Rosie Bissett, CEO, Dyslexia Association of Ireland
6.45am My five-year-old daughter, Ella, has just started school so we are getting used to our new morning routine. I drop her off before heading to work in Talbot St, Dublin city centre. 9am I check my schedule for the day and answer emails before meeting other staff. We have an educational psychology team and an information team. We run a busy helpline and the information team notes emerging trends, for example, if an examrelated issue generates lots of concerned calls, we might need to contact the State Examination Commission. 10am I meet our development and support officer (adult services). Her role is to raise awareness of adult dyslexia. One third of the assessments we conduct are of adults, and most are subsidised as many are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Adults with a learning difficulty are more likely to be unemployed or to work part-time. 12noon I get a phonecall from a journalist looking to talk to Margaret Rooke, author of the recently published Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time). Margaret, who is UK-based, approached us for help sourcing Irish children to contribute to her book. It’s a unique book where children talk about their experience of dyslexia and what they really need to help them. 1.30pm I have lunch with the team. 2pm I touch base with the co-ordinator of our career paths course in Leixlip, Co Kildare. It’s a free, full-time nine-month course for unemployed adults with dyslexia. Some employers take a positive approach to dyslexia in the workplace. 3pm October is Dyslexia Awareness Month so we have been busy planning the messaging. I have survey data to crunch and press releases to prepare. There are still lots of myths around dyslexia —. that people with dyslexia see words back-tofront. In fact, dyslexia is not a visual difficulty but a different way of processing information, affecting much more than reading and spelling, such as working memory and organisation. It doesn’t mean a low IQ. 6pm I set off home, collecting Ella from afterschool along the way, to spend some quality time with family.
Dyslexia Association of Ireland ■ helpline: 01-877 6001
“Dyslexia does not mean a low IQ”