Picture courtesy of ITV WENN
This week we saw a clear example of how dyslexia isn't on the radar for many people in their personal interactions.
Celebrity presenter Holly Willoughby responded to a tweet by celebrity Piers Morgan about the ratings of a show that she appeared with him on and wrote "Your welcome" as opposed to "You're welcome".
Mixing homophones is a common problem for a lot of people and especially if dyslexic when spelling out words. In this example, however, Piers decided to correct Holly by responding to her tweet with "It's you're."
From the subsequent footage shown on Good Morning Britain which I saw on the Daily Express website, it would appear that Piers did not know that Holly was dyslexic and as a result would not have known of any potential emotional impact that this very public jibe would have had on her. Certainly, she would not have made that clear but she did admit that she is always making spelling mistakes.
Whilst correct spelling is a wonderful thing, the reality is that the focus of Piers was to belittle despite clearly knowing what Holly was trying to communicate.
I am not surprised to see this happen. Our society, despite the situation always improving, simply does not understand the impact that dyslexia has on our young people and adults.
Piers will surely not know that 7 out of 10 permanently excluded kids are probably living with some sort of special educational need.
He will not know that 10% of our population is affected by dyslexia or that 40% of prison inmates show signs of dyslexia.
I am sure that for someone like Piers, it is difficult to get a sense of what real life is like for someone who is dyslexic but I would hope that given this episode will seek to find out more and perhaps help organisations such as the British Dyslexia Association to raise the much-needed awareness so that the world can focus less on spelling mistakes and more on communicating effectively what we know.
Today the British Dyslexia Association sent a tweet to Piers Morgan challenging him to help with raising awareness:
|The BDA sent a challenge to Piers Morgan.|
I am going to retweet the BDA's message with the Twitter hashtag #piersdyslexiaawareness. Please do the same and use that hashtag too so that we can build up a response which could deliver meaningful change whilst getting the awareness of dyslexia out to more people.