Am I
Dyslexic?

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

Next Tuesday evening I am running a workshop for parents at Mount Eliza Primary school. Parents of the school please register if interested

 

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

Dyslexia Empowerment Week 19th – 25th October

 Dyslexia Assessment and Support Services are supporting Dyslexia Empowerment week, which will take place between 19th and 25th October. A website has been set up and events and activities will be added as time goes on so please keep looking. Click here

 

 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

More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative (MSSD)  will be increased by $100 million for a further twelve months, and the inclusion of a funding loading for school students with disability in 2014.

This is different for every State in Australia. For the past two years the DEECD in Victoria has placed at least $2000 in the budget of each public school. There is no information out yet about what form it will take this year however, I am meeting with the Director for Disabilities this week so I will let you know on my website if there is any news. This is the link to Information sent to schools about last year's funding arrangements.

If any other states have info please let me know. It does mean that all staff in public schools can receive training

 

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

MEETING WITH THE DEECD IN VICTORIA REGARDING SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS WITH LD

In keeping you updated, Deborah Zang (LD Network) and I, Karen Starkiss (Dyslexia Assessment and Support Services) had a very positive meeting with Mark Tainsh, Director, Disability and Inclusion, Student Inclusion and Engagement Division, DEECD and Karen Underwood, Manager, Participation, Achievement and Transitions Student Inclusion and Engagement Division on Monday 19 May.

The purpose of the meeting was for Deborah and I to share the Pre-Budget Submission for SLD/Dyslexia, as well as the SLD communities’ observations and insights regarding the support of students with SLD.  Additionally, Mark and Karen U were to share the Department’s past and forward Inclusion agenda, which includes the support of students with SLD.

The results of the above discussions were to continue a dialogue between these parties.  This includes Karen S and Deborah helping to represent the views of students with SLD, their parents and educators via participation in a variety of Committees set-up by the DEECD as part of their forward Inclusion agenda. 

In regard to the Pre-Budget submission, Mark advised that the outcome of the Submission was in the Minister’s domain.  He then added that he (Mark) read the Submission and it is one of many sources he is using to inform his thinking, planning and understanding of the policy and operational context for the DEECDs ongoing work to strengthen provision in Victorian schools.

We will continue our efforts to get an audience with the Minister to discuss this Submission.

I will continue to keep you all up to date as things progress.

Best Wishes,

Deborah Zang and Karen Starkiss

Meeting with Christopher Pyne, Australian Federal Minister for Education. A chance to have your say.

In June, Liz Dunoon is meeting with Christopher Pyne. Teachers, parents and students can tell him what you think about  current provision for students with Dyslexia. To find out more click here

Pre-Budget Submission for SLD/Dyslexia Priority for the 13/14 Victorian State Budget.

Several key SLD/Dyslexia Interest Groups have submitted a Pre-Budget submission concerning funding particularly to train teaching students but also to improve accessibility and Inclusion in Victoria's schools. We have also requested a meeting with the Minister of Education the
Hon Martin Dixon MLA
to discuss this submission. 


We will update keep you updated on the results of this Submission and our meeting with the Minister.  Click here to view Submission: 26 March 14 Pre-Budget Submission

 

Inclusive Learning Conference. On 26th June I will be presenting at an Inclusive Learning Conference in Melbourne. The conference is suitable for professionals with experience or an interest in learning
and education for people aged 14 years and over.
For more information 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

DYSLEXIA  FINALLY TO BE RECOGNISED IN AUSTRALIA

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

I NOW HAVE FOUR NEW COURSES FOR TEACHERS:  

see next column for details

A GREAT SITE TO HELP CHILDREN UNDERSTAND THEIR DYSLEXIA Click Here

CHANGES IN SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN VCE EXAMS   March 2013

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

FREE FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS IN VICTORIA TO TO BECOME DYSLEXIA-FRIENDLY

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.

 NEW DYSLEXIA-FRIENDLY FONT- FREE TO DOWNLOAD

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 http://opendyslexic.org/

 

FREE VOICE RECOGNITION SOFTWARE ON WORD

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 Courses for schools and colleges 

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

NDCO Program: Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment for students with Dyslexia and other LDs   Wednesday, 22 October 2014 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM Southern Region for students 14 yrs+

Info and register

DYSLEXIA AWARE SCHOOLS in AUSTRALIA

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 a 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 but Training may include:

Whole staff training to make classes dyslexia-friendly:

Specific training for integration/support staff about designing individual programs using evidence-based teaching and multi-sensory instruction

Advice on resources and programs

Training in the use of assessment materials

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:

Meeting the Needs of Students with Dyslexia and other LDs- Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

 

Using Games to Develop Language and Vocabulary in the Classroom click here

 

Success Stories for Social Situations -for Children with Autism

click here 

Teaching Reading to Struggling Upper Primary and Secondary School Students click here

 

MAKE YOUR SCHOOL DYSLEXIA-FRIENDLY

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.

Now providing in-service courses for schools (times and dates are flexible) and also courses for Casual Relief Teachers. See individual programs for testimonies.

Meeting the Needs of Children with Dyslexia:

 

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