Welcome to our community pages

We get a lot of emails and communications from the neurodiverse community, including clever entrepreneurs, creatives, engineers, carers and everyone else out there with brilliant ideas, new products, and just other stuff which you might be interested in. We do update these pages regularly to ensure the information is up to date, so make sure you scroll right to the end.

All published posts will have been checked, but The Dyslexia Association is not responsible for the content whether this be in a blog, links to other sites, or any other form of user-generated media. All posts, and other information require authors to identify themselves.

If you would like something published on these pages, send this in to helpline@thedyslexia.co.uk, with the title: Community Pages

Do you like to knit, but need dyslexia friendly knitting patterns? Alice Furness has been in touch to let us know that she has solved your problems….

I publish all my patterns on dyslexic friendly backgrounds as I, myself, am dyslexic. I like to include this to make knitting more inclusive because I believe that knitting and knitwear is for everyone! That’s also one of the reasons you’ll see so many different models in my photos.
I started knitting in 2018 during the summer holidays when I was a primary school teacher, but I got really obsessed after I was in a car crash and lost my job due to injuries. Knitting saved my brain and I hope it can help others too. Because I now have SUNCT and cognitive difficulties, I try to channel that into my patterns; knitting for people like me and people who have other difficulties. I’ll think about which seam will work well for those with sensory needs, I’ll think about what pattern will be best to keep the wind off my face and ears, and I’ll think about what kind of gloves will help me tell left from right. My knitting patterns are my own little corner of the world that help in my fight for inclusivity and how to stay well. I hope they help you to do this too, or that you just enjoy how they look!

As an ex-teacher, I understand how dyslexic and many neurodivergent people learn, which makes it easier for me to teach them during my knitting classes. I try to make these classes as accessible and easy going as I can. If you want to learn to knit with me come and find me in Leek, Staffordshire where we are lucky enough to have 2 wonderful shops full of yarn and chock full of knowledge. 

Alice has created a 15% discount code to use for ravelry,  until September 18th, the code is DyslexiaAware, use this link  https://www.ravelry.com/designers/alice-furness

Introducing Clipboard TTS: Read Without Limits!

Created by Leyton O’Day as a passion project to support his partner during her university studies, where she faced the challenge of not having access to assistive software tailored for her dyslexia, Clipboard TTS serves as an invaluable tool empowering you to read, listen, and translate like never before.

Features:
Text-to-speech: Detects when you copy a text or image, and instantly reads it aloud! No more copy-paste!. With support for 49 languages and 100+ voices, you can listen to your text in the language and voice of your choice.
Image-to-text: When you copy an image, Clipboard TTS will automatically detect any text within the image, and convert it to speech.
Highlighting: The current sentence and word being read aloud are visually emphasized with a colour of your choice, making it easy to follow along with the text. This feature is especially helpful for individuals with reading difficulties or those who need additional visual cues while reading.
Overlays: Improves the readability of the text by changing the background colour of the output box. This feature is especially useful for individuals with dyslexia who have difficulty reading text on a white background.
Font Customization: Customizing font type (with support for the OpenDyslexic font!), letter spacing, and size enhances readability and allows readers to personalize the text to their preferences. Previewing the changes provides a helpful representation, enabling users to fine-tune settings for optimal readability.
BoldCue: The first half of each word is made bold, providing clear visual cues that help your eyes quickly jump from one word to the next. This makes it possible to read quicker and with greater comprehension.
Auto Translation: Automatically detects the language of the copied text and translates it to the language of your selected voice. Anything you copy will be instantly translated!
AI Assist: An experimental feature that utilizes artificial intelligence to mutate the copied text based on a custom prompt of your design. e.g., you copy an article paragraph, the AI Assist summarises the paragraph, and the summarised version is read aloud instantly!
Substitutions: Customize the text before it’s read aloud. You can use substitutions to replace certain words or characters with others, such as changing “e.g.” to “for example” or removing a dot to prevent a pause in the audio.
Custom Mutations Order: Many features mutate the output text, such as Auto-Translation, Substitutions, Auto-Dictionary, and AI Assist. When multiple features are active simultaneously, you have the flexibility to tailor the sequence in which they modify the copied text with our “Custom Mutations Order” feature.
See more features here: https://www.clipboardtts.com/product/features

Claim Your Free Trial!

Sign up here: https://www.clipboardtts.com/auth/sign-up

This is Andy Salmon from Sir Linkalot and his new exciting app

Sir Linkalot is an award-winning app for spelling tricky words from ‘was’ to ‘onomatopoeia’ that many dyslexia associations have called groundbreaking.

To find out what it’s all about, take a peek at this clip that contains a ‘celeb warning’ at the end   Sir Linkaot – Taster video

The annual subscription from any app store is £50 but there is a 40% discount for members of dyslexia associations.

If you’d like to the most of this offer, send an email to sirlinkalot@sirlinkalot.org, putting in the subject line ‘TDA discount’.

