Dyslexia Action

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Dyslexia Action (formerly the Dyslexia Institute[1]) founded in 1972 is an organisation, based in Staines, UK, with three main divisions:

  • Dyslexia Training
  • Dyslexia Guild
  • Dyslexia Shop

Dyslexia Training offers online training at various levels to help education professionals deal with Dyslexia and Co-occurring difficulties at all levels and also a number of services for those who are already trained SpLD specialist teachers and assessors.

The Guild is an open membership group with members working and learning in a wide range of settings. The Guild welcomes all professionals with an interest in dyslexia/SpLD and has a specialist rate for organisations.

The Dyslexia Shop is an online resource offering educators and parents tools to support creating the best possible outcomes by those with dyslexia and co-occurring challenges.


Dyslexia Institute was founded in 1972 by Wendy Fisher when the Word Blind Society closed due to lack of funding. Kathleen Hickey[2] became the Director of Studies, and "The Hickey Programme" lies at the heart of the teacher training qualification programmes. In 2005 the Dyslexia Institute merged with Hornsby International Dyslexia Centre, and was renamed as Dyslexia Action in March 2006.[3]

Under its previous title, Dyslexia Action had been providing teaching and support for dyslexic children, young people and adults, as well as specialist training for teachers, from 1972. It was initially founded as the Dyslexia Institute by Kathleen Hickey and Wendy Fisher, as a progression from the Surrey Dyslexia Institute, which had been in existence since 1968.[4]

By 1981, the Institute had acquired 12 centres nationwide, and in 1993, the Institute began to offer its own Postgraduate Diploma course validated by Kingston University, and later York University and currently Middlesex University.[5] In February 2003 Sophie, Countess of Wessex, agreed to become the organisation's Patron.[6][7] In July 2003 the Countess opened the Institute's Head Office at Park House in Egham, Surrey. Head Office moved to 10 High Street Egham in May 2014 and the Countess officially opened the Egham Learning Centre during Dyslexia Awareness Week on 4 November 2014.[8]

On Thursday 13 April 2017 Matthew Haw and Karen Spears of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed as administrators of Dyslexia Institute Limited t/a Dyslexia Action. Following negotiations, the Training division, Shop and Guild were purchased by Real Group Ltd and continue to trade.

Current service[edit]

Dyslexia Action Training offers courses to qualify specialist teachers and specialist assessors, along with online CPD courses aimed at educators.

There is an online shop, which provides specialist products to support those with dyslexia and literacy difficulties.

The Dyslexia Guild, established in 1994, is a professional membership body for those who are specialist teachers, assessors or who offer support to people with dyslexia. It continues to offer many benefits to members, including a specialist library service and holds an annual Summer Conference. The Dyslexia Guild celebrated a 25 year anniversary in 2019 as well as the 50th anniversary of the Dyslexia Review.


The organisation exists to support teachers and educators in helping those with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties reach their potential. It also has a membership body - the Guild - created to act as a voice of its membership and to represent the sector.

What is dyslexia?[edit]

A working definition of dyslexia was highlighted in a report, accepted by the Department for Education in 2009, following a review by former headteacher and Government adviser Sir Jim Rose. It states:

  • Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
  • Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.
  • Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.
  • It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category, and there are no clear cut-off points.
  • Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
  • A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by examining how the individual responds or has responded to well-founded intervention.’

Further reading[edit]

  • Fisher, Wendy (1972). "The North Surrey Dyslexic Society". 'Dyslexia Review'. 7 (Summer): 5.
  • Cochrane, Gill (2021). "Miss Hickey - More than a cameo role?". 'Dyslexia Review'. 31 (Winter): 12-16.


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ * Fisher, Wendy (1984). "Kathleen Hickey". The Dyslexia Institute Newsletter (May): 1.
  3. ^ Campbell, Ann (2006). "New name and look for the Dyslexia Institute". Dyslexia Review. Dyslexia Action. 17 (2): 11. ISSN 0308-6275. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  4. ^ "Our History". www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2010-09-04. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  5. ^ Townend, Janet (2016) [2000]. "Good News from The Dyslexia Institute Training Service". Dyslexia Review. Dyslexia Action. 11 (3): 27. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  6. ^ http://www.rcslt.org/docs/bulletin/2003/0306_bulletin.pdf
  7. ^ "HRH The Countess of Wessex: New Patron of the Dyslexia Institute". As We See It... News for Friends of the Dyslexia Institute (28). 2003.
  8. ^ Benzine, Kathryn, ed. (2014). "Editorial". Dyslexia Review. Dyslexia Action. 25 (3). Retrieved 2016-01-22.

External links[edit]