What You Can Do:
Help Raise Awareness about Dyslexia
Advocacy is critical to ensuring those with dyslexia receive interventions and accommodations that are required by law and supported by scientific research. We need to Raise Awareness about Dyslexia so that:
- Those who struggle to read are screened and diagnosed early and get help and accommodations as soon as possible so they can reach their full potential;
- Those with a dyslexia diagnosis are no longer denied accommodations they are entitled to, such as extended time on high-stakes exams like the SAT, GRE, LSAT and United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE);
- Children and adults with dyslexia don’t assume they’re stupid and instead develop self-awareness about who they are and what it means to be dyslexic.
Whether you are a parent, educator or individual with dyslexia, below are some simple but critical steps you can take to Raise Awareness about Dyslexia.
Help dispel myths about dyslexia. Start by educating yourself about what dyslexia is and what it isn’t. (Our Dyslexia FAQs are a good place to start.)
Use the word dyslexia. Avoid lumping dyslexia with other, poorly defined learning disabilities. Dyslexia is a unique condition that needs to be addressed with specific evidence-based interventions.
Talk about dyslexia directly and openly. If you are a parent, make sure your child fully understands the diagnosis and that receiving certain interventions and accommodations will help her learn to read and perform well in school. Your child should know that while dyslexia makes reading a challenge, she is intelligent and capable of achieving great success.
Support dyslexic students and acknowledge their strengths. If you’re a teacher, allow dyslexic students to have extra time on tests and use assistive technologies, such as speech-to-text and text-to-speech software programs and note-taking tools. Acknowledge the strengths of dyslexic students, including their creative out-of-the-box thinking, and speak up for their accommodation needs with other educators and parents.
Share your story. If you’re dyslexic, share with others how you have confronted and overcome your dyslexia. If your story is especially compelling, because of either the problems you’ve had getting accommodations or the successes you’ve achieved, consider sharing it with local media in your community. You may also want to consider opportunities to speak at school assemblies and community meetings.
Stand up for dyslexia locally. Go to school board meetings and contact your school district’s superintendent and principals to educate them about dyslexia and the importance of diagnosis, intervention and accommodations for all dyslexic students. Print out and bring our one-pager about dyslexia with you.
Use the tools on this website to spread the word. Our Toolkit for Parents, Educators and Students contains a wealth of information and printable materials you can use to raise awareness about dyslexia:
- Check out our Dyslexia Awareness Social Media Toolkit and use our sample tweets and Facebook posts to spread the word and educate others. Use the hashtag #OvercomingDyslexia!
- Refer to our Guide to Talking about Dyslexia so we can all speak with a consistent and powerful voice when advocating for policies that help all those with dyslexia.
- Print out our Dyslexia one-pager and Declaration of Rights to distribute at events and meetings.