The WDA celebrates the limitless power of Dyslexic Thinking and will inspire the world to create change for all dyslexics
On April 03, 2023, global charity, Made By Dyslexia brought the World Dyslexia Assembly (WDA) to New York City with guests New York City Mayor Eric Adams; Green Bay Packers superstar, Rashan Gary; Chopped chef, Marc Murphy; and space scientist, Maggie Aderin-Pocock.
The WDA celebrated the limitless power of Dyslexic Thinking and inspired the world to create change for all dyslexics. The 3-hour event showcased the game changing strengths that dyslexics bring to our world and welcomed everyone to experience a thought-provoking show with inspiring conversations and stories from some of the world’s most recognized faces.
The audience heard from New York City artist, Laura Hass; celebrity make-up artist, Quinn Murphy; racing car driver, Elliot Cox; Shark Tank extraordinaire, Barbara Corcoran; and Bob Ballard, one of the world’s greatest explorers who found the Titanic. All incredible and successful dyslexics with their own personal journeys with the limitless power of their dyslexia to share.
The WDA focused on both Education and the Workplace, featuring panel discussions, entertainment, fireside chats and surprise guests. Each moment explored the many facets of Dyslexic Thinking, with former CNN news anchor and presenter, Robyn Curnow, hosting the event and Made By Dyslexia founder and CEO, Kate Griggs, leading the conversations.
Kate Griggs, founder and CEO of Made By Dyslexia comments: “New York City is leading the way in empowering Dyslexic Thinking. Already, they’ve trained every teacher to spot and support dyslexia to create the kind of inclusive classrooms where every child thrives. The future of the workplace needs the very skills these children have. This World Dyslexia Assembly NYC aims to show that if we harness the limitless power of Dyslexic Thinking, anything is possible, and shows that the power to create change is in our hands.”
“As New York City’s first openly dyslexic mayor, I am proud to welcome the World Dyslexia Assembly here to our city,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Last year, we announced the largest, most comprehensive approach to supporting students with dyslexia and literacy challenges in the United States because too many of our children who struggle to read because of dyslexia, or other learning disabilities, fall through the cracks. We also trained more than 80,000 of our educators, school leaders, and paraprofessionals on how to spot dyslexia in partnership with Made By Dyslexia so that students who have difficulties reading will receive the help they need quickly. We will continue to build off that momentum here in our city to ensure that no student is left behind.”
The WDA’s focus on education included exciting discussions with education game-changers asking how we create a school system where Dyslexic Thinking is empowered to not just level the playing field, but change the game for good. Josh Clarke, chair of the IDA and head of the Landmark School, joined the New York Public Schools chancellor, David Banks; the deputy chancellor for Teaching & Learning, New York Public Schools, Carolyne Quintana; Gavin Horgan, from world leading school Millfield; and Deirdre Quarnstrom, VP of Education Experiences at Microsoft, who all shared their thoughts, insights and goals for the education systems of the future. There was also a chat with Reading Wars journalist, Emily Hanford.
Schools chancellor, David Banks comments, "Frederick Douglass once said that when you learn to read, you will be forever free. By ensuring that every student — including those with dyslexia — has the resources and interventions they need to read at grade level, we can take one more step towards an equitable and just school system and city. We are committed to going back to the basics and to supporting our dyslexic thinkers through whole-system change. We are proud to partner with Made By Dyslexia to be able to change the lives of dyslexic thinkers everywhere."
The Assembly featured some of the world’s top companies including Microsoft, LinkedIn, EY, Randstad and Virgin — all important partners and supporters of Made By Dyslexia and its mission.
The audience heard from Laura Powell, global head of Human Resources at HSBC; Matthew Higgs, vice president, Global Solutions at Randstad Sourceright; Nicole Leverich, vice president of Communications for LinkedIn; Hank Prybylski, global vice chair for Transformation at EY; and Jenny Lay-Flurrie, chief accessibility officer from Microsoft — all leaders within their organizations who explain why it’s vital we employ Dyslexic Thinking in the workplace and unleash the potential of every Dyslexic Thinker who has the skills which are vital for the future of the workplace. The panel discussion was moderated by Randstad Enterprise chief executive, Mike Smith.
Hank Prybylski, EY vice chair, Transformation, comments, "It is becoming clear that dyslexic skills — visualizing, imagining, communicating, exploring, connecting and reasoning — are critical for businesses to thrive. We’re proud to help build next generation talent by supporting educators to help students of all thinking styles realize their full potential. EY's Value of Dyslexia report shows how dyslexic skillsets mirror the World Economic Forum’s future skills needs, so we see this as an important investment in our young people, our communities and in business.”
Mike Smith, chief executive, Randstad Enterprise comments, “By unlocking the power of Dyslexic Thinking, organizations can unleash a new wave of creativity, problem-solving and innovation. Randstad Sourceright is proud to sponsor the World Dyslexia Assembly, and celebrates the unique strengths that dyslexic thinkers bring to the workplace. Join us in embracing diversity and empowering all talents to drive success in your organization."
Neil Barnett, Microsoft’s director of Inclusive Hiring and Accessibility adds, “Dyslexic Thinking powers innovation and creative solutions which positively impact our workforce, culture and technology. We look forward to continuing to find ways to empower neurodiverse talent.”