You will be emailed a code that will give the whole household access on any device including laptops and PCs.

It has never been done before to this extent and that’s why it’s getting so much attention.

Your use of mnemonics (links) in this way is a brilliant idea – Ruth Miskin CBE, government advisor and creator of The UK’s leading phonics programme ‘Read Write Inc’

Congratulations on tackling something that no one has managed to tackle. It’s incredible – Susie Dent, Countdown’s resident lexicographer

An utterly brilliant system for creating a world of wonderful happy spellers – Stephen Fry

This is fantastic. I can now spell diarrhoea! – Sir Paul McCartney

Brooke Dennis, Employment Specialist, has been in to our office to tell us all about a new project from the East Midlands Chamber

The service will be delivered by:

East Midlands Chamber – all in work provision and some delivery to unemployed and economically inactive people in all areas

Inspire – delivery to unemployed and economically inactive people in South Nottinghamshire

Futures – delivery to unemployed and economically inactive people in Nottingham City

Working Well East Midlands is aimed at adults who have a physical disability, health condition or mental ill health, as defined by the Equality Act 2010, to help them move into competitive employment, providing the support they need to maintain that employment.

Working Well East Midlands will work with people who:

  • are aged 18 or over.
  • are unemployed or employed.
  • live or registered with a GP surgery in Nottingham City, Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe
  • have a disability/health condition and/or are experiencing low mental wellbeing.

People can be referred into the service or can self-refer.

Dedicated coaches offer :

  • Personalised one-on-one support to help you discover fulfilling paid employment tailored just for you. They are committed to being an advocate, recognising potential, and assisting the client in securing suitable full- or part-time work.
  • Provide guidance on managing debts, accessing benefits, and maintaining your wellbeing, continuing our support even after you’ve landed your new job.
  • Support employed individuals and employers in maintaining a healthy workforce, providing training and valuable advice through our team of experienced and approachable professionals.

The website / portal for referrals is now live and you can find more information on the service here https://workingwelleastmidlands.co.uk/

Edward Spencer from Highlightly

🌟 Discover a New Way to Read with Highlightly: Empowering Neurodivergent Readers! 🌟

At Highlightly, we believe that reading should be an empowering experience, especially for those who navigate the world through a neurodivergent lens. Our revolutionary approach transforms the reading journey, providing a supportive platform that understands and caters to diverse needs.

📚 The Power of Contextual Highlighting

Unlike traditional methods of rewording or summarizing text, Highlightly brings a fresh perspective to reading. We believe in the strength of context, and our innovative solution highlights key sentences within their contextual framework. This not only eliminates unnecessary details but also empowers you to focus on what truly matters, fostering efficient and effective reading.

👩‍🎓 Supporting Skim Reading for Students

Skim reading is a vital skill, especially for students navigating through extensive study materials. We recognise the importance of this skill and have designed Highlightly to support this by keeping the surrounding text of highlights available. So you can say goodbye to wading through layers of information; instead, embrace the ability to quickly identify and absorb essential content.

📑 Smart Highlighting Modes for Every Scenario

Highlightly isn’t just a one size fits all summary generator; it’s a versatile reading companion. With multiple smart highlighting modes catering to different scenarios, helping you find the information you need quickly.

🚀 Born Out of Necessity: A Personal Journey

Highlightly was born out of a personal necessity. As someone who is dyslexic, I couldn’t get through all my university readings. While screen readers offered assistance, they couldn’t be the complete solution. Before Highlightly, the arduous task of listening to entire books became the norm, taking up precious time. Highlightly changes the game by allowing users to skim read just the important new ideas in a document efficiently, saving time and energy.

🌐 Available Anytime, Anywhere: Web and iOS Compatibility

Highlightly is available both on the web and iOS so you can work dome home or on the go on phone or iPad.

🙌 Join the Highlightly Community and 🌈 Experience the Joy of Reading with Highlightly

We are dedicated to enhancing the reading experience for neurodivergent individuals and we hope you find Highlightly as transformative as we do.

We hope that you give Highlightly a go. We are committed to constantly improving the app. If you have ideas, thoughts, or feedback, we would love to hear from you. Your inputs will help us shape the future of Highlightly and reading for everyone in our wonderful community.

🚀 Download Highlightly Today and Revolutionize Your Reading Experience! 🚀

iOS: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/highlightly/id6448940688

web: https://www.highlightly.app

Suggested Resource from Sid Youngman

How to Help Your Dyslexic Teen Do Their Best in Exams: https://www.mytutor.co.uk/blog/parents/how-to-help-your-dyslexic-teen-do-their-best-in-exams

New reading resource: Anna Levinson

LukaLab

How does LukuLab help struggling and dyslexic readers?

Each child receives short and effective daily reading workouts throughout the entire school year.

The difficulty level of tasks is aligned with each student’s talents and needs.

The program trains dozens of small skills which were identified during computational analysis of children’s reading errors.

