Dyslexia Party Runs for Government

General Election 2019

Watching all the media coverage of the 2019 UK General Election reminded me just what an important role elections and politics have played in my dyslexia campaigning over the years.  And just how hard we must push the new British government to embrace our issue and the urgent changes needed to support dyslexic students.

This is where my campaign journey began – back in 2005. BBC News – Dyslexia Party Runs for Government


This is me and my son Ted back in April 2005 when I started my first dyslexia charity campaign, Xtraordinary People.  After a really, really rough start with Ted’s schooling, we were lucky to be able to send him to my old school which is great with dyslexia.  Knowing how truly desperate my family felt during his rough times, and how things transformed for him with the right support, I felt deeply compelled to try and change things and help others.

So as soon as my 2 dyslexic boys were settled in, and on course, I started Xtraordinary People and set off as a ‘mum on a mission’ to make change happen. I spent weeks trying to get an appointment with the Dept of Education, but to no avail, and as I began working with the other UK dyslexia charities, I discovered they’d had no luck with talking or meeting Government either.

There was a General Election planned in May 2005 and I hatched a mad plan to get Government to take notice…I’d stand as a candidate for my cause against the Education Secretary, Ruth Kelly.  So I formed a ‘political party’ called Xtraordinary People, with just 1 candidate (me!), on a manifesto with just one issue (dyslexia). Read the BBC news report about it here.

Before the election, along with all the other party candidates, my name was read out at the Town Hall.  Not long after my phone rang …. Ruth Kelly wanted to meet!  Before the election, we met and discussed dyslexia. I raised my issues and she promised to work with me if she was re-elected.  Mission accomplished (and I actually managed to win a few votes too!).

Ruth was re-elected and she resumed her role as Education Secretary; we eventually began working with Government on a project called ‘No To Failure’. We ran pilot projects in schools across the UK to demonstrate the link between children failing in school and unsupported dyslexia.  We trained teachers, screened students and put in evidenced based dyslexia support which saw ‘failing’ children flourish in front of everyones eyes.


BBC1 Documentary

In 2006, BBC1 filmed a fly on the wall documentary about my work supporting dyslexic kids in a secondary school in Walworth, a school that served one of the poorest and most disadvantaged areas of London.  We filmed there with the BBC every day with regular visits from the Education Ministers and advisors, who couldn’t help but be moved by the progress we were seeing with the kids. Read BBC report here.

The ‘No to Failure’ project showed a massive link between unsupported dyslexia and kids ‘failing’ SATS, leaving school unable to read write and do maths. The project also showed that with the right support, these kids could can learn…and do well.  As a result, the Government commissioned an official review, The Rose Review of Dyslexia which was published in June 2009 along with a £900,000 investment into teacher training.

June 2009

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Job Done….well for a while anyway.

Everything looked like it was on the up, and with the Dyslexia charities now working together to implement the Rose review funding, I stepped back from ‘campaigning’ to begin researching my passion, Dyslexic Strengths.

Then in 2010 another general election saw a Conservative Government come to power, we had a global economic downturn resulting in austerity and cuts; over the next 5 years it all went downhill.  The investment into dyslexia teacher training stopped. Most of the teachers we trained were lost as cuts impacted on Special Educational Needs funding. I watched in despair as my campaigning work unravelled in front of my eyes.

A brilliant time to be dyslexic … and a terrible time to be dyslexic

At the same time, my research was finding that Dyslexic Thinking skills were much in demand, aligning perfectly with the skills which the World Economic Forum (WEF) were highlighting as essential skills for the future of work…something I spoke about in my first ever TedTalk!

But while the WEF were highlighting the need for skills which come naturally to a Dyslexic, our Government was bringing in exam forms that would seriously disadvantage every dyslexic student, made worse by a backdrop of reduced dyslexic support in schools.  I could see big trouble ahead.

Time for Made By Dyslexia

So in 2016 I dusted off my campaigning boots and got back on the campaign trail.  This time, I won’t stop until we’ve sorted this once and for all.

In May 2017 Made By Dyslexia was launched as we mean to go on, with a bold and ballsy campaign involving a ‘Dyslexic Sperm Bank’ and Richard Branson!

