Meet Experts Committed to Enhancing Support for
Children with Specific Learning Differences

SINGAPORE, 24 June 2019 – The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) will convene more than 70 experts from Singapore and around the world to discuss new findings and methodologies that would enhance support, intervention, and assessment for children with dyslexia and other specific learning needs.

From 26 to 28 June 2019, the UNITE SPLD (Uniting Ideas in Teaching Excellence Specific Learning Differences) Conference 2019 will showcase latest global research covering aspects of behavioural, literacy and social-emotional support, intervention and assessment for these children.

Since 2015, UNITE SPLD has made significant headway towards its goal of fostering a community for local and global SpLD specialists to exchange their knowledge and expertise to advance development and research on dyslexia and other specific learning differences.

Geetha Shantha Ram, Director of English Language and Literacy at DAS will be the keynote speaker at the conference. Her presentation on ‘Lifting the Bottom – Helping the Disadvantaged’ will centre on the discourse surrounding children with learning disabilities who also have lower social-economic status. Besides facing greater challenges in their educational journey than their peers, these children are further impacted due to their limited access to resources.
This year, the main conference will once again feature a series of talks by SpLD experts from Singapore and 10 other countries on wide-ranging topics covering differentiation, assessment, educational technology, and teacher support. The pre-conference session will present two workshops to enhance understanding of the multiple learning challenges faced by a child with SpLD and the value-add of educational technologies to learning.

“UNITE SPLD has become an established platform for the local and global SpLD community and one of Asia’s largest conferences dedicated to the research and sharing of teaching excellence amongst SpLD specialists for children with special learning needs. Besides having experts from Singapore and the Asia Pacific region, we have presenters from as far as Kenya in our conference this year. We have also started to conduct sessions on the impact of dyslexia on the Chinese language, in view of growing interest from practitioners in Singapore and China,” said Mr Lee Siang, CEO of DAS.

In Singapore, approximately five per cent of the student population has been diagnosed with special learning needs. Dyslexia is the most common SpLD with an estimated 23,000 local students from preschools to secondary schools with dyslexia severe enough to warrant intervention. Studies have shown that half of these children also face co-occurring challenges such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The diverse topics at UNITE SPLD will cover an extensive spectrum of SpLDs. Conference highlights include:
• Panel discussion on Lifting the Bottom – Helping the Disadvantaged
• Breakout streams on differentiation, assessment, edutech, teacher support, school leaders, advocacy, and intervention

Performance by DAS Speech and Drama Arts programme students

Highlighting how children with dyslexia can excel even though they may have a learning difficulty, the DAS Speech, and Drama Arts (SDA) programme students will perform two short skits to the international audience at UNITE SPLD for the second time. “The Ant and the Grasshopper” and the “The Tortoise and the Hare” will feature 12 new performers aged six to nine who have committed themselves to overcome literacy and social-emotional struggles associated with SpLDs through drama and art.