We’ve had a really busy year this year in Offaly Dyslexia Group, with the highest ever numbers of attendees, a complete rework of workshops and a whole team of Co-Ordinators doing a fantastic job at keeping us all organised.

We’re currently on a well deserved break for Easter, but we’ll be back on Monday 4th April for our final 3 weeks of the term. We can’t believe another year is nearly gone!

Our waiting list is now open for the few remaining places left for September, so make sure to give Frances a ring on 0862309009 if you’re interested in enrolling a child.

We’re also looking at making our new panel of tutors for next term, so any interested qualified teachers (both Primary and Secondary who have completed the DAI course) should send a copy of their CV to us at offalydyslexiagroup@gmail.com.


After a successful Autumn-Winter term parents of workshop members were invited to attend a short talk by psychologist Yvonne Cunningham, who explained some of the jargon on psycho-educational reports. As each child is an individual, it follows that not all psycho-educational reports will be the same. Having a better understanding of these documents will allow us to help our children generally, especially with their literacy needs as best we can.

There was a good attendence and feedback from those present was positive. As a special treat for Christmas the workshop members were each given a selection box and class was dismissed for the Christmas Season!!!

All that remains to be said is Merry Christmas everybody and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!


Following the success of the open meeting for adults with dyslexia, the Offaly DAI are proud to inform our readers that in conjunction with the Offaly VEC 19 adults signed up for DAI approved Literacy Workshops which commenced in October. The workshops are being held at the VEC offices in Castle Buildings,  Tullamore and so far the turn out has been great!  There is a waiting list for the next course being drawn up at the moment, with a couple of names on it already. So, if you know an adult with literacy difficulties which may be due to dyslexia, please don’t hesitate to mention this to them…

The Offaly Branch of the DAI will be holding a parent’s night on Monday 12th December 2011. Yvonne Cunningham, Educational Psychologist will speak about psycho-educational assessments and what they mean to us as parents. She will be available to answer open questions. Tea & coffee will be available.

As ever the committee of the Offaly Branch of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland are working away on behalf of our workshop members, however with a committee comprising of just 7 parents and one staff member our numbers are small.

Recently the routine administration of each workshop has been organised into a two week rota. Three members of the branch committee will be on hand to take care of signing the children in/out of the workshops, making sure that the tutorial staff also sign in/out and that any visitors are accounted for. In addition to this payment of fees, keeping of payment records and issue of receipts is done by our volunteer staff who are also on hand to deal with any queries or problems that might arise.

Currently there are 8 committee members, who meet formally once a month to discuss the running of the workshops and plan for growth, fundraising campaigns etc. The 3 officers in the branch; the chairperson, the secretary and the branch treasurer deal with the office side of things with the help of our branch administrator who keeps everything running smoothly.

As ever, we welcome offers of help. If you have administrative, secretarial, book keeping, fundraising, tea making or any other type of skills that you might like to share with us, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the volunteer staff. The Offaly Branch of the DAI’s function is to provide practical support to families who are affected by dyslexia, but, we can only do this properly if the families of workshop members support us in doing this…

At a recent committe meeting it became obvious that parents of workshop members might occasionally wish to speak with our programme co-ordinator. Unfortunately ad-hoc meetings of this nature are proving to be somewhat disruptive of the workshops themselves! In the light of this observation we find it necessary to request that parents wishing to speak with our programme co-ordinator make a request to do so towards the end of the workshops, ie 6.45pm onwards.

Volunteer administrators will be on hand to deal with all initial enquiries and to handle payments of workshop fees. They will be located to the right hand side of the upper corridor. This is to reduce the congestion at the top of the stairs at 5.30pm. A rosta has been drawn up from the committee members to allow for three volunteers per workshop, at present this is a week-on/week-off arrangement.

Tutors and volunteer staff are requested to sign in/out of the workshops. Parents/guardians are responsible for signing their child in/out as necessary and are most welcome to wait on site for the duration of the workshops, but are requested to make their intentions known to the volunteer staff, who will ask them to sign in/out. This is for health and safety purposes only.

As usual we are always seeking new ideas and volunteers to help us run the workshops. If you would like to become more involved please don’t hesitate to contact us…



Offaly DAI wish to thank our tireless supporters who turned out last Saturday and helped us raise funds in support of literacy workshops for children with dyslexia. Based in St Mary’s Youth Centre, Tullamore with a current membership of just over 50 adults and children, Saturday’s turnout was poor. In spite of this we were able to get our message out, ie that there are supports for people with dyslexia in the Midlands!

We were thrilled when the final tally was announced late on Saturday night.  Despite having a much smaller army of volunteers than in 2009 (for our last flag day) when we had just 7 children, we were delighted to realised we’d raised enough cash to cover our expenses for this fundraising initiative, and to purchase essential support materials for the workshops.

As a not-for-profit organisation Offaly DAI is entirely dependent upon charitable donations, grant aid and generally the good will of our friends, families, members, etc. We would especially like to thank the people of Tullamore and its environs for their kind support. Without them our work would remain a constant uphill struggle during these cash strapped days, as we’ve said on so many occasions in the past every penny counts. So huge thanks from the committee and the members of Offaly DAI for your generous support!


Following a feasability study conducted by the Offaly DAI it has been established that there is a potential need for Dyslexia Association of Ireland workshops in the Irish Midlands, (eg counties Offaly, Laois, Westmeath) for adults with dyslexia.

Members of the DAI, Career Paths and the VEC have been invited to speak on the topic of dyslexia and literacy difficulties in adults. This will include an introduction to adult dyslexia and possible coping strategies. It will also include an outline of the facilities available to adults with literacy difficulties available through Offaly VEC.

There are many reasons for literacy difficulties in adulthood, however Offaly VEC recognizes that dyslexia is a condition which requires specialized assistance. It is therefore proposed that the Offaly VEC, in conjunction with the Offaly DAI introduce a series of workshops for adults with dyslexia in October 2011.

As such we invite interested parties to attend this meeting. Light refreshments  will be available

Sponsorship forms for the Flora Women’s Mini-Marathon (FWMM) are now available from the Offaly DAI.

These may be used either to

  • raise funds yourself by participating in the event itself or
  • to raise sponsorship monies for members of the Offaly DAI who are participating on behalf of the group.

If you are considering participating in the event, which takes place on Monday 6th June 2011 at 3pm there is a wealth of information and advice on how to register and on preparation for the event on the FWMM website. Please be advised that you do not have to be superfit and run this marathon, walkers of all shapes, sizes and abilities are also welcome.

The only restrictions are that you have to be female and that you have registered with the FWMM either on-line or using one of the applications available in the Evening Herald. Persons turning up on the day, without registration will not be permitted to take part in the event due to health and safety restrictions, so be aware, be active, be registered and improve your overall health at the same time!!! (for the ladies only, please…)