We’ve come a long way in 2 1/2 years. We’ve produced 2 reports with EY Value of Dyslexia 1 and Value of Dyslexia 2 which put rigour around our initial findings that the workplace of tomorrow needs Dyslexic Thinking.

We’ve held 2 Global Summits bringing together business and thought leaders, celebrities VIP’s, royalty and charities from all around the world, to discuss and recognise the Value of Dyslexia in ALL our futures.

In 2018 we partnered with Microsoft to create free, scalable global solutions.

This year Gibraltar became the first nation to sign the Made By Dyslexia Pledge with more to come in 2020.

UK General Election 2019 and a new government

We’ve had turbulent times in British politics since the Brexit vote, meaning it’s been hard to create any tangible change with Government.  But as this blog highlights, Elections bring great change for us Dyslexics, so I say this to the UK’s New Government, whoever you are, it’s time to knuckle down and work with us to recognise the Value of Dyslexia…and make real change once and for all.

Because we’re coming for you in 2020!






Game-changers Global Summit 2019

On 14th October at the Science Museum London we held the 2nd Made By Dyslexia Global Summit.  We brought together some of the world’s most successful dyslexics and influencers to participate in discussions to inform and shape the future of dyslexia in education and employment.

Global celebrities, VIP’s, business leaders are joining us ‘virtually’ and in person. The Summit was opened by RT Hon Matt Hancock, and hosted by Robyn Curnow, CNN International News Anchor. Richard Branson joined many VIP’s speakers including HRH Princess Beatrice of York. Supported by Microsoft, the whole event was live-streamed on Facebook reaching millions around the world!  Here’s the highlights film…

Our world is Made By Dyslexia

Throughout history dyslexic people’s ability to think differently has made them Game Changers. From the first telephone made by Alexander Graham Bell, to the iPhone made by Steve Jobs; the first airplane made by the Wright Brothers to Virgin space travel made by Richard Branson. Dyslexic thinking has helped to make the world we live in.

The Summit celebrated dyslexic Game Changers past, present…and future, with contributions from extraordinary organisations like GCHQ, Virgin Galactic and Microsoft who are empowering the dyslexic Game Changers of the future.

Watch the opening address by Rt Hon Matt Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care… #MadeByDyslexia.

The Imaginers 

Our first panel was called Imaginers.  Speakers included Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE – Space Scientist and Communicator, David Spear Virgin Galactic Future Astronaut, Sir Richard Branson.

Every great invention and breakthrough, past, present…and future starts with imagination. From someones vision of doing, creating or solving the seemingly impossible. Throughout history dyslexics have imagined, and achieved many impossible things which have helped to shape our world.  Thomas Edison illuminated the world, Henry Ford made cars accessible to all, Steve Jobs gave us pocket computers.  These visionaries and daydreamers literally imagined the impossible and made it possible.  In this panel we explore  the power of imagining with help of Richard Branson and his dream of space travel and its important role in changing our world for good. Watch this discussion below.

The Game Changers 

Our second panel was Game Changers.  Speakers were Jeremy Fleming – Director of GCHQ, Nick Jones MBE – Founder Soho House, Steve Hatch – VP Facebook Northern Europe, Richard Addison – Partner at EY Value of Dyslexia Report team, Laura Powell – Global Head of Human Resources Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC.

Dyslexics are Game Changers. Innovative, disruptive thinkers who do things differently with an ability to think around corners and make connections others can’t. Dyslexic thinking has literally changed sectors, created new industries, and won wars.  Now the world of work is changing, machines are replacing ‘straight line thinking’ creating an urgent need for new skills. EY Value of Dyslexia Report 2018 found that Dyslexics have exactly the skills needed for this new world of work.  The new 2019 Value of Dyslexia report finds Technology has now removed barriers that dyslexics previously faced leaving them free to focus on their strengths. So it really is dyslexia’s time. We explores how business and industry can embrace this, and how education needs to change to support these minds of the future. Watch this panel discussion in film below.

