‘Read my frustration’: Undetected dyslexia in classrooms the target of new campaign

A child is confronted with his inner voice of fear and frustration as he struggles to read a passage in front of him in a campaign from the Code Read Dyslexia Network.

The campaign highlights the frustration children with dyslexia feel when their condition is misunderstood in the classroom, in order to draw attention to the little, or no, training Australian teachers receive in teaching students with dyslexia.

Dyslexia, a brain-based condition that makes it difficult for people to ‘decode’ words and affects reading, writing and spelling, is experienced by one in ten Australians. The condition can occur in mild to severe cases and affects people across the IQ range.

Dr Sandra Marshall, chairperson for Code Read Dyslexia Network, said: “The failure and underachievement of students with dyslexia at school is both a human right and a public health issue.

“Our ‘Read My Frustration’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the prevalence of dyslexia in Australia, while conveying the unnecessary pain and frustration caused by unrecognised dyslexia. We know early identification, reading instruction informed by science, and supportive classroom environments would allow all dyslexics to achieve their potential. But that’s not happening.

“Beyond awareness, Code Read Dyslexia Network’s key campaign goal is to change people’s view of dyslexia and to emphasise that dyslexia is not linked to intelligence, and that those with dyslexia can learn to read. High expectations for all students is critical.”

One of the billboard executions

Early intervention is key to the development of people with dyslexia. If delayed beyond year three, 75% of students will still be behind their age-related peers when they’re in year nine.

Jonathan Kerr, Code Read Dyslexia Network board member and chief marketing and delivery officer of Budget Direct Insurance, called attention to the little progress Australian schools have made on addressing the condition.

“As a dyslexic that battled my way through the system 30 years ago, I was staggered to find out that so little had changed since my school years, so I had to get involved to do something about it. Addressing dyslexia properly in Australia will have profound impact on the lives and prospects of 10% of Australians and in turn the prospects of Australia as a whole,” Kerr said.

The campaign was created by South Australian agency KWP.

Agency CEO, David O’Loughlin, said: “The potency and emotion of this piece of work
has come from direct experiences and relationships that are very important to us, and in some cases very personal.

“As parents, friends or caregivers, many staff and suppliers who worked with Code Read on this campaign have supported people who have dyslexia. They have seen the enormous and damaging frustration dyslexia causes, a frustration born from the lack of understanding the broader community has of it.

“We only hope that through this campaign people will lean in and learn more about dyslexia. We hope that children and adults alike will then benefit from that learning and realise their full potential as the smart, capable and confident people they are.”

The campaign will appear on TV, billboards, online and social media.


Client: Code Read Dyslexia
Chairperson: Dr Sandra Marshall
Vice Chairperson: Carolyn Merritt
Director: Sandra Tidswell
Director: Jonathan Kerr

Agency: KWP!
CEO: David O’Loughlin
Executive Creative Director: Corey Swaffer
Copywriter: Joshua Newnes
Art Director: Kent O’Halloran
Production Manager: Ben Spry
Producer: Peter Lugg
Account Manager: Nat Parsons
Strategist: Brittany James
Finished Artist: Andy Breeding

Production Partners
Production House: 2OC – Tom Molnar
Director: Louise Heesom
DOP/Operator: Max Corkendale
Technical Director: Tom Molnar
Sound: David Tomlinson
Producer: Tayla Stabile
Photographer: Richard Lyons
Hair/Makeup: Annie Tomkinson
Marketing Ops / Media: Budget Direct Team

CSA Partners
oOH! Media
PR: 303Mullenlowe
Photo Retoucher: Carl Baker @ Mat Baker
Marketing Ops / Media: Budget Direct In-House Team


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