British Dyslexia Association Conference!
I had a very enjoyable afternoon yesterday (Thursday 27th March) at the British Dyslexia Association Conference.
The conference theme of the impact of innovation was an ideal way to showcase the projects I have been part of with Jane Wray – research fellow in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the university of Hull.
Jane and I work very closely together over the last six years on various projects incorporating screening for dyslexia and embedding subject specific study skills. Our shared aim is to increase access to support for nursing students especially for those nursing students who have dyslexia and dyspraxia. It is Jane who gave me the skills and confidence to bid for funds to continue the work with sports rehabilitation on embedding subject specific study skills and Enhancing support through telecommunications nicknamed the Skype project. Students often say that they couldn’t have done it without me whereas
Jane is that person for me.
During the presentation called the Highs and Slows of Innovation we described the benefits of collaborating with others in terms of sharing networks, developing skills and peer support as well as the slows of implementing the findings of innovative projects and accessing resources. Innovation thrives through collaboration but without organisational buy-in it can be very challenging. Peer support was essential in order to initiate innovation maintain momentum and guard against inertia in practice.
To emphasise the importance of collaboration in the 4 projects I undertook at Hull University media clipswere embedded into the presentation. This enabled Amanda Sherratt, Eileen Wakes, (Faculty of Health and Social Care) Jim Keane (Disability Services) and Colin Johnson (Sports Rehabilitation) to express their personal Highs and Slows.
We were the last to present in the session and it had been plagued with technical problems and presenters over-running. However, Jane and I launched ourselves into it in the same way we had approached the projects with enthusiasm and passion and soon lightened the mood in the theatre. I had also uploaded the clips onto Soundcloud and Youtube for people to access so the technical problems that had plagued the session did not impact upon our message. It was great to see so many people taking photos of the screen to access the links and many people asked questions and took time to visit us during the poster presentation later in the evening.
Committee member Claire Jamison (chair of the session) sought us out afterwards and said thanked us for “saving the session” and commended my passion and enthusiasm.
During the poster presentation – 4 Projects and a Company – we had a long discussion with the mayor about the importance of expert support. I explained how Diverse Learners was founded from the projects at Hull University and the many benefits accessing support via Skype has for students (and staff). The mayor was accompanied by Dr Julia Carol, chair of the conference, who nodded her agreement throughout the discussion as I explained the mission to increase access to support for healthcare students with dyslexia and dyspraxia as well as hopes to continue to collaborative projects with Hull University.
Jane snapped the picture of the in depth discussion with the mayor – another thing to thank her for.