Sir Jackie Stewart revs up dyslexia awareness in Edinburgh

Former World Champion Scottish racing driver Sir Jackie Stewart is gearing up to be the special guest speaker at a series of events devoted to raising the awareness of "hidden dyslexia".

The City of Edinburgh Council's Libraries service is teaming up with Dyslexia Scotland for the week-long programme of events to mark Dyslexia Awareness Week, from 1-7 November 2010.

Sir Jackie, 71, who has spoken frankly about his own experience of dyslexia, is to be the keynote speaker at the Central Library's Reference Library on George IV Bridge on Monday 1 November, in a session entitled "The impact of unidentified dyslexia".

As well as meeting MSPs Mike Russell and Kenny MacAskill at the Scottish Parliament, during his visit to Edinburgh Sir Jackie will also pay a visit to the award-winning library at HMP Saughton, where he will launch a training facility called 'Motorcraft'.

Another highlight of the events programme will see a Congolese rapper, Arnaud Touanga, perform at Craigmillar and Moredun Libraries on Wednesday 3 November. Arnaud's single 'Can't hold me down' is a song about his own personal struggle with dyslexia and how he overcame the obstacles he faced.

Sir Jackie Stewart said: "I congratulate the partners at Edinburgh Libraries who, together with Dyslexia Scotland, have been involved in putting together this programme of events for Dyslexia Awareness Week. This programme will attract the attention of hopefully a great many people in Scotland so that they are more aware of the trials and tribulations that people of all ages suffer from dyslexia. The more people there are who understand the issues, the more hope we have of both the young and mature being given the right help and understanding."

Cathy Magee, Chief Executive of Dyslexia Scotland, said: "I'm delighted to welcome the exciting programme of events that we have lined up across Edinburgh for Dyslexia Awareness Week and would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the planning. Through close partnership working with Edinburgh Libraries, Dyslexia Scotland and Bank of New York Mellon, we have put together an unusual, stimulating and varied programme which both celebrates the strengths of dyslexia and highlights the costs to society when dyslexia is unidentified, unsupported or hidden. Anyone wanting to find out more should come along - whether it's Sir Jackie Stewart talking about his own dyslexia, art and photography exhibitions, IT demonstrations and talks, dyslexia through a film, a play or a rapping workshop - there's something for everyone in venues across the city."

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convenor for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Our Libraries service is proud to be working with Dyslexia Scotland to put on this series of engaging and informative events. It's so important to raise the profile of dyslexia and help our children and young people to overcome their personal challenges and discover the joys of reading and writing."

For a full programme of events taking place in Edinburgh during Dyslexia Awareness Week, please visit the Libraries' talesofonecity blog.


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