Heidi Gregory, Carolyn Merrett and Sarah Asome each discovered a lack of high-quality information, and an abundance of snake oil vendors, when searching for help for their own children who struggled to learn to read and spell.
Determined to help others in the same situation, they’ve:
- Set up a Facebook page that now has over 3500 members,
- Mentored the launch of 16 local and regional Victorian dyslexia support groups,
- Developed a website,
- Collated over 100 dyslexia-related factsheets,
- Coordinated an annual state-wide family day for dyslexia awareness
(Light it Red for Dyslexia), and
- Supported the launch of a national dyslexia network (Code REaD Network)
The team answers daily queries, coordinates dyslexia awareness events, shares knowledge
at information sessions, and collaborates with industry bodies, all on a volunteer basis in their (not in the least bit) copious spare time.
They collectively personify the saying “if you want something done, ask a busy person”.
If there’s anything in life that can make politicians, bureacrats and teachers sit up and take notice, it’s angry mums demanding better for their kids, and for other kids like them.
Here’s how they’ve responded to getting this well-deserved recognition:
“The team at DVS is really a small group of volunteers who give their time to support and advocate for Victorians with dyslexia. To receive this formal recognition is incredibly humbling. We would like to thank all those who support us on an ongoing basis, as well as the Premier and the Governor for their formal acknowledgement of our crucial work”, said Co-founder Ms Gregory.
“Each of us has been affected personally by lack of appropriate information earlier in our journeys with dyslexia. We wanted to provide evidence-based resources in an accessible way to assist others and prevent the waste of precious time and money that comes from being misinformed”, says Ms Merritt.
“With so many misconceptions surrounding dyslexia and what constitutes evidence-based
interventions, DVS has been pivotal in supporting thousands of people across the state.
We would like to see everyone with dyslexia have equal access to success in our schools and workplaces. The DVS team feel extremely privileged to be recognised for their volunteer work,” says Mrs. Asome.
Heidi, Sarah and Carolyn have been invited to a formal ceremony honouring all award recipients at Government House on Sunday, 9 September, to be attended by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Governor Linda Dessau AC.
Let’s hope they can get in the Premier’s ear, and convince him it’s INSANE that schools are still telling young children to “read” books containing spellings they’ve never been taught, by memorising and guessing, instead of giving them books they can actually sound out (usually because schools have very few or no such books, but the Premier could fix that).
Congratulations, Carolyn, Sarah and Heidi!