Am I

Dyslexia can seriously undermine progress at school, at work and in other areas of your life. This often leads to anxiety, frustration and low self-esteem and the longer it is left the worse it will become.

 Our Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia  checklist will help you decide whether you or someone you know is dyslexic.

If you require any further information please Contact Us. We are here to support you.

Dyslexia Diagnosis

 It is essential to receive a professional diagnosis to accurately identify what exactly is causing your problems, and put in place intervention programmes and strategies to help you, or your child, gain confidence and reach your full potential. Please Email us for more information about our assessment service. This information is provided free, with no obligation.

New Events, Resources or Courses

New workshops for teachers and class aides in Mordialloc for May and June 2015

click on the link below for regisatration details

Dyscalculia- Diagnosis and Intervention

Tools and Technologies for the Classroom


Disability Discrimination Education Standards

There is now an upgraded NDCO Disability Discrimination Education Standards website  The Standards were formulated to assist educators understand and comply with their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and became federal law in August 2005. Whether you are a person with disability, an associate of a person with disability, or a person involved in the delivery of education, this website will help you understand some important parts of the Disability Standards for Education.


Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)

Information to help teachers and parents write helpful ILPs to aid effective teaching and learning for students with additional needs. Found in Resources 4 Teachers section


Read Out Loud; free Text to Speech to read Adobe documents

Read Out Loud is a Text-to-Speech (TTS) tool built into Adobe Reader. Go to View- Read Out Loud and click on ‘Activate Read out Loud.’ Click on a paragraph and the document will be read to you. There are a number of additional speech settings to use such as accent & volume:in the Adobe document, go to View, Read Out Loud- Activate read Out Loud. Then simple highlight the text you want to be read.


Early Screening and Assessment in-school Training

Early screening and assessment allows schools to accurately identify students at risk for reading failure. I have worked with a number of schools to help them set up effective systems for screening and to carry out further, comprehensive assessments where necessary. Please contact me for details The following was posted on my Facebook page following  in-service training:

I just want to say a BIG THANKYOU to Karen for spending the day with me and showing me so many more resources to help our students. I had previously gained a lot from a one day PD that I had attended with Karen but what a benefit I have had working one on one with her! I also hope that the staff at my school all realise the importance of the information that Karen has given us and take it all on board, after all, we are all in it for the students!
Oh... So much to do but how exciting!!!! AI Kerrimuir Primary School

click here for details of the workshop


New Director of Learning and Development at Speld Victoria

I am really excited to tell you that I have been offered and have accepted the position of Director of Learning and Development at Speld Victoria. Meeting the needs of children who learn differently has always been my passion and I have been fortunate over the years to have been asked to work with and help so many children and adults with SpLD, to run workshops for parents and be as...ked to train  many teachers and other professionals in the UK, here in Victoria and also in ACT and Northern Territory. I have so many ideas that I have wanted to put into practice to support children and adults with dyslexia, to support parents and schools, to improve knowledge and understanding and to bring about big changes. Now Speld have offered me the opportunity to share my ideas and hopefully to realise them and I am very lucky to have such a great team working with me who share my enthusiasm for change. See more here


Help promote the

Wanted Dyslexia/Inclusive Schools and trained tutors in Australia

I am constantly asked for information about schools that are particularly inclusive for students with LD including dyslexia or for trained tutors in Specific Learning Difficulties. If you would be happy for me to add you to a list available to parents and teachers please contact me with some information: email


Improving provision for students with learning difficulties including dyslexia in Victoria 

A while ago I wrote that I was invited by Mark Tainsh, director of disabilities, at the DEECD to join a group. To read about our first meeting click here


VCAA Special Provision Policy Review

During 2014 the VCAA is undertaking a review of its current policy and administrative procedures associated with administering Special Provision within School-based Assessment and VCE examinations with a particular focus on the Special Examination Arrangements (SEAs) and the Derived Examination Score (DES) processes. These policies and procedures were last reviewed in in 2005.

The first stage of the review sought stakeholder feedback on current policies and processes via an online survey. This feedback will help VCAA to form the basis of subsequent focus group discussions. Schools and stakeholder groups were encouraged to include the survey link on their website and in any newsletter or correspondence they may send to their communities. The feedback is now available as is the handbook detailing current provision to view: click here


Australia to Finally Recognise Dyslexia

On May 26th 2014 Christopher Pyne Education Secretary announced that the Government is committed to better support for students with disability, including those with learning difficulties such as dyslexia. This includes extending the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative (MSSD) by $100 million for a further twelve months, and the inclusion of a funding loading for school students with disability in 2014.

Under the MSSD initiative several education authorities have chosen to focus on dyslexia or learning difficulties more broadly. MSSD activities that will benefit students with dyslexia include: targeted professional development for school staff in understanding and responding to dyslexia and other learning difficulties; the use of assistive technology (e.g. iPads); allied health professionals (in particular speech pathologists) working in schools; and specialised literacy resources. To read the whole of Christopher Pyne’s announcement click here


NEW: SMALL WOODEN ALPHABET LETTERS. Approximately 50 letters in a set and doubles of the common letters. Children can make words by listening to the sound and feeling the shape; they can  also make multiple words in one minute. Teaching reading through spelling will happen by using this method which is based on the idea that children will learn to read words that they have composed more efficiently than words from another source that were written for them. Like the larger letters: the uses and possibilities are endless and the letters provide an excellent learning resource for all children, not just those who are dyslexic. I use the letters mainly to teach reading spelling and the alphabet sequence however they could be used in children�s� craft projects.

