The ragged state of dyslexic help in Manchester

Skies above Manchester

I hadn’t heard of Ragged talks but I was convinced to go as there was a talk about Making Manchester a Centre of Excellence for Dyslexia.

Ragged events are about getting together in social spaces, putting our feet up, breaking bread, and enjoying learning something new.

I like to think of Ragged talks as something between BarCamp and Tedx. Its certainly not as grand as a Tedx but much more pulled together by the community like a Barcamp. Their ethics and guidelines are well thought out too. But its single track and can be about anything interesting, theres also food and its free just like a barcamp.

I skipped Technights to attend Ragged talks and the two talks were certainly interesting.

Roger Broadbent gave the first talk – Making Manchester a Centre of Excellence for Dyslexia. It was shocking to hear how bad Manchester is for dyslexia support. It all seems to come from one man who use to be at the top…

A Labour MP has claimed dyslexia is a myth invented by education chiefs to cover up poor teaching (BBC 2009).

Backbencher Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley, describes the condition as a “cruel fiction” that should be consigned to the “dustbin of history”.

He believes the reason many children cannot read and write properly is that the wrong teaching methods are used.

But Charity Dyslexia Action said the condition was “very real” to the 6m people in the UK affected by it.

Writing in a column for the website Manchester Confidential, Mr Stringer said millions of pounds were being wasted on specialist teaching for what he called a “false” condition.

Also in the Guardian (2009). Shocking stuff, and it seems to have caused a chilling effect on Manchester schools and support. Of course theres many people trying to reverse (small and large) this but I haven’t seen this level of ignorance in a long long time.

The second talk was about slow TV its story and its surprises… or as I prefer it ambient TV. I have heard of it and saw some of views following the BBC’s attempt at slow TV.

Surprisingly, it was quite interesting and started thinking about links to Perceptive Media. Quote of the night come from Tim Prevett while explaining why slow TV works….

Silence is better than bullshit

I enjoyed the Ragged talks and may end up doing a talk if they allow me. Always good to go new places and try new things, there seems to be a ton of events in Manchester to discover.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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