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GOTAFE & Rural City of Wangaratta partner for Dyslexia Awareness Month

GOTAFE is partnering with the Rural City of Wangaratta to recognise Dyslexia Awareness Month this October and to raise awareness of the learning difficulty.

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Post date: 14th October 2021

In support of GOTAFE’s initiative, the Rural City of Wangaratta will be lighting up The Beacon red on Thursday 14 October for Light it Red for Dyslexia Awareness, a volunteer initiative by Code REaD Dyslexia Network to light significant monuments, buildings and landmarks across Australia in red.

Members of the community will be able to see The Beacon illuminated after dark.

GOTAFE is looking forward to collaborating with the Rural City of Wangaratta to increase community awareness of dyslexia and to help better support people in our communities.

“We are really proud of the systems we have in place to support our students and their unique needs,” Director of Student Success, Luke Falzon, said.

"We want to make sure every student gets the most out of their education, and the best way to do that is to ensure barriers to learning are addressed and supports are put in place to create an equitable and inclusive learning environment for all."

Luke Falzon, Director of Student Success

Mayor Dean Rees said the Rural City of Wangaratta is proud to get behind the important initiative.

“As our community come to better understand the strengths and weaknesses associated with dyslexia, we can also better understand those around us,” Mayor Rees said.

“Lighting ‘The Beacon’ red for Dyslexia Awareness is just one step in removing the stigma of this common learning difference. More awareness amongst our community will help break down the associated barriers to success and empower the youth in our community to access the help they need to achieve,” he said.

Former GOTAFE student Ella James studied a Diploma of Beauty Therapy at GOTAFE and is now working in the beauty industry.

“I’ve always had an interest in the beauty industry,” she said.

“I love building relationships with people and making them feel awesome. It’s amazing how much a treatment can boost someone’s confidence.”

An estimated 1 in 10 Australian students has dyslexia, according to Code REaD. Ella found out about her dyslexia in Year 7 when her mum and dad recognised the signs.

Ella went to a clinic in Melbourne where she was tested and eventually diagnosed.

“Dyslexia is a common condition,” she said.

“I see little rivers running through a page full of text, so I have glasses that diffuse the glare and make it easier to read.”

Ella said that in education and work settings, there are things everybody can do to support those with dyslexia.

“Just being able to have extra time to read questions and do assessments made it much easier to do my work.

“I found that having audio helped me digest large chunks of text, too.”

You can view the full conversation with Ella by visiting either GOTAFE's Facebook page or Rural City of Wangaratta’s social media pages.

Ways to support a child with dyslexia:

  • Find ways to help your child connect letters to sounds in everyday activities.
  • Discover software, apps and tools to help with reading.
  • Look into where to find free audiobooks for your child.
  • See what your child can say to self-advocate in grade school and middle school.
  • Learn how to be an advocate for your child at school.
  • Discover your child’s strengths.

As an advocate, you may do the following:

  • Raise awareness about dyslexia
  • Educate those involved with your child’s education about dyslexia and interventions for dyslexia
  • Be involved in the writing of goals for an Individual Education Plan
  • Provide resources to help those involved understand dyslexia.

With a wide range of learning support on offer at GOTAFE, students are offered the chance to explore exciting new opportunities in a safe environment that caters to all.

Read more about Light it REaD and Dyslexia Awareness Month