Training teachers around the world to spot and support dyslexia

Richard Branson reading his ipad while having a cup of tea
Owen Buggy
Virgin Galactic
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Published on 13 October 2022

Incredible to hear that every single public school teacher in New York has now been trained to spot and support dyslexia in the classroom.

A huge well done to Made by Dyslexia, which partnered with the New York City Department of Education earlier this year to help teachers support Dyslexic Thinking.

But we’re not done yet.

A new report from Made By Dyslexia found that only one in 10 teachers around the world has a good understanding of dyslexic strengths. This doesn’t reflect a lack of care or expertise on behalf of teachers, it just shows they haven’t been given the tools and training needed to harness the potential of Dyslexic Thinking. Indeed, over half of the survey respondents said their schools fail to understand dyslexic challenges.

Dyslexia skills

Thankfully, businesses and societies are waking up to the unique strengths born from dyslexia. Indeed, Dyslexic Thinking skills like visualising, imagining, communicating, reasoning, connecting, and exploring are some of the more sought-after skills by employers around the world and will be essential for jobs of the future. This, combined with the fact that one in five people are dyslexic, highlights why it’s so important for education systems to catch up and better equip teachers to help students with dyslexia find their potential and thrive. It’s also critical to addressing the reality that 80% of children with dyslexia are not identified while in school.

This was the case for me at school, and teachers just assumed I was just dumb or lazy. It chipped away at my confidence, and I ended up dropping out of school at the age of 16. If I’d been identified with dyslexia earlier and able to see it as a superpower like I do now, I would have gained so much more from my education. I know I’m not alone here either, as hundreds of dyslexic thinkers have told me stories about how they were kicked out of class, told to ‘go to church’, and received ‘snail awards’ at school. I’ve also heard from lawyers, engineers, people with PhDs, psychologists, and every profession in between who weren’t diagnosed until late in their careers. Experiences like this inspired us to work with Made By Dyslexia and LinkedIn to add Dyslexic Thinking as a recognised skill on LinkedIn – to try and change the way the world thinks about dyslexia and to see it as a positive.

Screenshot of the Dyslexic Thinking skill on LinkedIn

Following the brilliant work in New York (the biggest city in the world with the biggest number of teachers and the biggest number of schools), Made By Dyslexia is now asking every school across the world to let teachers #TakeADayForDyslexia and try the free online training that Made By Dyslexia created with Microsoft. The newest module is particularly useful as it’s focused on Dyslexia & Technology.

Take A Day For Dyslexia

From the light bulb to the iPhone, Dyslexic Thinking has changed the world in so many ways. Giving teachers the tools to really understand dyslexia is so important to keep driving this change and helping dyslexic thinkers find their full potential. I’m so excited by the impact that Made by Dyslexia’s work can have on the next generation and helping them to realise their full potential.