Story Competition for Visually Impaired and dyslexic children

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Sir Steve Redgrave Announces the 2008 dates for the AltFormat Story Competition for visually impaired and dyslexic students. Today Sir Steve Redgrave announces the dates for the 2008 AltFormat Story Competition.

This week’s timely announcement, during both Right to Read Week and Dyslexia Awareness Week, highlights the legal right of print impaired students to be able to access the curriculum and follows passionate debate over the provision of alternative format materials in UK schools. In a campaign which has already captured the attention of government ministers and the national media, AltFormat aims to raise awareness of the rights of children with visual or print impairment to alternative format learning materials.

Olympian champion Sir Redgrave, who is dyslexic and has a dyslexic daughter, comments: “Important research from the States tells us that if students with literacy problems are exposed to learning materials in the form of combined audio and text, their exam scores can increase by almost 40%. As the parent of a dyslexic daughter, the benefits of class materials in a format that suits children with reading impairments seems obvious. The AltFormat competition aims to raise awareness of how affective using alternative formats, such as large print, Braille or MP3, can be for students who have literacy difficulties or those who are visually impaired.

I am therefore delighted to announce that the 2008 AltFormat Story Competition will be officially launched on Tuesday 22nd January.” The 2008 competition also sees a new competition partner, Dyslexia Action, joining the already influential team of AltFormat campaigners, including the RNIB, British Dyslexia Association and SightSavers International. Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive Officer of Dyslexia Action, comments: “It follows that if you can not learn to read you can not read to learn. With the spotlight on the UK’s literacy levels it is imperative that all students have equal access to the curriculum so they are able to reach their full potential. We are therefore thrilled to be involved in this year’s AltFormat Story Competition. Many dyslexic children are creative and have some wonderful original stories to tell and we look forward to seeing these children participating in this exciting story writing competition.”

The 2007 AltFormat Story Competition was hugely successful, concluding in a House of Commons prize presentation that saw Jim Knight MP for schools, and other influential MPs, directly engaging with the winners, their parents, Sir Steve Redgrave and other leading campaigners from dyslexic and visual impairment charities. AltFormat Logo The 2008 competition will be officially launched on Tuesday 22nd January by Sir Steve Redgrave, with full competition details and prize information being available from the AltFormat campaign website The closing date for story entries will be Tuesday 18th March 2008. All entries will be judged on their creative merits and not their spelling and grammar! Hilery

9 thoughts on “Story Competition for Visually Impaired and dyslexic children

  1. I am a one to one Teaching Assistant with a Year 7 girl. She is truely amazing. Her imagination is extraordinary yet she cannot read. She is sponsored by Oxford University as she has the worst case of visual perception dyslexia they have ever seen! They have reported that she has the cognitive abilities to build a bomb but the reading age of a gnat! It looks as if some of some areas of the cerebellum are not wired up properly. She has been bullied in the past because she had been trying to read ‘baby books.’ She tried to get round this by quoting Shakespeare but this caused more problems, as in some way she had put herself on a different planet… She likes to do her own thing and is therefore not one of the crowd. While supporting her in class she uses a laptop where she dictates her words to me and I type them, then read it back to her. She lacks self-esteem and this competition has given her the chance to shine. I just hope this gives you a picture of this very talented, gifted little girl.

  2. Julie
    Thank you for telling us about Mary. She sounds like a wonderful and interesting girl. I’m sure some of the credit for her success is because she has had sensitive support form you!
    I imagine she has had dealings with Prof. John Stein (brother of Rick – ther’es a fish oil link there !) at Oxford.
    Let us know how Mary gets on.
    Best wishes, Hilery

  3. Dear Hilery
    Thank you for your email. Yes she has had support from John Stein. She has entered the Dyslexia Competition and I am sure she has a good chance. She has put heart and soul into her story and I have been there to guide her. Having said that she has a far more active imagination than I could wish for. She carries her laptop from lesson to lesson. I bought her a trolley as her shoulder was taking quite a heavy load. She is now a trolley dolly! I run a gardening club at lunchtimes and she is once again so keen to ‘muck in’. This activity has also helped her to gain self-esteem and she has made many new friends.

  4. P.S Mary wants to send her story via post. Can you let me know the address?

  5. Hi, Hilery, Is that the address for the competion or will she still have to upload her story?
    Thank you

  6. Full competition details and prize information are available from the AltFormat campaign website The closing date for story entries will be Tuesday 18th March 2008.
    I was merely reporting on the competition. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
    Good luck, Hilery

  7. That’s alright. Mary was just a little confused! Her story has now been uploaded and she waits in anticipation for the results….. Thank you for your lovely comments. Julie

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