Founded by academics at Kent, DAN will bring dyslexic academics together to share experiences, support each other and shift the emphasis from what dyslexics “cannot do” to one that recognises their achievement and contribution to Higher Education in the UK.
This will include exploring the much-mooted advantages of dyslexia, such as abstract thinking and creativity, heterogenic and multi-paradigmatic thought processing, holistic thinking, dissecting arguments and making unexpected links.
It is also hoped that this recognition of the positive contribution of dyslexic academics in universities will provide role models for dyslexic students, and allow them to feel that it is perfectly normal to be a dyslexic and to study and research at university.
Until recently, dyslexic academics have been scarcely visible, often developing their own coping strategies in isolation from others. Negative stereotypes about dyslexics expressed in terms of “cannot do” causes dyslexia amongst academics not to be discussed. Many simply do not declare that they are dyslexic.
DAN already has 87 members in 44 universities and 47 disciplines from the Humanities through the Social Sciences to the Sciences.
Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: ‘I fully support this unique and important network. I also look forward to learning more about its development and the ways in which we can contribute to its achievements and success.’
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