Click here


Dyslexia 100+ Essential Resources for the Classroom.

I am very excited to announce that I have just finished Dyslexia 100+ Essential Resources for the Classroom. To my knowledge these numerous resources, brought together in this format and instantly accessible, are not available for purchase anywhere else in the World. Read more

Great Posters and postcards to increase understanding of Dyslexia. See Here

Tackling Dyslexia Conference Melbourne: 18th Oct 2013 Read More

Learning Difference Convention Sydney: 1st and 2nd Nov 2013. Read more

New Site to Support Students with Dyscalculia see here


On June 5th Christopher Pyne gave a speech to Australia's Parliament asking them to recognise Dyslexia as a disability. In addition, on June 17th in Parliament a further request was made for dyslexia to be recognised read more


see next column for details



Students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities may soon be allowed to use computers in their V.C.E.exams Read More


The DEECD is offering funding  for schools to provide support for children with Learning Disabilities, which would include dyslexia. The funding could be used for IT and professional development, which means that all school staff can now be trained. Parents and teachers please let your schools know about this and that I can provide that in-service training to make schools Dyslexia-Friendly. Please forward the flyers below:

Creating a Dyslexia Friendly School

Funding for schools

* The funding may also be available for schools in other Australian States who can also contact me for information.


Children and adults who are dyslexic find some fonts difficult to read. OpenDyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. It is free to download and install on your computer. Go to



Many dyslexics would benefit from Voice recognition software that types what you dictate. This is particularly helpful in schools as the workload increases and also in further study or at work. To find out how to install Voice Recognition software free on Word click here


How to Check the Reading Age of your Word documents

There is often a significant difference between the reading ages in one class.Teachers can easily check the readability of any documents that they produce in Word. To find out how click here


Advantages of Dyslexia.

A great video to watch. Once it has finished there are so many more videos to watch including a great one to show dyslexic adults and children about famous people who were/are dyslexic.

Click Here

Hank Zipzer Books for children:

Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, (the Fonz) who was himself dyslexic, this winning series about the world's greatest underachiever is funny, touching, and deals with learning differences in a gentle and humorous manner.
Read More

Adding free Text to Speech to Word 2007

Read More

New courses for Teachers!

In-service Bookings for 2015


To book Karen: click below

Students with Dyslexia and other LDs- Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment


Screening and Assessment to identify students at Risk and Implement Early Intervention in School


Teaching Assistants Workshop: supporting Students with SpLD


Using Games to Develop Language and Vocabulary


Success Stories for Social Situations - for students with Autism


I run workshops for schools and support groups for parents see below for general and specific dates:


How to Support your Child with Specific Learning Difficulties, including Dyslexia at Home and at School


Speld Victoria- 3rd March


In-Service Courses for schools and colleges 

So many staff felt so empowered and excited after your PD and are implementing many of your resources in the classroom and seeing some great results. Our teachers aide in Prep is working with children individually every day and using your ideas; the results are so exciting!Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. FD St Bernard's Primary School Wangaratta

The first PD which offered information along with so much strategy advice and hands-on tools and ideas, Thank you!

B L Padua College



In his address to Parliament on Monday 26th May 2014 Christopher Pyne; Minister for Education announced that the Government is ‘committed to better support for Students with disability including those with Learning Difficulties such as DYSLEXIA.’ This includes targeted professional development for school staff in understanding and responding to dyslexia and other learning difficulties

KAREN STARKISS has extensive experience in helping schools to become Dyslexia-Aware and Inclusive for all students. In the UK, where Dyslexia-friendly schools are common she has worked with teams to produce guidelines and provide training and support.  In addition, many schools she worked with reported that the changes raised the learning potential for all students and that behaviour and self-esteem improved.

Your school could become an Inclusive  and Dyslexia-Aware School  Contact Karen to discuss how she can help your school. The types of support may differ according to the needs of the individual school it may include: 

  1. Whole staff training

  2. Training for support staff about providing individual programs using multi-sensory instruction

  3. Advice on resources and programs

  4. Training in the use of assessment materials

  5. Workshops for parents/carers


Karen has already worked with a number of schools in Victoria and Canberra see Testimonials or contact Karen who would be pleased to provide references. Click below for course details:


MAKE YOUR SCHOOL Inclusive for all students with Learning Difficulties including Dyslexia

I will travel to any schools throughout Victoria or anywhere in Australia to provide training. Some groups of small schools  join together to pool financial resources. Click here to see a report about this.

  • See a Video Clip of my Workshop

  • I presented to the Wodonga CRT Support Network in July 2012 and here is a snapshot of my course and the comments made by the teachers. Check it out here.


Phone 0402225051 to discuss individual needs or email me for course details and a registration form.