Zammit Dimech launches the European Dyslexia Charter
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MEP Francis Zammit Dimech speaking at today’s launch of the European Dyslexia Charter at the European Parliament in Brussels, said, “we are happy to launch the European Dyslexia Charter through which we want to give dyslexic people more opportunities to fulfil their aspirations in life.”
Zammit Dimech has held meetings over the past weeks with the Malta Dyslexia Association and parents of dyslexic students and later raised their proposals during meetings held at the European Parliament to be reflected in the European Dyslexia Charter.
These proposals included aspects related to education and support for teachers and assistance to parents to conduct tests, which proposals were included in the charter.
Director of the Dyslexia Institute UK, Roger Broadbent, presented the key points of the charter.
He said that the reasons why a Dyslexia Charter was needed include to support teachers working with dyslexics through better training and support, to help dyslexics struggling to find work and to reach their potential when they get their job so as to get the maximum benefit.
Broadbent added that the charter is also necessary to stop failing children from having misguided lives. He thanked MEP Zammit Dimech and the Maltese Dyslexia Association for their contribution.
Speaking on the importance of the charter, Broadbent remarked that the charter should not only serve as an important stepping stone for the legislation, but should as well serve as a guideline to set targets we want to achieve in Europe.
“While dyslexia remains a serious concern for parents and children alike, the European Union has the power to make a change at the European level,” he said.
It was explained that the charter touches with various key aspects, including assessment for dyslexia as less than 1% of dyslexics are diagnosed, training and support for teachers along with digital tools for students, creating pathways for employment and support to workers as several dyslexics are unemployed, making technology more accessible to dyslexics and screening of all offenders to provide education/counselling services, and guidance to a life away from crime.
Zammit Dimech in his concluding remarks said “only by setting clear targets of what we want to achieve, we will be able to move forward as a society. It is not going to be easy, but we need to change our perception and behaviour towards dyslexia. We want to achieve the higher aim of providing a better life for people with dyslexia, as productive contributors in society.”
Dyslexia affects between 10 to 20% of the global population and leads to poor organisation and concentration, low self-esteem and self-confidence. It is considered to be not yet properly addressed due to lack of awareness.
On Monday (which commemorates International Disability Day) an e-petition will be launched asking MEPs to sign and support the charter.
A large number of MEPs from various political groups have already pledged their support to the Charter.