Dyslexia Discovery Exhibit Background
Dyslexia is often referred to as the hidden disability. Hidden because it is not physical, a disability because it so often presents in the form of learning difficulties.
The Dyslexia Discovery Exhibit – a Cookie Time Charitable Trust initiative – was opened in 2007 to confront this reality, challenge the views that create this reality, and offer a seed of hope to shift mindsets and remove the shame that so often surrounds dyslexia.
By moving earth, pouring concrete, laying bluestone, planting trees and shrubs, and then installing artistic elements created or inspired by the dyslexic mind we were able to confront and reflect dyslexia in three dimensions. We make the hidden visible and able to be experienced.
By telling the stories of four gifted individuals we demonstrate the ability of the dyslexic mind and offer an alternative view to those that are engaged in the struggle either directly or as parents, caregivers, teachers and friends.
Based on international statistics, approximately 10% of New Zealand children are dyslexic. This is over 70,000 children and young people aged 5-18 years throughout New Zealand.
Dyslexia has been most widely assumed to be a disability or more exactly, a specific learning disability – however dyslexia is now understood by leading researchers to be an alternative way of thinking and perceiving the world. It offers diversity to the human race and thus needs to be respected and nurtured.
Dyslexia has been one of the main focus areas for the The Cookie Time Charitable Trust since it was established in 2003 – starting with a scholarship programme for families of dyslexic children. In November 2006, the Trust sponsored the establishment of the Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand (DFNZ) and since then has continued as DFNZ’s principal sponsor. DFNZ’s mission is to increase the awareness, recognition, understanding and acceptance of dyslexia as an alternative way of thinking. It has built its reputation on successful advocacy and action, becoming the country’s foremost lobby group for dyslexia.
Complementing the DFNZ’s work, the Dyslexia Discovery Exhibit remains a critical landmark for promoting greater understanding of dyslexia and continues to provide knowledge, inspiration and encouragement to all those with dyslexia and to the parents, caregivers, teachers and friends who support them.