Zoë Brown is changing the way we view dyslexia with her new ’Superstrengths’ brand. The dyslexic dyslexia specialist just had to navigate her way through the financial and emotion challenges of lockdown, first
As a dyslexic, and a dyslexia specialist, Zoë Brown is on a mission to raise awareness of dyslexia in Norfolk children. In fact, she’s changing the way we think about dyslexia and empowering those with the condition with her ‘Superstrength’ brand. Money raised will go towards the Norfolk Reading Project to help get Norfolk students above average with their reading. A report in 2019 found the percentage of Norfolk students meeting the expected standard for test outcomes in reading is below the national average.
But first she had to navigate lockdown. ‘My lock down was financially and emotionally very challenging,’ says Zoë. Being a mother of three energetic boys, my husband and I shared the home schooling, and we ensured the boys had plenty of plenty of adventures. Living in rural Norfolk, we spent the majority of the time outside, exploring the local woods, field and, when we could, playing in the Waveney river.’
Around seven percent of school age children in Norfolk have been diagnosed with dyslexia, but according to the British Dyslexia Association, 80 percent of UK schools are failing to diagnose the condition.
Zoë, from Denton, set about tackling a growing problem in the county and has injected some fun into her message with her ‘Dyslexia Superstrengths’ brand.
She has teamed up with Alburgh illustrator Juliana Bentley, to design tote bags and posters showing the unique talents that dyslexic people have to offer and to challenge the misconceptions about the condition.
The message is clear: dyslexics are not to be treated with sympathy – they are to be revered for their ’Superstrengths’.
Zoë says: ‘As a dyslexic, dyslexia specialist I think it’s vital to remind all dyslexic adults and children of just how incredible they are. I have designed a series of characters that exemplify the particular strengths that dyslexic people have. These characters will be used on a range of products and informative materials to help celebrate these superstrengths.’
We love them! I shall be taking the bag everywhere. They are so positive and bright.
kelly HolbrookCo-founder of the Global Dyslexia Group
And she’s got backing from the Global Dyslexia Group. Commenting on the bags, cofounder Kelly Holbrook, says: ‘We love them! I shall be taking the bag everywhere. They are so positive and bright.’
Zoë is a professional member of The British Dyslexia Association and an associate member of the Dyslexia Guild and the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific learning difficulties.
Thankfully, she has found lockdown 2.0 less challenging. ‘Whilst tough socially, it hasn’t impacted me half as much as the first lockdown. For a start, thanks to the amazing teaching staff in schools across the country, my children have been able to continue at school and that has meant that I have been able to continue to work and not simply as a provider of the snacks!’
Zoë adds: ‘As I work in education, I have been able to carry on almost as normal with assessments and tuition. I do miss having friends over, going to the cinema, etc, and having family weekends away, but getting the chance to enjoy time spent closer to home has been great especially with living in the beautiful county of Norfolk!’