Dyslexia International News Release
News Release embargoed until 09.30am Central Europe Time, Friday 5 October 2012
DYSLEXIA INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES ONLINE OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Today, 5 October CET, Dyslexia International (DI) launches its free, online, open educational resources at www.dyslexia-international.org. DI’s patron, HRH Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, will declare the new site open at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. The new DI site will feature an‘e-Campus’ for teachers and trainers, a meeting place for education authorities, and a country by country directory of contacts. DI envisages building the e-Campus and its other open education resources as a joint venture that will gain momentum as more visitors share their expertise at a site that brings together teachers, trainers and education authorities. The organisation’s vision is to see specific reading difficulties addressed within education systems worldwide and be fully understood as an inhibitor to personal development and social integration unless it is identified and addressed.
Teachers and trainers will have global access to selected training materials that are both scientifically grounded and free of charge. From a lecture hall, film library, software section and reading room respectively, teachers can find free courses, presentations by researchers, films, articles and guides. Informal tests can be found at the test centre and a laboratory shows some of the recent scientific techniques used in research into dyslexia. Links are given for forums for the exchange of ideas on good teaching. Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish Language departments are under construction.
The e-Campus meets DI’s objectives: to promote equal educational opportunities for those who struggle with reading and writing, and free and fair education for all, by making teacher training the priority. It was established on research findings which showed that students with specific reading difficulties can be taught inclusively and effectively in mainstream education, provided their teachers are trained to understand the nature of reading failure, how to identify it, and how to adapt their teaching.
Teachers who take advantage of the free online learning course will be equipped to bring new hope to at least 10 per cent of society’s most excluded sector. There are 700 million people worldwide with specific reading difficulties. Dr Vincent Goetry, DI e-Campus co-ordinator for teachers and trainers, commented: “By using the free, online learning course, education authorities worldwide can disseminate continuously updated, professional development materials for teachers, or print out guides, where computer access is limited, for use throughout their entire school system free of charge. To date, English, French and Portuguese versions of the course are available. Arabic and Spanish versions are in production”.
Education authorities that ensure all their teachers are trained to include those with reading difficulties will see their students’ literacy levels rise. Teachers will find information on the nature of dyslexia and how it is addressed in other countries, statistics on literacy rates and other relevant information. They will be invited to exchange ideas on such matters as the costs to society when reading failure is not addressed, school drop-out, marginalisation, and appropriate teaching at an early stage by trained teachers that brings about social inclusion.
Note to editors:
Dr Franck Ramus, senior research scientist at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives etPsycholinguistique, Institute of Cognitive Studies, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France, and a member of Dyslexia International’s scientific advisory panel of professors and researchers, will be available for interview. Please contact ?? to arrange.
Background and objectives
Dyslexia International is based in Brussels, Belgium, where it was officially registered in 2000. It was recognised by UNESCO in 2006 and in 2012 was granted consultative status. DI is also registered in the UK.
Judith Sanson is chair of the board of directors, Dr Vincent Goetry is the co-ordinator of the e-Campus for teachers and trainers, and Julien Affinito is the co-ordinator of the education authorities meeting place.
In February 2010, DI co-ordinated the first World Dyslexia Forum at UNESCO Paris. UNESCO’sgoodwill ambassador, HRH The Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, granted her patronage to the forum. Ministries of education worldwide were invited to send their teacher-training officials. To see the full progamme of presentations by leading researchers in literacy and dyslexia go to:
DI personnel work closely with a consultancy e-team composed of researchers and practisingteachers, headed by a scientific advisory panel comprising professors and researchers in reading development and reading failure from universities in Belgium (Brussels, Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve), Canada (British Columbia), China (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), France (ÉcoleNormaleSupérieure, Paris), Greece (Patras), Israel (Haifa), Italy (Pavia, Milan), Lebanon (Lebanese American University), The Netherlands (Amsterdam), the UK (London, Oxford, Swansea) and the US (Harvard and Yale). Teams of volunteer professionals give their skills and time in all aspects of our work to advance the interests of all students with reading failure.
a non-governmental organisationin consultative status with UNESCO
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