The Change Makers

The final panel was Change Makers. Leaders in education and change discuss the harsh reality of our current global education system, and what needs to change.  Speakers included HRH Princess Beatrice of York, Kate Griggs – Founder and CEO Made By Dyslexia, Gavin Horgan – Headmaster Millfield School, Dr. Charlie Miller – Co Founder Flip Grid, GM Microsoft, Dame Martina Millburn – CEO Princes Trust & Chair Social Mobility Commission

The world needs dyslexic thinking.  But traditional education focuses on measurement and conformity which ‘disables’ the dyslexic students who’s very thinking is vital for our future.  It’s time for change. The world of work is re-evaluating dyslexia, recognising the important role it plays in the future, and education must too. Until we do we cannot prepare our young people for the future world of work. Pioneering educators (like Millfield) have been supporting dyslexic thinking since the 1930’s, but how do we level the playing-field so every dyslexic child can achieve their potential?  In this panel we talk to Game Changers in Education and discuss how we must ALL become agents of this urgent change.  Watch the panel discussion in film below.

Connecting the Dots

The discussions at the Global Summit has made one thing abundantly clear…. we need change, and we need it NOW.

That’s why in 2020 Made By Dyslexia is launching CONNECTING THE DOTS, a global campaign and advocacy movement with one mission; to level the playing-field so every dyslexic child can achieve their potential.

CONNECTING THE DOTS is galvanising the brilliant educators, charities, grass roots movements and parents who work tirelessly to support dyslexia; to amplify their voices and share their expertise, behind our structured campaign for change.  One voice, one message, one mission …to create change. 

Find out more in the film below.

Closing Remarks from Kate Griggs #MadeByDyslexia

You can start to Connect the Dots right now by following us on Social media and sharing our content, and by helping to raise money for Made By Dyslexia by donating via Facebook or Virgin Money Giving . Every $£€ helps!

Thanks so much for watching, listening, sharing and caring!

Get ready world … we’re coming for you in 2020!

Kate Griggs


“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” Sir Winston Churchill

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My Story

Until  I was 9 Years old I was failing miserably at school. Back in the late 60’s and early  ’70’s rote learning was all the rage with huge emphasis on spelling punctuation, grammar, and my personal worst…times tables.  All this was drilled into us and tested almost daily, and unless we could pass (and I rarely could) we were in the bottom sets.

My favourite subject was biology, I loved animals and was fascinated by everything about them, I spent all my spare time caring for my pets or looking for newts and tadpoles, all of which I’d proudly take into school for ‘show and tell’. In fact I dreamed of being a vet when I grew up.  But my biology teacher was a stickler for spelling punctuating and grammar and however imaginative and accurate my ideas, my work was always covered in ‘red pen errors’ and marked down.  Sadly my biology teacher was also my maths teacher and maths being my absolute worst subject, rewarded me with weekly public humiliations in mental maths and times tables tests. The obvious conclusion to all of the above for both my teacher and myself was that I wasn’t very clever, and certainly not clever enough to be a vet! At 9 years old I was failing at everything.

Eventually the head teacher called my parents in for a meeting and told them that although I was “a lovely kind girl who tried very had, I just wasn’t very bright, I would certainly fail my upcoming entrance exams, and struggle to get any qualifications” In summary my parents were told them they should think of alternative education for me.

My school hadn’t picked up my dyslexia but my older brother’s dyslexia had been identified and he was going to Millfield School, a school school recognised for its support for dyslexia, so I was sent for an interview at Millfield.

The Headmaster ushered me into his office and with a kind expression he asked me to tell him about myself.  So I dutifully repeated what my headmistress had said about me, that I wasn’t very clever and wouldn’t be able to pass any exams.  He laughed as said ‘Oh we’re not bothered about exams, we can help you to pass those, but exams don’t mean you’re clever they just mean you are good at passing exams…we’re interested in finding what you’re really good at, and what do you love to do?”  I spent then next hour telling him all about the things I loved to do and at the end of that time, he offered me a place at the school and I stated straight away.

I remember that day so vividly as it changed my life and is one of the main reasons I do what I do now. That day made me realise just how important attitude and focussing on strengths really is.

Dyslexic Strengths

The teachers positive attitude to dyslexia and their focus on strengths meant that in just a few weeks I went from feeling like a failure to realising that I actually had potential, that tests were not the be all and end all, and that I was smart, just in different ways.  Eventually my dyslexia was picked up and I was given the help I needed.  From there on in I loved school.

Although Jamie Oliver wasn’t as lucky to have a school that focussed on his strengths, as he says in the clip below, “There are different types of intelligence and everyone has the ability to be brilliant”.

