Dyslexia Association Ireland (DAI) launches research findings to mark Ireland’s first Dyslexia Awareness Week

Theme: “Small Change – Big Impact”

  • 97% of teachers agree that they need and would benefit from training on dyslexia
  • 93% of teachers agree that earlier identification helps them to better support learning needs
  • 92% teachers report that their pre-service dyslexia training did not prepare them for the classroom


Dyslexia Association Ireland (DAI) launches research findings to mark Ireland’s first Dyslexia Awareness Week

DAI Ambassadors Jane McGrath (star of TV3’s Red Rock) and Catherine Byrne (Fair City), with children from the Catherine McAuley School in Baggot St. launch Dyslexia Awareness Week.

The Dyslexia Association Ireland (DAI) has released the findings of its first research survey as part of the week-long public awareness campaign focused on World Dyslexia Day, Thursday October 8th. The survey, with 787 respondents, includes opinions from students, teachers, parents and adults living with dyslexia and can be found on dyslexia.ie, alongside detail of fundraising activities for the week.


Equitable access to identification and intervention is the clear message outlined from research findings as over three quarters of parents with a dyslexic child felt that earlier identification would have helped their child’s dyslexia, and 93% of teachers agree that early identification of dyslexia would help them to better support a child’s learning needs.

Correlating with this, 60% of students (under 18) with dyslexia are not confident that their teachers understand their dyslexia and know how to help them.


Rosie Bissett, CEO of DAI, said, “Families in Ireland are forced to seek private assessment and supports as the education system is simply not meeting their needs. And what about the countless families who can’t afford private services? Resource allocation is linked strongly with diagnostic assessment of need – without equitable access to assessment children are not able to access supports which they need and are entitled to. Our survey also shows that even after dyslexia is identified, 55% of parents report ongoing difficulty in gaining help for their child.


Research has long shown the benefits of early identification and targeted intervention – we should not wait for these children to fail. Our education system must be built on principles of fairness and equitable access.”


The research’s most startling statistic highlighted that only 30% of teachers reported receiving any pre-service training on dyslexia or special learning difficulties, which explains why over 90% of teachers felt they were not adequately prepared for the classroom.


With two thirds of parents dissatisfied with the level of government support provided to assist families dealing with dyslexia, and a further 22% unsure of what the government actually provides there is a lot of work to be done by the Government in assisting families and the Irish public with learning needs.


Donald Ewing, Head of Psychological and Educational Services of DAI, added, Without a significant commitment to improve teacher training on dyslexia, there is a real risk that dyslexic children’s needs will continue to be unidentified and unmet. Every class teacher needs some knowledge on dyslexia identification and support strategies.  Specialist teachers need advanced training to enable them to assess for dyslexia, and to support the school-wide provision of evidence-based teaching interventions.” 


Small changes in practice and policy could have a big impact for people with dyslexia.



For more information see www.dyslexia.ie 


With early identification and the right supports, Irish children with dyslexia can succeed with reading.


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About Dyslexia: Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty affecting the acquisition of fluent and accurate reading and spelling skills. This occurs despite access to appropriate learning opportunities. Dyslexia is characterised by cognitive difficulties in (1) phonological processing, (2) working memory, and (3) speed of retrieval of information from long term memory. Dyslexic difficulties occur on a continuum from mild to severe and affect approximately 10% of the population. People with dyslexia may experience greater stress and frustration as they endeavour to learn, resulting in heightened anxiety, particularly in relation to literacy acquisition. People with dyslexia may also have accompanying learning strengths.


About Dyslexia Association of Ireland: Founded in 1972, the Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) works with and for people affected by dyslexia, by providing information, offering appropriate support services, engaging in advocacy and raising awareness of dyslexia.

DAI is a membership based Association currently representing over 2,000 families and individuals all over Ireland and has a nationwide network of 37 Branches and Workshops offering local community based services throughout Ireland. Its membership also includes teachers, psychologists and other professionals. DAI is a registered charity.


A full list of Branches nationwide can be found at http://www.dyslexia.ie/about/dai-structure/nationwide-branches/


DAI is a founder member of the European Dyslexia Association, which now has over twenty-five member countries, and is also a founder member of the Spectrum Alliance, an umbrella group for people with hidden learning difficulties. DAI is also a member of the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), the Wheel and a Global Partner of the International Dyslexia Association.


About Research: The Irish data/statistics quoted were generated from online surveys undertaken with DAI members and the public in spring 2015. In total, there were 787 responses from parents, teachers, adults and students with dyslexia.

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