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The Alphabet Jump

Alphabet Jump 2018 1

DAI needs 26 thrill seekers for the Alphabet Jump, our charity skydive, each one representing a letter of the alphabet. What letter will you be?

Date: Saturday 29th September, 2018 (weather permitting).

Venue: Clonbullogue Airfield, Edenderry, Co. Offaly.

Participants are asked to raise €500 minimum (€260 covers the reduced rate cost for a charity jump and the balance goes to the Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) to support our services for children and adults with dyslexia). Sponsorship cards are available from either the Dyslexia Association of Ireland or from the Irish Parachute Club. You can create a personal fundraising page on You can also opt to donate all of the funds raised to DAI and pay for the sky-dive yourself directly.

All funds raised from the Alphabet Jump will support our free information service, assessment and tuition for disadvantaged families dealing with dyslexia. If you would like to sign up to take part, or have any questions, please contact the Dyslexia Association of Ireland at 01 877 6001 or email Please also read the Brochure and Important Info for Participants below:

Alphabet Jump 2018 – BROCHURE

Important Info for Participants


Join Our Team

JOB VACANCY – Educational Psychologists

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland is recruiting for full or part-time educational psychologists to join our team.

Applicants should hold a masters or doctorate level professional qualification in educational psychology.

See DAI Educational Psychologist – Job Description for more information.

Applicants should email their CV to



JOB VACANCY – Finance Manager

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland wishes to recruit a Part-time (0.5 FTE) Finance Manager to join our current team.  The Finance Manager will be responsible for all financial and related administrative matters of DAI, and will report to, and work closely with, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  In addition, the Finance Manager will partner with the CEO, and Board, to develop and strengthen strategies relating to finance across our national organisation.  This role will be based in our national office in Dublin.

See the job description below for further information:

Finance Manager Job Description 20180107 (PDF)

Candidates wishing to apply for this post should email their CV, and a short cover letter outlining their suitability for the role, to: Rosie Bissett, CEO, Dyslexia Association of Ireland at

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Wednesday 7th February 2018. It is anticipated that interviews will be held with shortlisted candidates on Thursday 15th February 2018 at our national office in Dublin.


Charity eBay Auction – Premium Ticket to the Pendulum Summit – in aid of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland

The generous organisers of the Pendulum Summit have donated a ticket to their world leading business and self-empowerment event to the Dyslexia Association of Ireland which we are now auctioning on eBay to raise funds for our support services – As a charitable donation, tax relief can also be claimed.

The Pendulum Summit takes place on January 10-11, 2018, at the Convention Centre in Dublin. Their mission is to enable individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses to achieve excellence by asking the best minds from around the world to stimulate disruptive, game-changing and visionary thinking. Their tagline for 2018 – Breakthrough to Brilliance, and their line-up includes some highly successful people with dyslexia.

Speakers at this world class business summit include Sir Richard Branson, Marci Shimoff, Jack Daly, Bob Rotella, Baroness Michelle Mone, Randi Zuckerberg, Martyn Newman, Brad Sugars, Paul O’Connell, Jo Malone and James Caan.

Tickets for this event start from €885. We are auctioning this ticket to the highest bidder, or you can buy now for €1000. All profits from this charity auction will be used to provide supports services to people with dyslexia, including information, assessment, and education.

You can bid now at The auction will close on December 20.

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST with any friends, or business colleagues, who may be interested in attending this prestigious business event.


JOB VACANCY – National Workshop Manager

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland wishes to recruit a Part-time (0.6 FTE) National Workshop Manager to join our current team.  The National Workshop Manager will be responsible for managing DAI’s nationwide network of after-school workshops, supporting their operations and managing their performance, to ensure that services are provided in a professional, effective and efficient manner. The National Workshop Manager will be directly responsible for line managing all DAI Workshop Coordinators. The Workshop Manager will report to DAI’s Head of Psychological and Educational Services. The role will be based in our national office in Dublin and will involve regular evening and some Saturday working, with nationwide travel.

See the Job Description below for further information:

National Workshop Manager – Job Description 20171213

Candidates wishing to apply for this post should email their CV, and a short cover letter outlining their suitability for the role, to: Rosie Bissett, CEO, Dyslexia Association of Ireland at

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday 12th January 2018. It is anticipated that interviews will be held with shortlisted candidates on Monday 22nd January 2018 at our national office in Dublin.


Christmas Cards 2017

Spread some joy with our brand new selection of Christmas cards.