The children build competency in all important reading skills, from phonemic awareness to phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension.

The students complete exercises in collaboration with their teachers or parents, who do not need to have training in special education.

LukuLab specifically targets students with ADHD/ADD by motivating children with attention deficits to sustain their focus.

Joe from Durham Univesity has told us about their new book about to be launched, and you are invited (if you are in Durham) on 22nd May 2024

Joe has told us that you may be interested not only in their comprehensive review of the literature on dyslexia but also in their position as they outline the concerns about the use of the term dyslexia to describe a severe and persistent difficulty in reading. Durham University recommend that the field should take an educational rather than a traditional quasi-medical approach involving formal diagnosis and labelling. Of course, Joe understands that not everyone will like or agree with this recommendation but they hope this book will help to clarify the key issues that underpin this suggestion.

Sarah Mitchell has been in touch with a  solution for the frustration of finding the right resources

As a specialist literacy teacher, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by the lack of resources available especially for older students. I know I certainly felt that way when I completed my Level 5 certificate. Where were the resources that made it easy to explicitly teach phonics, morphology, grammar, and writing skills? The ones I found were often lengthy, outdated, and left too much of the planning to the reader.

I recall feeling like I was stuck in a rut, searching for resources that would provide the structure and guidance I needed to support my students’ learning. But what I found was either too vague or too rigid, leaving me with more questions than answers.

As I began to create my own resources, I knew that I had to make them different. I wanted to create something that would be easy to use, evidence-based, and accessible to all specialist teachers. Something that would provide the clarity and guidance we needed to teach literacy with confidence.

After years of working with students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), I knew that what they needed was a systematic and sequential approach to learning. An approach that would identify and address their gaps in knowledge, rather than trying to follow a rigid program from start to finish.

 

**The Teaching Structured Literacy Series**

The result is the Teaching Structured Literacy Series, a set of four books designed to support specialist teachers like you. Each book is carefully crafted to provide clear structure, guidance, and activities that can be tailored to your students’ specific needs.

The first book, “The Ultimate Scope and Sequence for Teaching Structured Literacy,” provides a comprehensive framework for teaching literacy, including phonics, morphology, etymology and accurate spelling rules.

 

**Feedback from Claire Harvey, Head of Education at the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre:

“A cumulative, sequential, step-by-step approach to teaching literacy underpins all specialist tuition. Checklists to track progress, and word examples for each task. I wish I had this book when I was training!”

 

The second book, “How to Teach Every Spelling Pattern Ever,” delves into the why behind spelling patterns and words, providing explanations.

Claire says:

“Includes not only the WHAT to teach but also the HOW to teach spelling, including explanations for WHY words are spelt as they are. Drawing on morphology, etymology, and phonology, this book delivers a story behind even some of the trickiest letter patterns and words to teach, making them ultimately more accessible, meaningful, and memorable for both the specialist teacher and the learner. This is a super resource for any specialist teacher to have in their toolbox!”

 

 

The third book, “Assessing Reading and Spelling: For Teaching Structured Literacy,” offers checklists and assessments to help identify specific areas of difficulty and track progress.

Claire says:

“Supports specialist teachers to assess, plan and then deliver personalised literacy targets based on their learner’s specific areas of weakness and gaps.”

 

 

And finally, “Transform Your Literacy Intervention” provides practical advice on how to structure lessons with SpLD learners, along with valuable resources and reinforcement activities.

Claire says:

“For any specialist teacher looking for support on how to structure their lessons with SpLD learners, this book delivers. It includes a lesson template alongside valuable advice on how to deliver lessons to ensure targets and teaching goals are achieved. There are some super examples of teaching resources and plenty of reinforcement activities and games to ensure learners can practice and embed new skills. Thank you, Sarah, for another super book in your range.”

**What You’ve Been Waiting For**

I’ve been thrilled to hear from hundreds of specialist teachers who have used my resources and have seen real improvements in their students’ learning. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with many teachers praising the clarity and simplicity of the resources.

As someone who has been in your shoes, I understand the frustration and uncertainty that comes with trying to find the right resources. But I’m confident that my series can help you overcome these challenges and provide the support you need to teach literacy with confidence.

So why not take a look at the Teaching Structured Literacy Series today? With these resources at your fingertips, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your literacy teaching practice and making a real difference in the lives of your students.

Available at the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre online bookshop. A portion of the sale goes to the charity.

The Ultimate Scope and Sequence:

https://helenarkell.org.uk/product/ultimate-scope-and-sequence-for-teaching-structured-literacy/

How To Teach Every Spelling Pattern Ever:

https://helenarkell.org.uk/product/how-to-teach-every-spelling-pattern-ever/

Assessing reading and spelling:

https://helenarkell.org.uk/product/assessing-reading-and-spelling-sarah-mitchell/

Transform Your Literacy Intervention:

https://helenarkell.org.uk/product/transform-your-literacy-intervention/

www.helenarkell.org.uk