ISAW 2017 Mobilizes a Worldwide Surge in Awareness
The 4th annual Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week was nothing short of a massive success, generating a buzz about the condition and its available solution all over the world. This group effort benefited from participation by national and local media, like the BBC, but was mostly fueled by the thousands of individuals each doing their part to help spread the word. Below are just a sampling of some of the awareness week efforts that took place during the week of October 16-20, 2017. If you have an ISAW event you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know what you did for ISAW by posting in the Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week Facebook Group, or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Irlen Institute and the Irlen Syndrome Foundation Disseminate New Information
THE NEW IRLEN SYNDROME VS. DYSLEXIA INFOGRAPHIC WAS RELEASED ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 16
A huge thank you to our friends at the Irlen Syndrome Foundation for successfully explaining the difference between Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome! Find out which condition is the cause of your reading struggles. Click on the image below to see the full-size graphic (this is best viewed on a computer, not a cell phone).
THOUSANDS TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17
As with last year’s Turn Out the Lights event, we had record-breaking participation from around the world. This year, the lights went out in 81 countries! Well done everyone!
CORNELL NEUROSCIENTISTS EXPLAIN HOW COLOR CHANGES THE WAY YOUR BRAIN WORKS
In their live talk, Drs. Adam Anderson and Eve De Rosa, Directors of the Cognition and Affect Lab and fMRI facility at Cornell University, discuss their breakthrough research on color and the brain. They explain why the Irlen solution requires individualized color and give viewers a peek at the brain scans of Irlen clients that went into their fMRI scanner this summer!
What Your Brain Tells You About Color, and Why One Size (Shade) Doesn’t Fit All: https://youtu.be/xv4mNYmYndk
HELEN IRLEN DISCUSSES TOXIC BRAIN ENVIRONMENTS IN A FACEBOOK LIVE EVENT
Viewers got to interact live with Helen Irlen during the Q&A portion of this must see talk about how your environment might be making you sick. Irlen Syndrome is much more than just a reading problem, and in this talk, Helen Irlen explains how and why Irlen Syndrome manifests itself beyond the printed page. IF you missed the live event, don’t worry, you can watch the whole thing here!
TOXIC BRAIN ENVIRONMENTS: https://youtu.be/XYPPofvDlYg
IRLEN ENJOYS MEDIA COVERAGE
Jennifer Owen, 28, from Merthyr Tydfil, campaigns to raise awareness of Irlen Syndrome.
The effect of Irlen Syndrome on self-esteem is often overlooked.
A Wimbledon mum whose eight-year-old son was feeling suicidal because of an undiagnosed disease is now trying to raise awareness about the condition.
THE MONEY HOUR
Irlen Diagnostician, Terry Carlson, is on the radio talking about Irlen Syndrome!
Irlen Diagnostician, Shoshana Shamberg, discusses Irlen Syndrome.
An Australian girl tells her story…
SOCIAL MEDIA MAYHEM
Irlen supporters everywhere took to social media to share their personal stories and ask their social media networks to help spread the word. We even got a few shoutouts from our favorite celebrity supporters.
Thanks for the week-long tweets, Lucy Lawless, and for passing along the word, Paddy Considine!
Events Around the World
Brisbane and Ipswich offered discounts on Irlen testing during the entire month of October, while the Irlen clinic in Taree, NSW was open to the public for afternoon teas and information sessions. Folks in the Sunshine Coast were offered an informational session on October 16th in Cairns at the Brothers Leagues Club, Anderson Street.
Ontario hosted their annual fall Irlen Information Meeting on October 18th in Barrie, Ontario. Ontario also launched a social media blitz. Screeners and clients posted the ISAW posters on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, and some posted their stories about Irlen. Family and friends were asked to share the posts and pass them along to their friends and family. Some screeners created a different post every day, telling people about the signs and symptoms of Irlen Syndrome, and who is affected, and with each post, they attached a different ISAW poster each day. They ended the week posting testimonials from clients whose lives have been changed because of Irlen. Joanne Potts, Irlen Screener, did a public presentation in Barrie, Ontario as well as a presentation to students in that area. Kim Garland did a presentation for her local Occupational Therapists Association in Whitby, Ontario. Janet McCormack, another screener, did a student awareness presentation in Huntsville, Ontario. Additional presentations were given in classrooms around the province, and for a local church group in Ottawa.
In Toronto, Irlen Screener, Whitney Johnstone’s two children with Irlen Syndrome made presentations to their Grade 3 and 5 classes this week. They also delivered flyers and stickers throughout their neighborhood, informing their neighbors about Irlen Syndrome.
Irlen Diagnostician, Rasha Anwar, and her team in Egypt were busy during awareness week, hosting awareness events in Cairo and Governorates, in cooperation with Cultural Enabling for Persons with Special Needs Department in the Ministry of Culture.
