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is dyslexia a disability

Is Dyslexia A Disability?

August 24, 2022

Is Dyslexia a disability? Dyslexia definitely makes life more challenging. So much of the information that we consume is in written form – from books to instruction manuals to the internet. Reading difficulties can make accessing the information we need a frustrating experience.

But is Dyslexia a considered a disability in Australia? If so, what funding and help is available?

Dyslexia In Australia – Statistics

How common is dyslexia in Australia? According to the Australian Dyslexia Association, around 10% of the Australian population are dyslexic – but the figure may be higher, as many dyslexic persons have not been diagnosed. Other countries such as the US, Canada and the UK estimate up to 20% of the population are dyslexic.

So that means over 2,500,000 Australians are dyslexic. If Australian figures are in reality the same as estimates from other English speaking countries, there could as many as 5,000,000 dyslexic Australians!

Dyslexia is a learning disability

Dyslexia is a disability – commonly referred to as a type of Specific Learning Disability (SLD).

Dyslexia is a persistent difficulty with reading or spelling. It is due to problems identifying sounds and matching them to letters and words.
Dyslexia is not related to intelligence, hearing or vision problems. It occurs when a person’s brain processes language differently.
classroom maths online games Auditory Processing Disorder treatment

Is dyslexia a disability in Australia?

In the US, dyslexia is recognised as a “specific learning disability” and students may be eligible for federally-funded services if they lack basic reading ability or reading comprehension skills.
In the UK, dyslexia is recognised as a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act, which means students with dyslexia or a related condition are usually entitled to the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) so long as they can provide a suitable diagnostic assessment.
In Australia, it’s a little more complicated. The Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 defines a disability as including “a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction.” 
is dyslexia a disability NDIS funding
The Australian Government response to the recommendations of the Dyslexia Working Party Report confirms “the definition of ‘disability’ in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) is sufficiently broad as to include dyslexia.”
So yes – dyslexia is technically classed as a disability in Australia. But is dyslexia recognised as a disability by the NDIS?

Is dyslexia a disability according to the NDIS?

It feels like we’re falling behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to providing the necessary funding and support services needed by children with specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
No Australian State or Territory provides funding specifically for students with dyslexia. Support for students with dyslexia is mostly available through general funding to schools for supporting students with learning difficulties.
This is problematic because schools don’t usually have the knowledge and resources to provide the differentiated, scaffolded instruction needed by students with dyslexia.
While dyslexia cannot be cured, it can be treated – but that requires recognition, early screening and funding for the specific interventions needed by people who experience this neurological condition.

So if it isn’t classed as a disability that attracts funding in Australia, can you use NDIS funding for dyslexia?

Dyslexia & NDIS – How you can use your NDIS funding

The NDIS doesn’t directly cover dyslexia as a disability, but depending on your situation you may be able to allocate some of your funds to improve your reading skills.

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The list of disabilities covered by the NDIS is long, but dyslexia isn’t on the list. However, you may already qualify for the NDIS and receive funding for a condition that meets the NDIS criteria, such as Autism. Or it may be that you live with a spinal cord injury and receive NDIS supports for your condition, and you also have dyslexia.

If you already qualify for the NDIS, you have already chosen a plan management type.

If your NDIS funding is self managed or plan managed, and if the program is in line with your plan goals, you can enrol in one of our online programs (don’t worry – we’ll go through all this with you on the phone before you start).

What programs are available for dyslexia treatment?

Sonic Learning has specifically designed the 3 Step Reading Program to help persons with dyslexia.

Using a suite of online learning programs you or your child can use at home, the 3 Step Reading Program builds the underlying skills supporting reading and writing development.
3 step reading program
If you’d like to know more, book a free telephone consultation with a professional or download an NDIS info pack below.

References

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NDIS info pack

Download NDIS info pack

This information pack will help you learn more about our program and help you decide if it is right for you.

Fast forword

Learn about how Sonic Learning helps Dyslexia

Learn how we re-wire the brain for reading.

Book a free phone consult

This free telephone consultation can help to answer any questions you have about our services. At Sonic Learning we are all experienced teachers and health professionals so parents tend to find it very beneficial to be able to discuss their concerns and receive guidance from our team.

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