Levelling the playing field

I appreciate how very lucky I am to have had the education I’ve have had and it’s what drives me and the mission behind Made By Dyslexia. We want to help every dyslexic understand their potential and get support.  We’ve known since the 1930’s, when Millfield was set up, how to identify and support dyslexia, and that with dyslexia comes this pattern of strengths. But still today most dyslexic kids are misunderstood and largely unsupported.

We also know that the current focus on exams, on spelling punctuation grammar and rote learning is seriously disadvantageous for dyslexics and won’t create the kinds of minds the future needs…as a charity we are campaigning hard for change.

Last week we held a Dyslexia Showcase at Millfield School, with some inspiring discussions with expert educators, successful dyslexics and students discussing all these points. It’s well worth a watch so click on image below to view.

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Free Dyslexia Awareness Training

The first step to unlocking dyslexic potential is understanding it.  We the help of the expert teachers at Millfield and the Schenck School in Atlanta we’ve created this free Dyslexia Awareness film based course with Microsoft. Be sure to check it out by clicking the image below.


Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

So for every dyslexic kid, their parents and their teachers who are going though the stresses of end of year tests and exams, please keep focused on your Dyslexic Strengths, whatever they may be, as they really will take you far in life.  Remember these wise words from famous inventor Henry Ford, Made By Dyslexia …because attitude really is everything.


Please share and help us spread the word.

Thank you!



An amazing Dyslexia Showcase in Atlanta!

Wow! What a night.  We couldn’t have wished for a better way to launch our Dyslexia Showcases in partnership with Microsoft.  We had a packed room at The Schenck School in Atlanta, Georgia full of educators, school administrators, dyslexia advocates, parents and many successful dyslexics.

A panel of Dyslexia expert teachers from Schenck School and Atlanta Elementary schools Morningside and Thomasville/Purposebuilt, all shared their views on how we enable ALL dyslexic children to succeed.  There was such a sense of positive energy and movement for change…and it was all broadcast on Facebook live so please check it out here


The showcase was hosted by the wonderful Robyn Curnow, News Anchor at CNN who spoke openly for the first time about her dyslexia.  We have an interview with her coming up soon!


Beth Watson and Mike Tholfsen from MicrosoftEdu spoke and presented at the event, explaining their partnership with us, and the work they’re doing to provide free support for educators and dyslexics.

The overriding take-away from the event was how really important it is for teachers and parents to understand dyslexia properly and get the right support.  And that’s exactly why we’re working with expert educators across the world, and in partnership with Microsoft to create FREE online Dyslexia Training for teachers, and parents.  In January we launched our first 5 Dyslexia Awareness Modules and already 75,000+ teachers have done training! We have more modules coming up later this year and next.


A panel of successful dyslexics from Atlanta (Mike Altman, Richard Courts IV and Dr James Calleroz White) all joined Robyn to share their fascinating stories and very humorous insight!  They discussed the EY Value of Dyslexia report and all of the panel agreed that they focus on their dyslexic strengths meaning that dyslexia has definitely helped them to succeed.


We are so excited for the next Dyslexia Showcase which will be held at Millfield School in UK on 6th of June.  We’ll be rolling our Dyslexia Showcases out around the world…so if you’re a school that excels in supporting dyslexic students and would like to partner with us on an event…we’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime if you haven’t taken our awareness training click on the image below!




Launching “Dyslexia Showcases” Made By Dyslexia!


We’re super excited to announce that we’ll be heading to Atlanta to our friends at the Schenck School where we’re holding the first in our series of Dyslexia Showcases in partnership with Microsoft.

The Dyslexia Showcase events are designed to help teachers, educators and parents to get a better understanding of dyslexia,  the value of dyslexic thinking skills, and how to enable dyslexic students.

You can join us too, we’re broadcasting the showcase on Facebook Live so hop over to our Facebook page on 25th April at 6pm EDT and join in. You can sign up here to  Watch the Dyslexia Showcase on Facebook LIVE  and if the US time zone makes it too late or early for you to join live, the stream will be on Facebook and YouTube to watch after the event.

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We’ll be showcasing the new Dyslexia Awareness Training we’ve just released, and the evening will be full of practical insights that will help you understand and support dyslexic students.

