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Youth Offending Team Project

work together

YOT Project

Due to the sucess of the Liverpool Youth Offending Project run by the BDA, the Department for Education showed its commitment to raising awareness of dyslexia nationally in YOIs by funding a joint project with Dyslexia Action and Helen Arkell. Training and resources were offered to all 143 YOTs and from them we chose 31 YOTs from around the country to work with. A training package was developed and training sessions were trialled in the North West before being rolled our in March 2014.

Alongside the training, an ID card has been developed for use in courts, custody suites and magistrates courts in order that someone at risk of dyslexia can show the card and get additional help and advice. The BDA have worked with Widgit to produce a card that is accessible and provides information such as the BDA Helpline number.

The project culminates in a free conference for the YOTs and other intersted individuals that will take place in November 2014 in Liverpool. At the conference there will be a range of presentations from amongst others David Ahern, CEO of the Shannon Trust and Bob Hext from Crossbow Education. Download this pdf for more details on the Youth Offending Project conference and to register.

About the project

There is a disproportionally high incidence of unidentified dyslexia in the offending population. A recent report which found that 53% of offenders had dyslexia compared with 10% in the general population. Dyslexia can affect young people in many different ways; often preventing a young person from engaging effectively with services such as YOTs. The training aims to make the Youth Offending Service more accessible for those young people with dyslexia.

The YOT Handbook has been developed which covers:

  • What is dyslexia?
  • Indicators of dyslexia
  • Identifying dyslexia
  • Good practice guidelines and practical hints and tips 

Download copies of the YOT Handbook here

Find out more about the YOT project here

YOT Conference

Dyslexia and Youth Offending

27th November 2014

Goodison Park, Liverpool

9:45 - 15:30

This conference will give Youth Offending Teams, Probabtion Officers and other related professions the opportunity to develop greater understanding of dyslexia and how dyslexia friendly practice can be incorporated in to their work. We are delighted to have David Ahern and Bob Hext speaking at the conference alongside Jo Gregory, Quality Mark Manager for the British Dyslexia Association.

Jo Gregory will be speaking about the Quality Mark and what it can mean for a YOT. The Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark has recently been achieved by Liverpool YOT.

David Ahern

CEO, Shannon Trust

David joined Shannon Trust in March 2007. David served as an Army Officer for 24 years with postings in Berlin, Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Zimbabwe. David left the Army in 1994 joining a distribution company as the Marketing & Sales Director. In 2004 David entered the charity sector as CEO of an inner-city charity, working with disadvantaged young people Hoxton. In 2006 he spent the year running humanitarian and developmental de-mining operations in Afghanistan.

Bob Hext

Crossbow Education

A qualified teacher, Bob Hext worked in secondary education for 20 years before starting Crossbow in 1993, publishing literacy games I had developed with my dyslexic students. Alongside his wife he designed and patented the Eye Level Reading Ruler in 2005.

Crossbow now employs 15 people and has won the UK Educational Supplier of the Year (small business division) award for the last two successive years.

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