23 June 2017

SPELD Victoria supports the comments made by Fiona Sharkie, CEO, Amaze in her press release [http://www.amaze.org.au/2017/06/hanson-controversy-on-autistic-students-amaze-responds/] date 22 June 2017 in response to the controversial comments by Senator Hanson with respect to educating autistic children.

An inclusive approach to education produces informed and tolerant students and school communities. Further, autistic students and those with Specific Learning Difficulties like Dyslexia often have clear cognitive strengths that all students in a classroom can benefit from.

The evidence base overwhelmingly shows everyone benefits from an inclusive approach that embraces diversity. 

In every class of 30 students there will be 30 different ways of learning, 30 different educational profiles with individual needs, and there will be between 3-5 students with Specific Learning Difficulties.

About 80% of students will respond to whole class instruction. 

About 15% will benefit from more intensive small group instruction at various times. 

About 5% will require one on one intervention to support student learning.

Small group and one on one instruction can be delivered outside the classroom but this does NOT mean the students are to be disconnected from the mainstream learning environment.

Teachers need to be supported in their learning to understand how best to teach those with diverse needs be they Specific Learning Difficulties or autism spectrum disorders.

At the moment undergraduate teachers receive no instruction on how best to support these students.  This needs to change.

Segregation of the kind advocated by Senator Hanson means all students would miss out on the enormous benefits offered through embracing diversity.

Segregation will leave so-called “able students” ill prepared for the diverse world in which they will live and work. 

Segregation results in ignorance and fosters intolerance. 

Segregation will perpetuate the kind of archaic commentary exhibited in our national Parliament this week.

For a more productive approach and information on how inclusion works for the benefit of all students with Specific Learning Difficulties refer to: www.uldforparents.com

See the section Supporting Students with Learning Difficulties section and what to look for in the school setting.


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Exciting Research Opportunity


The brains of people with developmental dyslexia work in unique and interesting ways. Individuals with reading difficulties often process things within their environment differently to their peers. Attending to and focusing on environmental cues is known as attention and this skill is heavily involved in reading ability. While those with reading difficulties are often seen to have different attentional processes, these differences have not been well investigated. 


What the Research Involves:

We are hoping to find parents and children/adolescents (aged 10-18 years) with a diagnosis of developmental dyslexia to participate in a day of testing at Monash University, Clayton.

Testing involves completing two computerised activities whilst we monitor brain activity using non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG). EEG is a non-painful recording technique that measures brain activity through the scalp. Note: Those involved will be reimbursed for their time and incurred costs.


How to get involved:

If you are interested, then click here and fill out the questionnaire. Alternatively, feel free to contact Chief Investigator Nicole Stefanac on 0408-749-038 or nicole.stefanac@monash.edu.au

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SPELD Victoria will move from Preston to Melbourne CBD and open to the public from Tuesday 13th June 2017This is such an exciting opportunity for SPELD Vic. It means that we will now be located at the heart of our client base, just across the road from the Bourke St entrance to Southern Cross Station. It will mean that access to our services will be easier than ever – especially for regional and metropolitan Victorians travelling by train.

Our official address will be

Donkey Wheel House, Front Section 3rd floor, 673 Bourke St, Melbourne

This marks a new chapter in SPELD's history and will better equip the organisation to fulfill our mission of helping every Victorian reach their learning potential. We will be better able to utilise the Donkey Wheel House event spaces for workshops and events; continue to offer our cognitive and educational diagnostic services, and have the opportunity to connect with other socially aligned enterprises. 

Our new chapter at Donkey Wheel House

Built in 1891, Donkey Wheel House was formerly the old Tramways building. It is now heritage listed, and owned by Ethical Properties Australia. It is occupied by a range of organisations aiming to make the world a better place. Other tenants include: Kinfolk Cafe, School of Life, Children’s Ground, The Difference Incubator, and Ethical Property Australia. 

The Donkey Wheel House ethos of “think different, act different, make a different difference” is both a good fit for SPELD Victoria and a challenge as we strive to achieve our vision of Victoria being a place where Specific Learning Difficulties including Dyslexia are widely understood and are no barrier to individuals achieving their full learning potential.

Important Dates

31 May 2017 (Wed)  Final business day at Preston - For any inquiries and to book an assessment between 1st to 9th June, please contact us via email: admin@speldvic.org.au

13 June 2017 (Tue) First day of business in Donkey Wheel House

How to get there

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Public Transport:

By Train: Southern Cross Station - Take the Bourke St exit from Southern Cross Station (2-3 minutes walk)

By Tram: No. 86 & 96 - Get off at Southern Cross Station Stop no.1 (right outside of our doorstep)

By Car:

Car parks near us (these are suggestions only - please refer to their websites for any updated or special rates):

Secure Parking - 522 Flinders Lane, Melbourne - Early-bird (Enter between 7am and 10am, Exit between 2pm and 10pm) $16.00, Casual Rates starting from $8.00 (0-30 mins)

Merritts Place Car Park - 558 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne - Early-bird (Enter between 5:30am and 10am, Exit between 3pm and 9pm) $18.00, Casual Rates starting from $8.00 (0-30 mins)

InterPark - 717 Bourke Street, Docklands (Rear of Building)  - Early-bird (Enter between 6am and 10am, Exit between 3pm and midnight) $22.00, Casual Rates starting from $16.00 (0-1 hour)

Secure Parking - 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne - Early-bird (Enter between 7am and 9:30am, Exit between 3pm and 8pm) $23.00, Casual Rates starting from $8.00 (0-30 mins)

Wilson Parking - 530 Collins Street, Melbourne - Early-bird (Enter between 6am and 10am, Exit between 3pm and 6:30pm) $24.00, Casual Rates starting from $18.00 (0-1 hour)


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