Cards come in packs of 10 and cost €8 per pack (which includes €1.50 p&p per pack). Our 4 new designs for 2017 are:

  • Santa Claus
  • Let it Snow
  • Polar Bears
  • Carol Singers

We also have some older designs available as a lucky dip, at the bargain price of just €5.00 per pack (incl. p&p).

Please email us at or phone 01 8776001 to place your order.

You can also drop into our national office on Talbot St. during normal office hours.


DAI Response to the Findings of Le Floch and Ropars

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland welcomes any high-quality research that offers to shed light on the cause or treatment of dyslexia.  We are therefore interested in the newly published research findings of Le Floch & Ropers (2017).

Whilst the research seems to offer potential new insights into dyslexia, we recognise that the theory being presented is a very new one. This should be considered in the context of the vast body of existing research looking at the relationship between visual deficit/difference and dyslexia, research which suggests the relationship is not a strong one; and far less strong to the relationship between dyslexia and phonological deficit.

The validity of all findings should be taken with the context of the methodology in mind, e.g. how the ‘dyslexic’ group were themselves diagnosed; the absence of a control treatment group (and consequent likelihood of a placebo effect); the small sample size; specific age group; and the lack of an attempt to integrate their findings with previous findings in the literature.

It would also be important to allow other researchers, ideally in other jurisdictions where dyslexia may have a broader or different meaning, to replicate the methodology of Le Floch & Ropars, and establish if their findings can be independently replicated and verified.

In summary, the DAI cautiously welcomes this new research and urges further academic debate about the validity of the findings, and further research to verify the findings of this paper.


Le Floch, A. & Ropars, G. (2017) Left-right asymmetry of the Maxwell sport centroids in adults without and with dyslexia. Proc. R. Soc. B 284: 20171380.


Join Our Team

DAI Recruitment – Specialist Literacy Tutor (Re-advertisement)

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland is currently recruiting for a part-time (0.5 FTE) Specialist Literacy Tutor to join the team at our Career Paths Centre in Leixlip, Co. Kildare.

The successful candidate will be responsible for delivering specialist literacy tuition, and some numeracy tuition, to adult learners with dyslexia who attend our Career Paths course, a full-time training course for dyslexic adults run by DAI in conjunction with KWETB and SOLAS.

A full job description, including person specification, is available at:

Applicants should email their CV, and a short cover letter outlining their suitability for this role, to:  Rosie Bissett, CEO, Dyslexia Association of Ireland, at

The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday 27th October 2017.  Interviews will be held on November 6th or 7th at our national office in Dublin. The successful candidate should be available to start as soon as possible.

This is a re-advertisement.


Member Survey to Inform New Strategic Plan

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) is developing its new five-year strategic plan for 2018 – 2023 and we need your help!

We are interested in hearing from our members and clients about how our organisation is doing and how we can improve our services over the coming years. We will be using feedback from you our members, young people and adults with dyslexia, our staff, our Board and other partner organisations to inform the development of our new strategic plan.

The survey is anonymous and should take no more than 10-minutes to complete. We would really appreciate your time and honesty to help make this an ambitious, achievable strategic plan for our organisation so that we can work together to meet the needs of people with dyslexia.

To complete the survey, please click on the following link:

Thanking you in advance!


Have Your Voice Heard via Our New Surveys (Spring 2017).


In order to gain a picture of the current dyslexia experience in Ireland, DAI is conducting a series of surveys with different groups. This provides an important avenue for your voice to be heard. It will also assist DAI in planning our activities, especially in the area of advocacy and campaigning for the current needs of people affected by dyslexia in Ireland. Essentially we want to know your experience of dyslexia in Ireland today.

There are 4 surveys now open:


Students with dyslexia (18 and under):

Adults with dyslexia:


We would ask that you please complete the appropriate surveys, and please let others know about the surveys. The more responses we get, the more weight that can add to our advocacy campaigns. We thank you in advance for your participation.


Spring-Summer Newsletter

Our Spring-Summer Newsletter is now available. It includes a wide range of information and articles of interest to our members, to help keep you up to date in relation to dyslexia and the activities of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI).

Have your voice heard in our 2017 Surveys (see page 3). These surveys are an important way for DAI to gather data on the lived experience of people with dyslexia in Ireland today. They will provide strong, up-to-date data for our advocacy and campaigning work.

On pages 4-5 we feature a profile on Irish Soprano Anna Devin, who discusses her experience with dyslexia from childhood to now singing opera in multiple languages.

