Shine launched to give dyslexia 'cooler' image

A new dyslexia charity, Shine, is being set up in England with the aim of making dyslexia cool.

Shine, the brainchild of Jean Collingwood, chief executive of social marketing agency the Ingenious Group, will have as its strapline 'Realising the gift of dyslexia'.

Collingwood was found to be dyslexic as a child, but overcame the condition with the help of specialist therapy by the time she was eight years' old.

She decided to launch Shine because she was dismayed at the level of assistance schools in England offered to dyslexic children.

Shine's main objective is to remove the stigma associated with the condition so that children are not ashamed to admit they are dyslexic and can seek help.

It also aims to provide an assessment free of charge to every parent who wants it for their child. Dyslexia tests in England cost hundreds of pounds at present.

Collingwood plans to enlist the support of dyslexic celebrities to help shatter the impression that having dyslexia "means you are thick". "We don't believe dyslexia is a disability," said Collingwood. "Some people's brains work like a PC, others like a Mac - that's all. That's the message we want Shine to get across."

Shine, which will soon be registered with the Charity Commission, plans to seek funding from government and grant-makers.

Dyslexia expert Dr Gavin Reid, senior lecturer in educational studies at the University of Edinburgh, said: "There is always scope for another pressure group so long as it doesn't replicate what is there already. The British Dyslexia Association has already got the ear of the Government and I think any new charity should try to collaborate with it."

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