Celebrating Dyslexia Awareness Month at Ashoka University
To mark October as the Dyslexia Awareness Month and raise awarenss, the Office of Learning Support organised multiple events across campus
October is celebrated as “Dyslexia Awareness Month”. To mark this month, every year, the Office of Learning Support (OLS) organises events to raise awareness and spark conversations about dyslexia, learning, and neurodiversity within the Ashoka campus. This year, OLS joined forces with various student clubs and societies to amplify their endeavours, engaging students, staff, and faculty through creative and enjoyable activities. Throughout the month, OLS carefully planned a series of events designed to involve the entire Ashoka community in various ways, to share essential facts about dyslexia and nurture a culture of acceptance for neurodiversity.
In collaboration with Her Campus, OLS organised the “Dyslexia Myth Busters” trivia game, an interactive and entertaining event open to all on October 16. Participants, ranging from students to staff eagerly guessed whether statements related to dyslexia were common myths or facts. This engaging activity served as an effective platform to dispel misconceptions and increase awareness about dyslexia within the community. The participants also got Dyslexia Awareness Month stickers as a takeaway, which furthered the visibility of the message.
OLS also partnered with Ashoka Students Behavioural Insights Team (ABIT) for this month, which culminated in the release of a dyslexia-themed edition of their newsletter, Somewhat Rational. Titled ‘Navigating a Dyslexia-Friendly Learning Environment’ the newsletter contained valuable techniques and accommodations to build a more neurodivergent-friendly atmosphere. A thought-provoking comic strip was released, offering practical suggestions on how to include students with learning disabilities in various campus spaces such as classrooms, the library, and the mess. This collaboration ensured that the message of inclusion and acceptance reached a broader audience in a practicable byte-sized way.
To mark the end of Dyslexia Awareness Month, OLS had a grand celebration with an interactive installation titled ‘The Ashokan Tapestry’ on October 30 and 31. The first day featured a range of activities in collaboration with Mad Batter and Siyahi, two prominent student societies on campus.
The tapestry invited participants to tie threads on the board next to the experiences, thoughts and beliefs that they related to the most. Interestingly, all the listed statements are typically associated with the neurodivergent community, including those with dyslexia. Engaging with this installation helped the participating students, staff and faculty to understand the similarities we all have, as we all lie on the same neurodiversity spectrum. In just a few hours, the installation became a popular sight, with students eager to tie in their experiences, creating a vibrant and colourful art piece that symbolised unity and empathy.
Mad Batter organised a dyslexia-themed trivia game and offered mouthwatering sweet treats. The colour red, symbolising dyslexia awareness, was chosen as the theme for their products. Participants with correct answers in the trivia won a discount on their products, and the stall also kept the students engaged with a cookie decoration activity in red. This delightful setup not only engaged taste buds but also symbolized the cause, reinforcing the message of inclusion and awareness.
Siyahi contributed their artistic touch to the event by organising a face-painting activity. They focused on famous inventors and accomplished people with dyslexia and painted symbols related to their contributions, such as a spider web for Tom Holland and stars for Galilei. While face painting is one of the student favourites, this activity also delivered a strong message to focus on the creativity, intelligence and capabilities of people with dyslexia, which do not get emphasised enough.
In conclusion, Dyslexia Awareness Month at Ashoka Campus was a resounding success. OLS and its collaborators made a significant impact in raising awareness, dispelling myths, and promoting a culture of acceptance and inclusion. These diverse and engaging activities showcased the power of creative initiatives to educate and foster understanding within the academic community, ultimately making the campus a more inclusive and welcoming place for all.
(Written on behalf of the Office of Learning Support, Ashoka University by Kriti Khanduri and Pritika Gupta)