Dyslexia or developmental reading disorder (DRD) results from an inability to decipher graphic symbols. It is not a visual disorder but a disorder caused by the brain's not recognising the symbols. In young children, the effects of DRD include problems rhyming and identifying the sounds of spoken words, a major impediment in learning to read. There are scholarships for students who pursue higher education while battling dyslexia, and grants for scientists in search of solutions.
The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarship
The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarship offers a four-year college or university tuition award to two graduating high school seniors who have learning disabilities. The value of the scholarship was £6,500 in 2010. In addition to the tuition award, the scholarship includes Kurzweil 3000™ Scan/Read software. The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) awards the scholarship. Founded in 1977 as the Foundation for Children with Learning Disabilities, the organisation changed names to become the NCLD in 1989.
The California-Hawaii Elks Major Project, Inc., Scholarship
The California-Hawaii Elks Major Project, Inc., Undergraduate Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities dates back to 1981. This annual scholarship enables students with disabilities to pursue higher education at an accredited college or university or licensed vocational school. Each scholarship provides for up to four years of assistance, based on financial need, and covers on-campus room and board, books and lab fees. Candidates must be U.S. citizens residing in California or Hawaii who are high school seniors or graduates, or students who passed the General Educational Development (GED) Examination or the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE).
International Dyslexia Association Grants
The International Dyslexia Association, based in Maryland, offers a grant program to encourage scientific study of the use of multisensory instruction (MSI) in teaching people how to read. This applies especially to students who may otherwise fail academically or who are underachievers due to dyslexia. The 2011 MSI grant for the project, Contribution of Multisensory Components to Structured-Language Reading Instruction, was for £13,000 for one year. The program funds new educational, neuroscience, cognitive science and other research projects that focus on reading instruction.
Manton Foundation Grant
In 2009, Jeffrey R. Gruen, M.D., a scientist at Yale School of Medicine, received a £3.4 million grant from the New York-based Manton Foundation to pursue his research on the genetics of dyslexia. Gruen's research aims to produce a practical genetic test for dyslexia. The long-term goal is to facilitate early intervention by parents and teachers to significantly impact reading ability in children. Gruen's research compares the complete genomes of 1,000 dyslexic children with the complete genomes of 1,000 fluent readers. The objective is to profile the genes known to affect reading, and possibly to discover new genes that also play a role in dyslexia.Scientists pinpoint four rogue genes that play a role in dyslexia, including DCDC2, which is one of the genes discovered in Gruen's lab tests in 2005.