  • Hosted by CNN International News Anchor Robyn Curnow.
  • Inspirational discussions and presentations from Made By Dyslexia, Microsoft, and Schenck School teachers.
  • Discuss the recent EY Value of Dyslexia report, and the importance of dyslexic thinking skills for the future
  • Personal insights and stories from successful dyslexics and dyslexia experts.
  • Video contributions from Sir Richard Branson and other celebrity ambassadors.
  • Exclusive previews of new free online Dyslexia Awareness Training modules.
  • Presentation by Microsoft on their Learning Tools.

The evening will bring together public officials, educators, teachers, parents, and advocates.

Our goal is for everyone to leave with an understanding of the value of dyslexia and how to support dyslexic learners.

We hope you will join us and help us spread the word.

Thank you!


Dyslexia – Spelling It Out

Welcome to my new blog!

Every month (and sometimes in between) I will be sharing our news and views and Spelling Out all things Made By Dyslexia. I hope you’ll follow along and spread the word to help everyone, everywhere understand the #ValueOfDyslexia.

NEW Dyslexia Awareness Training in partnership with Microsoft.

At our Global Summit back in October Satya Nadella announced our partnership with Microsoft highlighting ourmission to empower every dyslexic to reach their potential.

This month we’re so excited to tell you about first  NEW Teacher and Parents Dyslexia Awareness Training that we’ve created with Microsoft.  The training includes our NEW inspirational Dyslexia Awareness Films and anyone anywhere around the world can access it for free.  

Dyslexia expert teachers from two world-leading schools are sharing their wisdom and expertise alongside successful dyslexic celebrities who are contributing their insights and inspiring stories.  Click on image below for link to new course.


The course only takes about an hour and will provide essential insights into dyslexia, which we believe all educators and parents should have so we would love your help to share this far and wide.  Please recommend it to your schools, your friends, to parents.  Share this blog and social media posts to help spread it far and wide.

Spelling It Out – why this is SO important

Research Challenges

Dyslexia is the most common learning difference affecting between 10 – 20% kids…so a sizeable cohort in every class.  Yet most teachers simply aren’t trained in how to spot it, or support it.  We have to change that! 

With school budgets and time so stretched, dyslexia often slips down the list of priorities when actually even small changes can make such a huge difference. AND what’s good for dyslexic kids is good for all students! 

Understanding the Value of Dyslexia

Research Inclusive Classroom

We know that dyslexics have a different way of processing information which means they often struggle with more traditional education and testing. But our report with EY Value of Dyslexia found these thinking skills are the very skills that are needed in the 21st Century.  

So it’s really important we help everyone understand the #ValueOfDyslexia and support Dyslexic Thinking.

These films and training will help to do that! Watch these kids talking about their Dyslexic Strengths.

Keep and eye out for 5 new modules coming later this year, and more in-depth training due next year.  

Thank you!

Kate Griggs.

Founder, CEO Made By Dyslexia

Dyslexic Thinking Skills Explained

“It’s time we all understand dyslexia properly as a different way of thinking, not a disadvantage”. Sir Richard Branson 

With so much focus at this time of year on exam results, it’s an ideal time to write about Dyslexic Thinking Skills. Because whether you get the grades you want or not, the key to success in life is to recognise and nurture your Dyslexic Thinking.

Finding your passions; things you love to do and are naturally good at, and then working really hard to become great at them is a winning formula in whatever endeavour you choose. This is SO important for dyslexics; a passionate and determined bunch who often become ‘experts’ and ‘pioneers’ at what they do. It’s a formula that all of these amazing dyslexic thinkers use…and just look what they’ve achieved! 

Round Pegs in Square Holes

Dyslexic minds process information in divergent, creative and lateral ways, and have created some of the world’s greatest inventions, brands and art. But education systems aren’t designed for dyslexic thinking and typically measure success by how accurately students regurgitate facts in an exam or test. Most dyslexics find this difficult, and stifling to their imaginative and creative thinking.  In our recent interview with Richard Branson he said “If you’re not good at conventional education you are made to feel stupid”. 

That’s why many dyslexics only begin to flourish after school, when they’re no longer forced to fit into the confines of education and can truly tap into their dyslexic thinking and apply it to their endeavours. Like Richard Branson who you will recognise in many of the Skills listed below.

