Dyslexia Awareness Talks by DAS

This week, our Engagements Executive, Ms Valerie attended the Dyslexia Awareness Talk organised by the National Library Board, and Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS). This is her account of the session. Enjoy reading!

If you would like to find out more about dyslexia, feel free to reach out to us via email at info@dpa.org.sg .

National Library Board organised a Dyslexia Awareness Talk in conjunction with Dyslexia Association of Singapore on Friday 14 July 2017. It was a wonderful platform to raise awareness and help people gain a deeper understanding of dyslexia and the struggles that come along with having this condition.

At the session, Mr Marcus and Mr Steven of DAS shared that dyslexia is a language-based specific learning difficulty. People with dyslexia have difficulty in reading, spelling and/or writing. They may also have memory difficulties (for example, sequencing of the alphabet), and directional issues (for example, not being able to tell left from right). Dyslexia is a life-long condition that usually runs in the family. This difficulty is not due to a lack of intelligence, poor education or family background. It is an invisible learning difficulty, a hidden disability. Therefore, without better awareness and more accurate understanding of challenges persons with dyslexia face, they can easily be mistaken to be “lazy”, “stupid” or “unmotivated”.

There is no cure for dyslexia, but the  associated learning and reading challenges it presents can be overcome by skilled specialist teaching and the use of compensatory strategies. Coping with this learning difference can be a long journey, but with the right support, encouragement and understanding from those around them, persons with dyslexia can achieve just as much or more than anyone else in society.

Having dyslexia may cause difficulties in some simple everyday tasks, but it does not prevent anyone from achieving their goals. The key is not to be discouraged by the struggles, but to work on the strengths and pursue them to the fullest! Some famous people with dyslexia include the late Former Prime Minister of Singapore – Lee Kuan Yew, Movie Director – Steven Spielberg, Hollywood Actress – Keira Knightley, Hollywood Actor – Tom Cruise.

After attending this talk, we recognised even more the need to continually raise and increase awareness that disability, whether invisible or not, is only one characteristic of a person, People with disabilities do not need pity or sympathy. Instead, they benefit from greater understanding, accommodation and support in order to realise their potential and have the same opportunities as everyone else in society.  Equal opportunities and recognition of rights to education and employment are necessary to realise an inclusive Singapore.

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