October 19-23, 2020
IRLEN SYNDROME AWARENESS WEEK
October 19-23, 2020
Please check back regularly for updates and additional information!
Sandra Tosta, PhD
Irlen Syndrome (also referred to at times as Meares-Irlen Syndrome, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, and Visual Stress) is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information. This problem tends to run in families and is not currently identified by other standardized educational or medical tests. This largely unknown and undiagnosed disorder affects approximately 15% of the general population, 50% of individuals with reading and learning difficulties, 30% of individuals with ADHD and autism, and a significant portion of individuals with brain injury, chronic headaches, and migraines.
AWARENESS WEEK ACTIVITIES
This year, Awareness Week may look a little different, as the world continues to quarantine, social distance, and restrict social gatherings to control the spread of COVID19. Join us for a week of virtual and online awareness:
- “Turn Out the Lights”: Show your support for individuals with Irlen Syndrome by turning out your fluorescent lights at school, at work, and at home for one minute on Tuesday, October 20th at 10am (local time) and then log on to the Irlen Website to let everyone know you participated by placing your mark on the BLACK OUT map! This is a simple and easy way to get school or classroom support during Awareness Week, so don’t be afraid to ask your child’s teacher to participate.
- Light Up Social Media: Share Irlen posts on your Facebook Page (or create your own personal post), Tweet about Irlen using the hashtag #ISAW, Post pictures of yourself wearing your Irlen Spectral Filters on Instagram, Snapchat, or your other favorite social media.
- Support Irlen Charities: There are non-profit organizations around the world that support and fund Irlen services, research, and awareness efforts. We ask you to consider giving back during this Awareness Week, and help make Irlen services available to those who can’t afford them. Please click here for a complete list of nonprofit organizations around the world that support Irlen.
- Local Activities: Irlen practitioners, clients, families, and supporters are hosting Irlen Awareness activities all over the world during awareness week. These range from picnics and pizza parties, to informational seminars and free mini-screenings. Some are intended to bring Irlen-ites together, others to educate the general public, and some help raise money to fund Irlen services for those in need. As activities are listed, we’ll include them on this page, as well as share them in the Irlen Awareness Week Facebook Group. To inquire about activities in your area, contact your local Irlen Diagnostician.
Check with your local Irlen Diagnostician for ISAW events in your area!
How you can get involved and make a difference in your hometown:
- Give a presentation to your class or your school about Irlen Syndrome (sample presentations are available in the resource section of this page)
- Organize your school or office to Turn Out the Lights in support of individuals with Irlen Syndrome
- Make Irlen your theme on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. for the week
- Donate to help increase access to Irlen services to those who need them most
Download Resources to use in your own awareness week efforts:
- Awareness Week Poster
- Video: summary of Irlen Syndrome appropriate for a school-age audience
- Video: summary of Irlen Syndrome appropriate for an adult audience
- Awareness Week PowerPoint Presentation For Kids
- Awareness Week PowerPoint Presentation For Adults/Professionals
- Irlen Awareness Video for Educators and Health Professionals (55 minutes) Alana Inugai, an Irlen Screener, created this 55-minute in-depth video for educators and health professionals. It’s all about Irlen Syndrome, an includes an overview of current research. The video also raises awareness of language-based Dyslexia because accurate identification of these issues leads to appropriate interventions and positive outcomes!
(CLICK TO WATCH OR SHARE VIDEO)
- Sample Awareness Week Press Release
Sample ISAW Press Release 2019 SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE FOR LOCAL EVENT
- Turn Out the Lights Promotional Graphic
If you’d like to help individuals who can’t afford Irlen testing, you can make a donation to one of the following non-profit organizations around the world that regularly support and fund Irlen services, research, and awareness efforts. Donations should always specify that they are intended for Irlen services. Some organizations allow you to specify that your donation be used for individuals in your local area if you choose.
Irlen Syndrome Foundation – United States
The Irlen Syndrome Foundation’s mission is to promote the care of individuals with the condition known as Irlen Syndrome through awareness, education, and research. Visit us at www.irlensyndrome.org.
KidScholly – United States
KidScholly is one of the only organizations in the country offering scholarships to elementary, middle school, and high school kids to allow them to participate in activities that not every parent can afford but that most kids want and need to develop to their potential. Among other things, they offer scholarships for Irlen testing services and spectral filters.
To Donate: http://www.kidscholly.com/support-us.html
Gateway-Longview – Western & Central NY, USA
Gateway-Longview is a child and family service organization in Buffalo, NY that has been providing care, counseling, and support to countless children and families in Western & Central New York since 1890. Gateway-Longview serves approximately 3,600 children & families each year through its 18 different programs, which focus on educational, residential, and community services. Gateway-Longview promotes the treatment and care of individuals with the condition known as Irlen Syndrome, and facilitates awareness of and education about Irlen Syndrome.
To Donate: http://www.gateway-longview.org/make-donation/
Be sure to specify that your donation be used for Irlen Services
Irlen Ambassadors Charitable Fund – Northern California, USA
Irlen Ambassadors Charitable Trust Fund in Northern California works with the local North Valley community foundation to provide assistance for lab fees for local area clients. In the last 3 years, the fund has given more than 70 scholarships.
To Donate: https://www.nvcf.org/fund/irlen-ambassadors/
Semper Fi Fund – United States
The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for wounded, critically-ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Semper Fi Fund has been providing Irlen services for servicemen and women who suffer chronic headaches and migraines as a result of traumatic brain injuries.
To Donate: https://semperfifund.org/donate/
Be sure to specify that your donation be used for Irlen Testing by selecting “Yes” to the question “Is this donation in support of a fundraising event, campaign, or type of assistance?” and select “Assistance – Irlen Spectral Filters”
ABC For Reading – United Kingdom
ABC For Reading is a non-profit charity in the United Kingdom. This charity’s mission is “To alleviate the suffering and promote the relief and care of persons suffering from the condition known as Irlen Syndrome; to advance the education of such persons and public in general concerning this condition; and to promote further research into Irlen Syndrome.
To Donate: https://www.justgiving.com/ABCforReading/
For more information: Mervyn Holden is the chairman of ABC for Reading and can be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 44 1449 720947
Reading By Colour – Kent, South – East England
The Reading By Color charity screens local children for Irlen syndrome often for free (donation is optional) and helps to fund filters where funding allows. As well as raising awareness.
Charity number 1052067
To Donate: BACS (bank transfer) barclays bank, sort code 20-25-42 account number 10371513 account name Reading By Colour (Kent trust) 1052067 charity no.
Empowered Learning Trust – Reporoa Valley, New Zealand
The Empowered Learning Trust ‘s aim is to work towards removing barriers to learning, so that young people can go on to fully engage with their education and achieve to their full potential. The Empowered Learning Trust has been screening all students year 4 and older in their local community for Irlen Syndrome and other visual difficulties since 2012.
For More Information: http://www.empoweredlearningtrust.co.nz/