International Celebration of Dyslexia
We believe dyslexia is a gift, not a curse
Approximately 10% of the world’s population ‘suffer’ from the gift of dyslexia however most of society label dyslexia a learning disorder. By concentrating on “fixing” the problem, it can make it difficult for this 10% of the population the chance to express their natural-born talents and gifts.
fMRI studies show a non-dyslexic person utilises the brain’s left-hemisphere more. This is a gift in its own right: logical, sequential, and great for literacy skills, such as writing, reading, and spelling. Dyslexic people, who tend to use the right hemisphere more, are often bright, highly intelligent and articulate but are simply unable to read, write, or spell at the level expected of them. Others are especially talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, and engineering.
The written word has been with us for only a short time in our long human evolution, before the advent of writing there would have been no such thing as a ‘dyslexic person’.
Studies have shown that entrepreneurs are five times more likely to be dyslexic. It has also shown that approximately 50% of London’s prison population is dyslexic. ICD aims to increase the number of entrepreneurs/creative people among the dyslexic population.
Most of society labels dyslexia a learning disorder. Einstein, Tesla, John F Kennedy, Richard Branson and many other dyslexic people suffered at school but used their right brain gift to excel.
So what needs to happen? Those born with the GIFT of dyslexia should embrace these right-hemisphere brain talents and fly high!
The International Celebration of Dyslexia (ICD), held on October 30th 2021, was aimed at both adults and children (over eight years old) with the gift of dyslexia. This one-day event offered dyslexic people the insight of how to unlock and retain their gift.
[ SPEAKERS & EVENT SCHEDULE ]
The International Celebration of Dyslexia (ICD) benefited from the following keynote speakers.
30th October 2021
Neil is the Corporate Events Manager at London South Bank University with a substantial background in the charity, political, hospitality, voluntary and educational sectors. He is community focused, socially aware and passionate about equality, diversity & inclusion.
Jonathan Thompson has been the Disability & Dyslexia Manager at London South Bank University (LSBU) for 4.5 years and previous to this the Learning Support Manager for the University for the Creative Arts. He is also the Vice-Chair for the National Association of Disability Practitioners. Jonathan and the team at LSBU are strong advocates for the social model of disability and are working towards mitigating barriers that are created within the curriculum.
Sam Rapp (The Dyslexic Poet), is an award-winning writer, poet, playwright, speaker, producer, part-
time lawyer, chair of Dyslexia House Association, ambassador for Medway Disability Action, co-chair for Medway Creative People and South-East representative for the British Dyslexia Association. Sam is a creative writing teacher and conducts creative writing workshops with her company Fun With Words Productions. Her most recent project is Get Writing For the NHS. She is author of Rant: Dyslexic Me
Neil welcomed visitors to the inaugural International Celebration of Dyslexia (ICD) event and set the stage for a fun event.
Karl de Leeuw
ICD founder, author and campaigner, Karl de Leeuw discussed the societal prejudices that dyslexia adults and children face, and how these challenges can be overcome. “Dyslexia is a gift, not a curse,” he argued.
Jonathan looked at Dyslexia through the eyes of the social model and how Universities are beginning to remove barriers and create flexibility in teaching and assessment for all.
Sam Rapp (The Dyslexic Poet) combined a mixture of talk with poetry about her journey, and also got the audience to write poetry themselves.
Question & Answer Session
A Questions & Answers session between the audience and the speakers.