21st Century Skills

4 out of 5 dyslexic people attribute their success to their dyslexic thinking. There are a large percentage of dyslexics in fields like Entrepreneurship,  Engineering, Creative and Tech industries, and in organisations like the British Intelligence agency (GCHQ) actively recruit dyslexics for their Reasoning skills.  

Now Neuroscience is giving extraordinary insight into the physical differences in dyslexic brains that lead to these enhanced thinking skills. 9 out of 10 dyslexics describe their thinking as “seeing past detail to gain a strategic (big picture) view of a subject/problem”. Dr. Manuel Casanova (University of Kentucky School of Medicine) has found that dyslexics have longer connections in certain parts of the brain, which explain this big-picture processing skill.

Surely, it’s time for education to catch up and find a better way of measuring our young people? We’re working on that! But in the meantime it’s super important we all recognise and nurture the talents in dyslexic people, young and old.

Dyslexic Thinking Skills Explained

There are 6 Dyslexic Thinking Skills areas.  These are broken into two areas: Specific Skills which relate to the career paths often preferential to dyslexic thinkers; and General Skills which relate to most sorts of education, activities and careers. 

Whilst no two dyslexics are the same, all will have a combination of some of these skills.


VISUALISING: Interacting with space, senses, physical ideas & new concepts. (75% of dyslexics are above average at Visualising).  

  • Moving: physical interpretation & game playing. Examples: Dancer, Musician, Sports player.
  • Making: visualising, planning & making. Examples: Engineer, Architect, Craft worker, Programmer, Designer, Chef, Gardener.
  • Inventing: exploring possibilities, making connections & inventing. Examples: Scientist, Technologist, Entrepreneur.

IMAGINING: Creating an original piece of work, or giving ideas a new spin (84% of dyslexics are above average at Imagining).                   

  • Creating: creating completely original work from your imagination. Examples: Designers, Artists, Composers, Writers.
  • Interpreting: using imagination to give ideas a new twist, or bring out a fresh angle. Examples: Actor, Advertiser, PR, Director, Photographer. 

COMMUNICATING: Crafting & conveying clear & engaging messages. (71% of dyslexics are above average at Communicating).                                         

  • Explaining: assessing situations/information, & explaining clearly to other people. Examples: Journalist, Marketeer, Politician, Teacher, Campaigner.
  • Story-telling: creating vivid & engaging experiences in words, pictures or other media. Examples: Author, Writer, Games Developer, Song Writer, Film Maker.


REASONING: Understanding patterns, evaluating possibilities & making decisions.  (84% of dyslexics are above average in Reasoning).                                  

  • Simplifying: understanding, taking apart & simplifying complex ideas & concepts.
  • Analysing: using logic to decide on strength of an argument or where the truth lies.
  • Deciding: interpreting patterns & situations to predict future events & make decisions.           
  • Visioning: seeing past detail to gain a strategic (big picture) view of a subject or problem.

CONNECTING: Understanding self; connecting, empathising & influencing others. (80% of dyslexics are above average at Connecting).                                                                        

  • Understanding self: recognising & managing own feelings, & understanding how they affect own behaviour and that of others.
  • Understanding others: understanding & interpreting the verbal, physical & emotional reactions of other people.
  • Influencing: managing, influencing & inspiring constructive emotions in other people. Empathising: sensing, understanding & responding (emotionally and/or practically) to how people feel. 

EXPLORING: being curious & exploring ideas in a constant & energetic way. (84% of dyslexics are above average at Exploring).           

  • Learning: having a curiosity for finding out new things and learning new skills.       
  • Digging: looking into things in a way that means most is learnt or discovered.  
  • Energising: being so passionate about something it gives a buzz and tenacity to learn about it.
  • Doing: using new knowledge to achieve a result that surprises & pleases self or others 

To take our Dyslexic Thinking Skills test go to madebydyslexia.org

“You can be good at something very simple that you enjoy, and turn it into your life’s work that makes you want to get out of bed with a spark in your eye“.  Jamie Oliver 

Here’s an example of how Jamie Oliver used his dyslexic thinking of Creating, Explaining, Connecting and Energising, to help him succeed.


