There are still comments being added to my post about the programme on BBC3 called ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid’. The one today from Julia, who is both a dyslexic herself and a dyslexic specialist is quite an eye opener!
What strikes me as I read the stories in the comments, and hear stories from parents about their children and about themselves, is how shocking it is that we discriminate against people simply because they find it difficult to read. Because that is what’s happening.
If we had a child – or an adult for that matter – who had difficulty hearing, or with mobility, or with other learning difficulties, we would be falling over backwards to accommodate their needs. There would be services in place to support them in the mainstream. And if there was any sign of discrimination against them, any name calling or suggestion that they were inferior because of their limitations, there would be an uproar.
Yet it seems okay to treat people who have a difficulty with reading this way. It seems it is okay to ignore their individual learning needs and just treat them as thick, as often happens. For these learners are sometimes called stupid and treated as if they had limited intelligence.
How can this be right? How can we so actively support some difficulties yet discriminate against others? For that’s what appears to be happening.
We are discriminating against people for finding it difficult to read. We are failing to adequately support them. And even worse we are attaching labels that can destroy a person for life.
We are so busy obsessing over qualifications we are failing to provide fundamental support to everyone – whatever their difficulties – so they can achieve this vital skill. And we are destroying futures in the process.
It is a covert discrimination that needs bringing out of the closet.