Excited to continue my adventures in London today supporting the launch of a new charity, Made by Dyslexia, at the world’s first ‘dyslexic sperm bank’. Made by Dyslexia is a global charity led by successful and famous dyslexics, and its purpose is to help the world properly understand and support dyslexia.
When I announced we were supporting the launch back on March 31st, lots of people (including Jon Humphrys on Radio 4!) presumed it was an April Fool’s joke. Well… it was an idea to build momentum and get even more people’s attention ahead of Made by Dyslexia’s launch. The London Sperm Bank, where we were today, didn’t accept dyslexics until we started this campaign.
Now the Made by Dyslexia team, led by founder Kate Griggs, are meeting the UK and US governments to discuss the scheme, and exploring partnerships with other dyslexia organisations everywhere from Australia to America. The outpouring of support has been incredible, showing there is a global appetite to raise awareness about dyslexia, and why it can be seen as a positive.
New research from Made by Dyslexia and YouGov shows that only four per cent of people view dyslexia as a positive trait. This has to change. What’s more, only 19 per cent thought dyslexia enables creativity, whereas 84 per cent of dyslexics say they're above average in creative skills. Dyslexic people can be hugely creative in identifying solutions to problems, and to coming up with new ways to tackle challenges.
Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, artists, and tech professionals are dyslexic – yours truly included. From my own experience, I know that dyslexic people can achieve great things when they focus on their strengths and get the right support in school.
Working with experts, psychologists and successful dyslexics, Made by Dyslexia will develop campaigns, films, tools and tests to explain dyslexic thinking. Head over to Made by Dyslexia to read their new report: Connecting the Dots – Understanding Dyslexia, try a free dyslexia thinking test an find out more.
It is time we changed the stigma around dyslexia. It is not a disadvantage; it is merely a different way of thinking. For me, it is really important that we provide young people with the support they need to succeed, and to understand dyslexia as a different and brilliant way of thinking. One in 10 people in the UK have dyslexia – that is over six million people. Just imagine the difference we could make if every one of these people were encouraged to achieve their potential and strive to make their dreams a reality. It’s time to make a difference.