- ABOUT DYSLEXIA
KAREN HOPE CO-FOUNDER OF DYSLEXIA VICTORIA ONLINE like her children, is Dyslexic. She discovered her daughter, Genevieve (pictured here with her mother) was Dyslexic when she was in the second grade. She had an observant teacher who saw there were odd learning problems with Gen and suggested she be tested by the school's special education teacher. When they got the results they told Karen that her daughter was Dyslexic and that the school system offered no teaching solutions.
This was the start of a long and frustrating journey for Karen and her family. It turned out that all three of her children, her husband and she was Dyslexic. She dedicated herself to finding answers and found them.
Her childrens' success in school and in their careers is testimony to the value of these methods and instruction. We also dedicate our site to Genevieve and her brothers, Casey and Wil who started us on this incredible journey.
Karen's background includes 2 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria, 27 years of researching and studying Dyslexia, four years of personal training and mentoring with friend and fellow Dyslexic Alan McDowell. Alan is the managing director of FULCRUM, providing Adult Dyslexia Awareness Training and understanding to Commercial, Statutory and Voluntary Organisations nationally in the United Kingdom. He is a retired trustee of the board of the British Dyslexia Association and retired Chair of the Association Board overseeing one hundred Dyslexia organisations. He was also a director and founder of The Dyslexia Foundation and the European Dyslexia Awareness Organisation.
Karen has also been using her years of study of Dyslexia to assess children and adults for Dyslexia. She puts together Dyslexia awareness, teaching strategies, accommodations and life skills plans for her clients based on research based methods from Dyslexia organizations around the world. She has also found her experiences working with Dyslexics, young and old, constantly teach her new perceptions and realizations, even epiphanies.
Karen and her husband, Howard deGraaf have been giving workshops for Dyslexia Awareness, accommodations and teaching strategies for the past three years at Pro-D functions for teachers, service providers for many non-profit organizations and government agencies, tutoring agencies, First Nations organizations including Aboriginal Success by Six and the general public. They have been well received and often asked back again or referred to other organizations.
We are presently working with Life Strategies,located in Vancouver, British Columbia who are a professional development company that provides its services world wide. They are helping us create an online distance course on Dyslexia Awareness, Accommodations and Strategies in the Workplace. We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with this well renowned organization.
HOWIE DEGRAAF joined Dyslexia Victoria Online (DVO) in 2005. Originally as an editor for the self-published books by DVO he has now become general manager and spokesperson at workshops and presentations.
Howie has trained for 4 years in the Education Faculty at University of Victoria in the middle 80's and has technical writing skills gained while studying Civil Engineering in 1997.
He has been a past board member of the former Disability Resource Centre in Cowichan. While there he co-created and co-facillitated and Injured Workers support group. He is a retired board member of the Vancouv er Island Dyslexia Association in Nanaimo and is also a current board member of Literacy Now in Cowichan.
Howie is not Dyslexic but has a great right brain thinking mind that makes him a terrific addition to the team.
ALAN MCDOWELL of Fulrum/VIDA
Fulcrum.com and vidyslexiaassociation.com
Alan McDowell is from the UK with thirty years in senior management with major international hotel companies, including the Savoy in London. In addition he organized corporate and international conferences. At forty-nine years of age he was diagnosed as dyslexic and he started the very first Adult Dyslexia Group in the United Kingdom.
Alan was on the board of the British Dyslexia Association and he was also chair of the BDA's Association Board overseeing one hundred and thirty associations. He was on the organizing board of the International Dyslexia Conference with twelve hundred delegates from forty-seven countries. In addition Alan has been an advisor to the British Government on Dyslexia and has lectured at Universities throughout the British Isles and Europe working to change the perception of Dyslexia.
For thirteen years Alan and his team at Fulcrum (Dyslexia Awareness Ltd) taught Dyslexia Awareness Training to individuals and major companies, government agencies, commerce and statutory bodies throughout the UK and Europe. Just a few of the companies he consulted with include: Cadbury, IBM, Land Rover, British Telecom and Unilever.
He is also working with Karen Hope and Howie deGraaf of Dyslexia Victoria Online to create presentations and workshops for teachers, tutors and parents of Dyslexic children, life skills workshops for Dyslexic adults and training for Dyslexic employees and their employers focusing on Dyslexia awareness and accommodations for Dyslexics in the work place.
We are thrilled to have Alan McDowell as our mentor, trainer and a teacher. Sharing his vast knowledge and experience working with Dyslexics is truly a gift - just like being Dyslexic is a gift!
CATE HOPE - our traveling right brain writer
Cate is Karey's sister and has been her best friend and a staunch supporter of Dyslexia Victoria Online from the beginning. Dyslexia and right-brain thinking runs rampant in their family and although Cate doesn't have typical Dyslexic traits she is very right-brained. She brings humour about being a "rightie" to our mix and sets an excellent example of how right brain thinkers can become confused in any conversation or situation. Cate and Karey also share another common right brained trait - they are extremely clumsy and when they get some nerve up they might start publishing stories about their "directionality problems". They blame it on their Dyslexic dad who makes them look like amateurs. He has spent so much time in the local hospital over the years from accidents that the hospital has considered naming a bed after him.
We post her articles on our blog, "Rants & Raves by Dyslexia Victoria Online"