Joe McCormack shares his tips for students preparing for Junior and Leaving Cert maths exams. As the language of maths can be a challenge for some students, Joe has provided some keywords and phrases students need to know (see pages 10-13).

The newsletter also includes info on upcoming events, an update on our new Branch structure, advocacy activities, guidelines on individual tuition, and an article by Mary, our new Branch Finance Administrator on her families dyslexia journey, from local to national.


Recruitment: Information and Administration Intern

Would you like the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a dynamic and interesting charity?

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland is looking to recruit an intern for 6 – 9 months who will join our national office team. This internship will develop your skills and experience in various areas including key work on information provision, awareness raising activities, as well as general office administration. As an intern you will get to work with a variety of our staff, working on real projects that will help us grow our services. Our Information and Administration intern will work on our information helpline, help with our national meeting and conferences, support various policy issues that the DAI are currently working on and provide general admin. support. This is an exciting opportunity to gain vital experience in the Irish NGO sector.


  • Working on the DAI information helpline.
  • Helping with the general administration of the office.
  • Maintaining databases.
  • Developing information resources.
  • Participating as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in the provision of information and support to people with dyslexia.


  • An interest in or understanding of dyslexia or specific learning difficulties.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills in English.
  • Experience in office administration would be desirable.


  • Based in Dublin city-centre office.
  • Hours negotiable, between 21-35 hours per week. Normal working hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays; flexibility is required with the expectation of occasional evening and weekend work.
  • This is an unpaid internship, but reasonable expenses will be paid in relation to travel or expenses incurred in relation to delivery of the role.
  • This position is subject to Garda Vetting and reference checks.

How to apply: Interested applicants should email their CV with a covering letter outlining their suitability for the role to Amy Smyth, DAI’s Information & Advocacy Coordinator at by June 16th, 2017.



The Dyslexia Association of Ireland is planning to establish a new after-school workshop for children and young people with Dyslexia in Cashel from September 2017. We are looking to recruit a Branch Coordinator to manage the running of the Workshop.

The Branch Coordinator will be responsible for managing the educational activity of the Workshop and will be responsible for the appointment and oversight of tutors and volunteers to work in the Workshop, in liaison with staff in the DAI National Office and a local Parents’ Committee.

The Branch Coordinator is required to have a teaching qualification and be registered with the Teaching Council. They are also required to have undertaken additional training in teaching methods best suited to teach students with dyslexia.

To apply please email CV and covering letter stating why you feel you are qualified for this position to by 5pm on Monday 22nd May 2017.  Interviews will be held locally on the afternoon/evening of Wednesday 31st May.


Cashel Branch Coordinator Job Advert



Hidden Potential – a new Irish short film on dyslexia

DAI is delighted to share ‘Hidden Potential’ a new Irish short film on dyslexia to mark Dyslexia Awareness Month (October 2016). This short film was made by Eamonn McMahon a talented young film-maker from Wicklow in Ireland, with some support from the Dyslexia Association of Ireland. Well done to all those involved in producing this lovely, moving short film.


The E-Fun Brain Training Study is seeks participants.

The E-FUN study is exploring if playing their E-FUN (Executive Function – EF) brain training game can improve EF, brain activity, reading and regulation abilities in children with dyslexia. They are looking for children aged 10-12 years with a diagnosis of dyslexia to take part in their research study.

What’s involved: You and your child will be asked to attend two testing sessions 6 weeks apart at DCU. During each session your child will complete a number of EF and reading measures and you will be asked to complete some questionnaires on your child’s behaviour. They will also record your child’s brain activity using EEG technology (electroencephalogram) for two EF tasks. Each session should take approx. 2 hours. In the 6 weeks between sessions, your child will be asked to play our online brain training game under your supervision at home.

If you are interested in taking part or have any further queries about the research please email or phone 01 7006868.


DES Launches new Action Plan for Education (15.9.2016)

Today the Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) welcomed the launch of the first ‘Action Plan for Education’. This is a three year strategy statement from the Department of Education and Skills spearheaded by the Minister for Education Richard Bruton. The plan lays out specific goals and intentions in relation to the quality of education children are receiving as well as their health and wellbeing within the education system. This strategy has been launched on foot of the call for submissions from individuals and NGOs  in June 2016, which the DAI and its members contributed to. You can read our full press release below.

DAI Press Release on the new Action Plan for Education



Adult Dyslexia Resources – Launched July 2016

collage image (FB)

Check out our great new resources on adult dyslexia.  We hope they will help to increase awareness of adult dyslexia and what can help.

