Jeremy Irons Celebrates Dyslexic Innovators in New Work by DDB Melbourne
As many people with dyslexia can relay, the world isn’t particularly well-equipped to accommodate those that experience this common reading disability. With plenty of horror stories of communities and institutions that simply did not understand dyslexia, working to reshape the world to empower dyslexic thinkers is the next step forward.
Encouraging schools to allow teachers to “Take a Day to Learn Dyslexia,” the nonprofit advocacy group Made By Dyslexia teamed with DDB Melbourne to release a 70-second spot narrated by acclaimed actor Jeremy Irons, explaining the necessity of empowerment in the classroom.
Titled “Square Pegs,” the short largely features a series of spheres being dropped into corresponding holes. “This is a round hole,” Irons’ narration begins. “Our schools are filled with round holes because a large majority of students fit snugly within them.”
He further describes the reality that many dyslexic people experience, noting that schools often assume that if you don’t fit the uniformity of the system, there must be something wrong with you. He then asks, “What if all those ‘round hole’ people were wrong?”
Illustrating that simply by virtue of existing outside of a normative box, you might be able to develop a unique understanding of the world and gain skill sets that allow for innovative problem-solving that could potentially change the way things are done. Highlighting several famous people known to be dyslexic, like Albert Einstein, Kiera Knightly and Muhammed Ali, the spot ends on the encouragement that reshaping our way of doing things is well within reach.
With in-house research indicating that only one in 10 teachers globally understand the unique strengths associated with dyslexia, the organization teamed with Microsoft to offer an online training program for educators. This occurs in the lead-up to a December speech the U.K. Parliament will give, urging lawmakers to make dyslexia training mandatory for teachers.
“It’s exactly the right time to tell governments globally that we need to reshape education to fit our most gifted thinkers,” Made By Dyslexia founder and CEO Kate Griggs said in a statement. “This film will kick off our short, sharp agitation campaign targeting all members of the U.K. government and shadow cabinet, as well as being used globally to get the important message across.”