You can keep up to date with all our news and activity on social media. Facebook Twitter Instagram

Thank you!

Kate Griggs

Made By Dyslexia Launch Event

What an amazing first week we’ve had at MBD HQ!

Our feet literally haven’t touched the ground.  Thanks so much to everyone who’s followed, RT’d, shared, commented and connected. We’re excited to have you with us on the journey and please remember to keep spreading the word!


At the launch we shared Made by Dyslexia’s global goals.  Our initial focus is about CHANGING PERCEPTIONS…making sure dyslexia is properly understood as a different way of thinking, not a disadvantage.

Some of the greatest inventions, art and brands of the modern world have been made by dyslexia.  We believe that if the world truly understands the value of dyslexic thinking and the amazing talents dyslexia brings, then we can start to drive opinion and behavioural change so dyslexics are empowered and open about their way of thinking.  We want schools, parents, teachers and governments to look for and recognise dyslexia rather than hiding, ignoring or misunderstanding it.  Dyslexia brings with it creativity, innovation and empathy that is so important to our ever changing world.

We’ve been genuinely moved by your appetite and passion for our campaign message.

The Launch

We gathered in a secret location in Central London for an intimate, informal and inspirational chat with Richard Branson  and fellow Ambassador Roland Rudd and me.


The audience included many of the great and good from the dyslexia world who came from far and wide including, Canada and the USA.  Australia were with us in spirit, sharing questions for Richard, Roland and I to answer.

The “Dyslexic Sperm Bank”

So why a “Dyslexic Sperm Bank”?  It was an edgy idea dreamt up by the creative minds (many dyslexic) at Y&R London.  It was a bold communications idea that Richard and his team loved, and so did we.  It certainly got people talking.  We’ve had incredible coverage by everyone from the Sunday Times and the BBC, to the Huffington Post.


We arrived at the idea because about 18 months ago the London Sperm bank announced that you couldn’t donate sperm if you were dyslexic as it was considered to be a “neurological disease”…yes really!… providing an extreme example of how much we need to change perception. So we took that thought and created some social research by setting up a pop-up ‘Dyslexic Sperm Bank’ and filming the public’s reaction.  Watch the film here.

The Research

To support the launch and film we commissioned exclusive research by YouGov and Made By Dyslexia which highlighted the task at hand:

•   Only 3% of people think dyslexia is a positive trait

•   58% believe that someone with dyslexia will do worse at school; only 2% think they may do better

•   19% of people associate dyslexia with creativity whereas 84% of dyslexics say they are above average in creative skills

•   13% of people associate dyslexia with lateral thinking whereas 84% of dyslexics say they are above average in lateral thinking skills

•   12% of people associate dyslexia with good problem solving skills whereas 84% of dyslexics say they are above average at problem solving

•   9 out of 10 dyslexics say their dyslexia made them feel angry, stupid or embarrassed

Podcast of the Event

We’re excited to share a podcast of the launch talk between Richard, Roland and myself…we talk candidly about our experiences of dyslexia and our advice for dyslexics, their parents and teachers.  Hearing one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs saying he spent his school years thinking he was “just plain thick”, was moving and enlightening.  Happy listening!  iTunes or Lybsyn

We’ll be back with another blog soon. You can keep up to date on twitter or Facebook or go to our website where you can read our launch report or take The Dyslexic Thinking Test.

Kate Griggs – Founder and CEO Made By Dyslexia

Welcome to Made By Dyslexia

Hello and welcome to our first blog!

Today is launch day and we’re all super excited to start to share our plans.

There is SO much to do but it all starts with audacious goals and passionate supporters.

Please help us spread the word by following and sharing.  And we’d love to hear your stories and thoughts so get in touch either on social media or email.

Our launch event is in London with Richard Branson.  He and I will be talking about his dyslexia and about our aims….we’re filming it all and will share this with you on social media over the coming days.

In the meantime check out the Connecting the Dots Report which tells you about us; what we know about dyslexia, and dyslexic thinking.  You can find it on our website www.madebydyslexia.org

You can also take the dyslexic thinking test here http://madebydyslexia.org.

We’ll have lots more in the coming days.

Let’s get going!

Kate Griggs – Founder and CEO Made By DyslexiaFullSizeRender