They include a new Adult Dyslexia information booklet, Guidelines for Tutors in the Further Education and Training sector on how to support adult learners with dyslexia, and a series of three posters. We are currently distributing them nationwide to adult education and further education centres, as well as to community-based agencies including libraries and Intreo offices. This project has been kindly supported by funding from SOLAS.

All these new resources are also available to download for free from our website at Copies are also available from our national office – email or phone 01 8776001.


New Development and Support Officer (Adult Services)

DAI is also pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Kinsella as our new Development and Support Officer (Adult Services), thanks to funding from SOLAS. This new post will enable DAI to increase our adult service delivery nationwide, including the provision of information seminars, training sessions for adult education and further education tutors, seminars on dyslexia in the workplace, and the development of support meetings for adults with dyslexia.


Branch Status Update

We would like to advise members that the dyslexia workshops which had been operating in Arklow, Glenties and Navan are no longer affiliated to the Dyslexia Association of Ireland. DAI continues to support a large nationwide network of affiliated Branches who offer local community based weekly workshop classes for children with dyslexia. Contact details for all currently affiliated Branches can be found on our website at

DAI also maintains a listing of qualified teachers; these lists are only available to current members. Please contact our national office at 01 877 6001 or email for info on the tutor lists.


Key Findings from DAI’s Spring 2015 Survey

In Spring 2015 DAI undertook a major survey of parents, students, teachers and adults with dyslexia (787 total respondents). The following is a selection of the key findings which illustrate the challenges people with dyslexia face in Ireland in 2015.

Parents’ Perspectives

  • Only 26% of children received a public assessment (NEPS, HSE); 74% had to seek a private assessment.
  • Even after dyslexia is identified, 55% of parents report difficulty in gaining help for their child.
  • 76% of parents feel that earlier identification would have helped their child.
  • The average annual family cost associated with dyslexia assessment, tuition and assistive technology is €1,229. For many families it is much higher.
  • 66% of families report that these costs have created significant financial stress.
  • 62% of parents report being unable to access appropriate supports for their children due to lack of funds.
  • 66% of parents are dissatisfied with the level of support provided by government in relation to assisting families with dyslexia, and a further 22% are unsure what the government provides (88% in total).

Students’ Perspectives

  • 59% of students (under 18) are not confident that their teachers understand their dyslexia and know how to help them.
  • 78% of students with dyslexia feel that the government does not provide enough support for them.
  • 67% of students feel that their school needs training on dyslexia.

Teachers’ Perspectives

  • Only 30% of teachers report getting any pre-service training on dyslexia/SLD.
  • 92% of teachers report that the level of pre-service dyslexia training they received did not adequately prepare them for the classroom.
  • 97% of teachers agree that they need and would benefit from further training on dyslexia.
  • 93% agree that having a child’s dyslexia identified helps them to better support the child’s learning needs.


Pre-Budget Submission – July 2015

DAI has made a Pre-Budget Submission to the Minister for Education and Skills, departmental officials and public representatives.

DAI is calling for:

  1. Mandatory Teacher Training on dyslexia identification and support strategies
  2. Equitable Access to evidence-based assessment and support

Mandatory pre-service and in-service training for all teachers, combined with an education system which, by design, ensures equitable access to assessment and supports, will go a long way to providing the level of support which all children and adults with dyslexia deserve.

Data from our members survey completed earlier this year was used to highlight the current needs of those dealing with dyslexia. Sincere thanks to all those who took part in our surveys; your active participation enables us to better identify and advocate for your needs.

A copy of the Pre-Budget submission can be downloaded below:

Pre-Budget Submission JULY 2015 (PDF format)


DAI’s European Conference 2015: Innovation in Assessment and Teaching

Venue: UCD, Dublin    Date: Saturday 25th April, 2015

Please visit our Conference webpage for full details on the conference, including the keynote speakers presentations/handouts.


DAI was delighted to get a great media response in the run up to the European Conference. Links to some of the major articles are listed below:


Response to The Dyslexia Debate book  (Feb 2014)

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) welcomes debate and research on the issue of dyslexia that is reasoned and evidence informed.  DAI is committed to ensuring a clear link between research, and policy and practice in the Irish education system.  We have not yet received a copy of the book and would have to reserve full judgement until we do. From what we have read about the book’s contents, a number of the issues raised have been in the public domain for some time. Dyslexia “now recognised as a ‘neurological disorder’” (ref. Margaret Snowling, 2013) is a complex condition and deserves to be identified as a specific learning difficulty. However, the term we use to define dyslexia and reading disability is quite probably of less importance than what we know of the areas that are affected to ensure timely identification of children’s needs and access to appropriate evidence-based interventions.

