Chief Executive Officer
The CEO's Message is taken from the DAS Handbook 2016. It is available for viewing on the DAS Publications page.
DAS celebrated our 25th Anniversary in 2016. As we look ahead to the next 25 years, there continues to be many areas DAS and the community as a whole must look into in support of people with dyslexia. DAS must “go beyond” five areas!
First of all, we must go beyond support in basic reading and spelling. Children with dyslexia also need support in higher order skills such as reading comprehension and essay writing. DAS has now added a new writing component and additional reading comprehension content is on its way. This is a natural progression for the DAS main literacy programme as we expand and improve our curriculum to support dyslexic children in the full range of literacy skills.
Secondly, DAS must go beyond Literacy and the English Language. Dyslexics need support in a range of language and academic subjects. We have already initiated a Maths, Chinese and Exam Skills programmes designed for dyslexic children. Creating and delivering a wider range of programmes must therefore be a continuing effort of DAS in the coming years.
Thirdly, our support must go beyond academic subjects. We must help our dyslexic clients build on their strengths and talents. Our Speech and Drama Arts programme designed for dyslexic
children to boost their confidence and speaking skills is a good example of such a programme. Results have been most encouraging. We are examining how best to provide other non-academic and talent programmes to help dyslexic children develop into productive adults and find employment in industries where they can excel.
Fourthly, we must go beyond the current age group we serve. We have always been working with primary and secondary school students. We have started with preschoolers fairly recently. We are in the process of providing a support programme for post-secondary students and students in Institutes of Higher Learning. It will be a logical next step for us to also provide for those in tertiary education and in the workforce.
Last but not least, we must go beyond just dyslexia. That many dyslexic children have accompanying Specific Learning Differences such as ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Speech and Language Impairment, etc is well recognised. DAS must therefore also help our children overcome these issues over and above their dyslexia.
And to help us “go beyond” these five areas, DAS must continue to do two things: We must continue to invest in and develop the professional capability of our staff to deliver high quality programmes and services. It is also the objective of DAS to build a pool of expertise in dyslexia here in Singapore! The training arm of DAS, DAS Academy, which now delivers programmes up to Masters level, will help us achieve this.
We must also continue to invest in programme evaluation and publish research to ensure that our programmes and services are effective and reliable.
So as you can see, DAS will continue to be very busy in the next 25 years. We look to the continuing support of the Ministry of Education and all stakeholders to help us achieve our goal of providing a truly comprehensive and holistic range of programmes for our clients with dyslexia and associated SpLDs and bring DAS services to a new level.