Role at UNESCO

In 2006, Dyslexia International NGO was honoured to be included amongst some 300 non-governmental organizations granted official relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The then Director-General, UNESCO wrote:

“In keeping with UNESCO’s commitment to inclusive quality education for all, I agree that it is essential to foster programmes, practices and adaptive technologies that meet the needs of learners who have special difficulties in learning to read and write. I am fully aware of the valuable contribution of organizations such as Dyslexia International to the field of literacy instruction through their research activities and the promotion of methods to meet those special needs.  

Therefore I welcome the initiative of Dyslexia International to organize this conference which will be held within the framework of the United Nations Literacy Decade. Although UNESCO is not in a position to offer significant tangible support in this particular event, I look forward to exploring possible ways of cooperating with Dyslexia International.”

This letter of encouragement addressed to UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg led Dyslexia International to coordinate a first World Dyslexia Forum at UNESCO in February 2010 – inviting the interests of all UNESCO Member States’ Ministers of Education’s teacher training delegates to take part in exploring Best practice in teaching reading to all with world experts in literacy acquisition

In 2003, Sir John Daniel, Assistant Director General Education at UNESCO wrote “We will naturally see how we can provide links to your website when we launch our own new website on Inclusion”. This led to our NGO appearance on the UNESCO Literacy Portal (2002).

In 2012, our organization was honoured to be granted ‘consultative status’ with UNESCO.

In accordance with UNESCO’s principles, Dyslexia International’s main focus is to share evidence-based research globally and to promote equal opportunities for people who struggle with reading and writing. In particular, we advocate for the principles of ‘Education for All’, ‘Inclusion’ and ‘Quality Education’.

The UNESCO website describes the concept of ‘Education for All’ as follows:

“The Education for All (EFA) movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults. At the World Education Forum (Dakar, 2000), 164 government agencies, civil society and the private sector are working together to reach EFA goals.”

To read more on the EFA movement for the UNESCO website, please click here.

UNESCO describes the notion of ‘Inclusive Education’ as follows:

Inclusive education is based on the right of all learners to a quality education that meets basic learning needs and enriches lives. Focusing particularly on vulnerable and marginalized groups, it seeks to develop the full potential of every individual.

The ultimate goal of inclusive quality education is to end all forms of discrimination and foster social cohesion.

The UNESCO World OER Congress 2012 released a Declaration.

“Members of Dyslexia International regularly attend meetings including the Education for All Workshop and look to organizing a stand at a major public event annually, also for the General Conference once every two years when Ministers of Education or their delegates from over 190 countries take part – each country given the opportunity to give short verbal briefing on progress made in respect of education.”