Australian Dyslexia Association Inc.(ADA) - Solutions for those who learn differently

Dyslexia in Australia


Dyslexia In Australia: 

Dyslexia is estimated to affect some 10% of the Australian population.In Australia the term SLD (Specific/Significant Learning Difficulty/Disabilty) or LD (Learning Difficulty) are used interchangeably and as an umbrella term for a variety of difficulties which may or may not be dyslexia.

Understanding Dyslexia: 
Dyslexia is best understood as a persistent difficulty with reading and spelling.                                                                                                                                    
Early Identification & Early Intervention: 

Children identified "at risk" should receive a structured literacy approach. Preventing the difficulties is the key so it is paramount that early grade teachers know how to teach the critical components of reading and spelling. Including the pre cursor skills (oral language skills).

Learning Differently: " Really a child with 'dyslexia' needs the same instruction that benefits all children"
Students with dyslexia need the same educational opportunties as other students.  

Educators can be trained in effective teaching practices which will not only help the student with dyslexia learn but all students can benefit by direct, explicit and systematic, structured literacy instruction. An understanding of the development and acquisition of reading and spelling is required and many teachers would benefit from specialised language and literacy training.

Improved Teacher Training in Reading & Spelling Instruction:
Figures form the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (NITL),Australia, indicate that half the 34 Bachelor of Education teacher training courses in Australia devoted less than 5% of their four-year curriculum to teaching reading.How many teachers have received training in the core elements set down by the NRP 2003 and NITL for effective literacy instruction?

Click: relevant page of the NITL report on teachers in Australia

The ADA supports the need to identify children in schools with a dyslexic profile who are either left identified,not failing enough for support or who are supported under the education system's umbrella term SLD.The ADA supports the need to identify all students who have literacy struggles and ensure that all have access to evidence based educational practices.  

"The field of ‘learning difficulties’ still remains as a field of unclear definitions, disparate classification and some confusion in relation to which students are being discussed under the umbrella term and what equitable provision might entail for this group of students." Reference 3

Dyslexia and the Law in Australia: 
Dyslexia is recognised in Australian under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and under the Human Rights Commission. 
The Australian Working Party have produced a document "Helping People with Dyslexia: A National Agenda" which outlines key recommendations. See below for both:
Read: "Helping People with Dyslexia: A National Agenda" Australia
Read: Government's Response to "Helping People with Dyslexia: A National Agenda" Australia
Dyslexia is included as a disability under the DDA 1992 section f as stated in the document.
Disability Standards Education (2005):

http://education.gov.au/disability-standards-education

 

 

References:
1.Canadian Dyslexia Association
2.TSRH
3.Effective Teaching and Learning Practices for Students with Learning Difficulties in Queensland .DEEWR
4.NITL
5.Australian Government