Celebrating National Dyslexia Awareness Month 2018, We did it!!

I can’t believe today is the last day of October which marks the end of National Dyslexia Awareness Month and what a big month it’s been for me and the Foundation. From launching our first national awareness campaign in TAFE, Universities and Workplaces, running education sessions, the Chair of our board Christine MacJouvelet wearing red for the whole month and of course our first major event the Night of Hope Inaugural Gala!
When we decided to host a gala to celebrate dyslexia and to raise hope during National Dyslexia Awareness Month people said we shouldn’t do it, it was too risky and people wouldn’t come. But they did come, and we celebrated and we raised awareness but most of all we raised hope for those with dyslexia that with the right supports, services and connections we can all achieve what we set out to do.
So, I stand before you are conquering more fears during is month, the fear of self-doubt, the fear that you can’t dream big and my biggest fear of public speaking (in front of 160 people, yay)!! The fear of self-doubt can be crippling it keeps you awake at 3am in the morning, it can be that nagging voice in your head telling you that you can’t do things, telling you, you’re not good enough all the time. As someone with dyslexia we are told constantly we are not good enough, we are continuously reminded that we don’t fit in because we are faced with the daily challenges of not being able to do the simple things that others can do like; send a well-formed email, read a text message or follow google maps, so it’s easy to see how we can develop self-doubt which leads to poor self-esteem and low self-confidence slowly chipping away at a person until they truly believe they can’t do things like other people, like; not go to Uni, get that promotion or change to a different job or career because they have dyslexia! What, well it true!! All of this can lead to higher rates of anxiety, depression and recent research has shown those with dyslexia at risk of higher rates of attempted suicide.
So, my friends I can say whole heartily have faith in yourself, have courage, don’t listen to them when they say it’s too hard, it’s to risks, YOU CAN’T DO IT. Because yes it might be all those things but WORK HARD, take calculated risks, plan well, have people around you who believe in you and you really can do it! I’m just an everyday person and if I can do it then so can you and nothing should stop us from reaching our goals and dreaming and achieving big.
So Happy National Dyslexia Awareness Month! Although the national campaign has come to an end our work is not yet over. We will continue to raise awareness, support and hope all year round.