Be Inspired

WFDA Achievements in 2015

WFDA Achievements in 2014

Click to find out more about famous people who are dyslexic

Dyslexic Videos

Sounds like you?

This inspiring video, created by 12-year-old Isley, was shared by Richard Branson. Honor Smith, nine, received a personal hand written reply when she wrote to Branson to thank him for sharing Isley’s video that showed dyslexia in a positive light – click here to read more.

Poem by a student at our classes

What It’s Like To Be Dyslexic (for those of you who aren’t)

To be dyslexic is worrying about reading outloud everyday,
I feal everyone knows but me,
Its upseting
Its hard
Its frustrating
It makes me angry
Wen Im redding it’s like the leters are dansing around,
Im copying from the bord,
Im writting a word,
I can’t remember how to spell it,
I look back at the bord,
All I can see is a sea of letters floating in front of me,
It soon vanishes, as the teacher wipes the bord
Im worried to get introbol, accused of being lazy and not listening.
I’m not lazy!

WFDA Achievements

WFDA has been awarded the Civic Award by Cllr Chris Robbins, Leader of Waltham Forest Council on behalf of the Love Your Borough Awards 2014.

During 2014,

  • WFDA answered over 600 helpline calls.
  • 146 children & young people and 29 adults were screened for dyslexia.
  • WFDA taught 96 pupils attending the 29 Monday evening classes in Literacy, Numeracy, Touch Typing and Handwriting. Total of 815 classes were run in the year.
  • WFDA inspired 17 children at our Summer Transition Club
  • WFDA re-launched website had 4000 visits from January – September.
  • WFDA’s Next Step Course provided training, guidance & motivation to 27 adults.
  • WFDA worked with 128 schools in the Greater London area.
  • WFDA worked with Walthamstow Job Centre Plus in training and a survey.

Famous people who are dyslexia


At 16 Marco Pierre White   became an apprentice pastry chef.  He opened his own restaurant in 1987 and received his 1st Michelin star the same year.  Two more stars quickly followed, making him at 33 the youngest chef to have earned three Michelin stars.

“I was very fortunate that I entered a world where I didn’t have to read or write. I entered a world of cooking where I expressed with my fingers and so that built my confidence. Over the years I’ve taught myself how to read. I’ve taught myself how to spell. 

I still struggle but I have to read very slowly and because I read slowly and because I struggle to absorb, I tend not to read, even though I have 1000’s of books at home, they’re all giant picture books.”

Pierre White said he realised he was dyslexic when his son was diagnosed after his school alerted the family. “They went into great detail about dyslexia and that’s when I was able to label myself as being dyslexic. They could have been talking about the same boy, but many years previous when I was a boy they never spoke of dyslexia. It’s not a stigma to be labelled with dyslexia. Individuals with dyslexia have great talents and great qualities.” Excerpt from Evening Standard 1 August 2011

Which famous chef who has dyslexia said:

‘It was with great regret that I didn’t do better at school.  People just thought I was thick, it was a struggle, I never really had anyone to help that understood dyslexia and who can bring out my strengths.  I think it’s really good that  … kids realise that they’ve got possibilities and that they can excel in anything’. 

Did you guess?       Jamie Oliver OBE. Other famous chefs with dyslexia include: Rick Stein, James Martin, Ed Baines.

Sports People

Steve Redgrave

Olympic oarsman Sir Steve Redgrave is the only person ever to have won gold medals at 5 consecutive Olympic games.  Here he shares his thoughts on dyslexia. 

“Dyslexia was an embarrassment at school. At 10, I still had problems reading and writing and children can be cruel when they discover that you’re different. I did the same subjects as everyone else but found it hard to keep up, I always knew I wasn’t going to pass my 11-plus.                                        

Yet because I was big and strong I was never picked on. Rather than take the ‘mickey’, people would try to help me, so I was able to get by  reasonably well.   Still, at times, even now I see letters upside-down or back-to-front.  It’s difficult for people who can read to understand how frustrating it is. It doesn’t mean you lack intellect.  Quite the reverse. There’s no reason why dyslexics can’t read. It just takes them 4 or 5 times longer than everyone else.  With dyslexia, your other senses become sharper—my memory was great at school.”      

Interview by Graham Bridgestock

They have dyslexia who are they?

  • Winner of 8 gold medals at 2008 Olympics?
  • Winner of Swimming gold medal at 1980 Olympics?
  • World Heavyweight Boxing Champion?

Did you guess?       Michael Phelps,  Duncan Goodhew and Muhammad Ali.   


Get Creative!                     

Research has shown that as a dyslexic you’re likely to have a greater appreciation for colour, tone and texture.  You can visualize your art before reaching for the paint brush, and your imagination will allow you to go beyond the norm and create new and innovative ideas.   In other words, you’re creative!  You’re not alone.  The list of famous artists believed to have been dyslexic includes:  Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.

Picasso has been quoted as saying:  ‘He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.’ and ‘I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.’

To get inspired this summer, why not visit an art gallery and then pick up a pencil?