IRLEN SYNDROME GAINS OFFICIAL RECOGNITION BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION IN EGYPT
After long 4 years of raising awareness efforts in the Egyptian community whether public, official, academia, or professional groups, Irlen syndrome finally has gained official recognition from the Ministry of Education and has become one of the disabilities that entitles the students for inclusive education. Thus, giving them the appropriate accommodations and modifications they need.
Irlen Syndrome awareness efforts were alive and well in Ghana during awareness week. As the representatives from the nonprofit, Campaign For Learning Disabilities, await the arrival of Irlen Diagnostician, Dr. Jeri LaVigne, in November to get trained as Irlen Screeners, this exceptional group used their energy to help spread the word at 13 schools across the country.
As a part of a global Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week initiative, the Special Education Clinic Patras – Irlen Institute of Greece organized the 6th Panhellenic Conference on Learning Disabilities dedicating to Irlen Syndrome and invited all schools and universities to show their support for students with Irlen Syndrome by turning off their fluorescent lights for one minute on Thursday, October 25 at 10:00 am.
Irlen Diagnostician, Tehnaz Ragi, and other Irlen supporters in India were excited to share The Blue Rupee Project with us during awareness week.
The Blue Rupee Project celebrates the Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week 2017. IRLEN – Insights Through Colour. The Herald featured The Blue Rupee Project’s event at MOG – Museum of Goa.
Dr. Sameera Abdulwahab started off Irlen Awareness Week at Kuwait University, Faculty of Education. The students raised awareness among teachers and their colleagues using booths, banners and brochures, explaining the symptoms of Irlen syndrome, its causes, impact on the individual life and the treatment by using Irlen filters.
Dr. Sameera Abdulwahab also presented “Reading by Colors & Light Sensitivity” to Little Mom Group.
Little Mom Group aims to educate young mothers about early intervention for their children and families, avoiding consequences of delaying presenting help to their children.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Irlen Diagnostician, Mona Kazim, and her team of Irlen experts in the UAE hosted an impressive ISAW effort in their country. Mona presented at the Vision X Conference and had an exhibitor booth throughout the conference at the Dubai World Trade Center. Her team also presented at the Down Syndrome Center, Zayed University, and Emirates University. They participated as presenters in two government events hosted by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai, Living Arabic and What Works, and the team visited and presented to a host of school principals as well.
As expected, our friends in the United Kingdom and Channel Islands worked hard during awareness week, with a variety of on-site presentations and local gatherings taking place. Among other events, in Gloucestershire, Irlen Diagnostician, Stephanie Jamison, spoke at the Heading Off Headaches workshop at the Cheltenham Headache Clinic, and on the Channel Islands, Jean Felton brought Irlen-ites together for her annual pizza party.
Californians had a lot of opportunities to learn about Irlen Syndrome, beginning with Irlen Ambassadors in Chico giving free-mini screenings at the Touch of Chico. A few days later, 17 children and adults, most wearing Irlen glasses and covered in purple lights, walked in Chico’s Parade of Lights, pulling a flotilla of 6 purple and lighted, decorated, Costco, wagons, with painted book covers inside them. Some walkers held banners, One rode his scooter, we handed out information, and all were really excited. They were interviewed by Local Action News Live, and at three places during the parade the Judges read out a full description of Irlen syndrome over loudspeakers. One announcer even sharing that he had worn Irlen lenses as a child and they had really made a difference in his life.
Helen Irlen and her team (David Garcia, Sandra Tosta, Jeri LaVigne, Nancy and Sandy Rache) gave hundreds of mini-screenings at the Bulletproof conference over the course of the 3-day event.
Jeanie Dunn and her team in Grand Junction were out in force, beginning with an awareness event on October 16th at Outwest Books and an informational session at Colorado Mesa University. Her team also secured a mayoral proclamation officially declaring it Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week in Grand Junction, Colorado!
Baltimore, MD officially recognized it as Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week, with a proclamation from the city’s mayor.
Members of the Irlen Syndrome Association of Massachusetts kicked off awareness week with a family friendly event at Morse Institute Library. Attendees learned about Irlen Syndrome, enjoyed face painting and fun games, and a silent and live auction that included a pair of Patriots Tickets! It shaped up to be a fun event that helped raise funds for scholarships for Irlen testing for Massachusetts residents. To join ISAM, visit the Irlen Syndrome Association of Massachusetts.
Irlen Diagnostician, Judith Palapala exhibited at the Minnesota state teachers conference. Talked to many folks!
Irlen Diagnostician, Julie Yaxley, gave several awareness week presentations, including one at the Autism Society meeting.
Here are a few of the other ISAW events people let us know about via social media last week…
I had a rewarding day today in Redding CA. I was very well received at the Disability Action Center where I gave a presentation to clients with many visual and other forms of disabilities.
After the presentation I was allowed to use an office in the building to test and recheck several clients, saving them the two hour drive to Chico. A good end to Irlen Awareness week.
This is my son Luke showing the presentation he put together on Irlen Syndrome to his class today. His confidence is growing all the time.
My event was successful today, at my college doing talk to staff and students and soon could be doing other talk.