Australian libraries urged to better support members with dyslexia

16 October 2020

Vision Australia is encouraging libraries across Australia to use Dyslexia Awareness Month to better understand how they can support their members who live with the condition.

The Vision Australia Library is open to all Australians who live with any print disability, such as dyslexia and blindness or low vision, but mainstream libraries also have an important role to play in providing information in accessible formats.

According to the Australian Dyslexia Association (ADA), dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling challenges and difficulties in Australia.

Sarah Bloedorn, Vision Australia Library children and young adults coordinator, said that means it’s vital that community libraries understand how they can meet the needs of members with dyslexia.

“It’s estimated about 10% of Australians live with dyslexia, which is a significant number of people libraries might be missing out on connecting with if they don’t make necessary adjustments,” Sarah said.

“There are a number of steps libraries can take, such as including a range of accessible formats in their collections. Another step we would recommend is ensuring libraries and their staff understand what it means to live with dyslexia,” she said.

“Advocacy groups such as the ADA are a great source of information and Vision Australia can also provide information to support libraries.”

An ereader held in an outstretched hand
Caption: eBooks can help people with dyslexia access written material.

In an attempt to help support libraries better meet the needs of people with dyslexia, Vision Australia has produced a free downloadable dyslexia fact sheet:

“The fact sheet has some great information on steps libraries can take to support people with dyslexia, as well as resources they can refer people to for further information,” Sarah said.

You can learn more about the Vision Australia Library Service online or get in touch via 1300 654 656 or library@visionaustralia.org.