started volunteering with Dyslexia Scotland, because that’s not an aspect of dyslexia the media really talks about. The only reason I got informed about all the lesser known bits of dyslexia was because the charity is really good about giving people as big and clear a picture as they possibly can. But you can’t paint pictures without paint or brushes – or, more accurately, you can’t be informed without the information existing – and being accessible – in the first place. That’s why I think the Resource Centre that Dyslexia Scotland has is really important. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Or the right place to look. Given that it’s likely we picked up some new members as a result of DAW some of you may not even have known that we have it. So let’s go over the basics.
First off, conscious of the fact that different people have different needs and associations with people who have dyslexia and that people will be at various stages in their lives, we have a diverse range of resources in the hope that everyone with an interest in dyslexia can find something to suit their needs. For ease of use, the resources are split into sections e.g. “Information for Teachers” or “Further Education and the Workplace.” Mindful of the fact that not everyone can get to our office in Stirling, there’s a master booklet detailing what we have, an electronic catalogue of resources and a troubleshooting sheet on how the process of borrowing and the catalogue works, all of which are accessible to our members online. Should you wish to be loaned something, you have the option to collect it yourself or have it posted to you. Oh, and provided you’re a member of Dyslexia Scotland, it’s completely free!
The hope is that by using it, people are, for a variety of reasons, able to become more positive about dyslexia. Of course, the information people seek differs from person to person, and therefore their objectives and outcomes will vary. It could be people just want to be more knowledgeable about the condition, need new strategies for themselves, their children or their students or the want dyslexia friendly fiction. The Resource Centre encompasses all of those things and more, and is growing all the time – the master booklet is always being updated, in the hope that we can help arm more and more people with information and be positive about dyslexia as a result.
You can find out more about the Resource Centre here.
Gemma Bryant, Resource Centre Volunteer