While there is no universally agreed definition of dyslexia currently, there is broad consensus that it is a difficulty in acquiring proficient literacy skills and which occurs across a spectrum.  ‘The contemporary view is that dyslexia is not a diagnosis, rather it is a dimensional disorder. Many people have dyslexia and it will vary from mild to severe. It occurs in individuals with all levels of intellectual ability, and it is associated with multiple risk factors, not a single cause’ (Snowling BPS/British Academy Lecture 2013). Dyslexia is a reality for thousands of Irish individuals; it affects 8-10% of the population.

DAI would agree with many of the ideas behind Professor Elliott and Professor Grigorenko’s book. We agree that there are no miracle cures for dyslexia, that reading is not dependent on intelligence, that many people mis-understand and misuse the term dyslexia, that all children with reading difficulties deserve early and appropriate help.

Widening the term dyslexia to cover children who can’t read despite opportunity to do so is proposed by leading researchers (Stanovich), as research clearly shows no relationship between dyslexia and intelligence.  Early identification is of huge importance; identifying known risk factors is key, such as genetic predisposition, phonological deficits, and language development. DAI would like to see more children and adults have the opportunity to have their reading difficulties identified and most importantly appropriate intervention put in place to assist the development of their literacy skills.

We don’t need to ditch the term dyslexia.  In reality labels are often extremely important to parents and individuals; denying them or withholding them can cause more disruption and upset that is not in the interest of the chid who is struggling to learn to read.  Instead of obsessing about what we call reading difficulties, the emphasis needs to be on how we support the reading, writing and spelling skills of these children and adults.

DAI strongly advocates for evidence-based interventions; for children struggling with literacy this means multi-sensory programmes which are explicit, structured, cumulative, individualised and intensive. It also requires the identification of known risk factors and working with these, e.g. developing oral language skills, alongside good phonics programmes to develop phonological awareness.  A significant issue, however, is the lack of provision of adequate teacher training; many children’s literacy difficulties remain unidentified due to lack of specialist training. Teachers also often do not receive sufficient training on interventions which assist those struggling to acquire literacy skills.

The researchers also draw attention to how the education system makes use of traditional cognitive (IQ) testing as part of assessment for dyslexia.  It may be that we need to revise the criteria for accessing supports for children with dyslexia, e.g. removing the need for IQ results for accommodations such as an exemption from Irish, or access to a special reading school.  DAI encourages the government and our education system to constantly review practice, particularly around resource allocation for students with dyslexia, so that provision is fair and equitable and targeted to those most in need.

DAI advocates for a system which is child-centred and based on fairness and equity of access; supports should be provided based on identified needs (Orla needs …) rather than diagnostic labels/criteria (Orla has…) The waiting lists for psychological assessment and other professional assessments are currently very long in Ireland; DAI advocates for greater access to appropriate identification both in school and where necessary from specialists such as educational psychologists.  DAI would also welcome the introduction of more early screening tests in schools, such as the TEST2R which is currently being developed for use in Irish schools, as this would lead to earlier identification and provide opportunity for targeted intervention.

Rosie Bissett,

CEO, Dyslexia Association of Ireland


New Children’s Book written by Irish school-children who have dyslexia

Dyslexic Brains Learn Differently is a new Irish-produced book about dyslexia for children. It is written by children for children, and has been created by the students of the Reading Class at Ennis National School, Co. Clare (aged 10-13 years, with severe dyslexia).

In this 40-page book, each of the ten children tells their own unique story, from discovering that they have dyslexia to learning how to cope with it. It illustrates their many talents and abilities. There are information pages for parents and families, including recommended websites and apps. A unique feature of the book is that readers can scan a QR code on the cover to hear an audio-recording of the stories.   The book is beautifully illustrated by AnnMarie Cawley, a young student at Limerick College of Art and Design, who has dyslexia herself.

The book is available now from DAI. Price is €10.00 (or €12.10 including postage within Ireland).

To order phone (01) 877 6001 or email

Dyslexic Brains Learn Differently - Book Cover

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DAI activities are part-funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019 administered by Pobal), the Special Education Section of the Department of Education and Skills, SOLAS and KWETB.