Red is the colour of dyslexia awareness

Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam city halls to light up red this month

Port Coquitlam city hall will be lit up with red-coloured lights Monday, Oct. 15 in support of people with dyslexia in the hopes of raising awareness about the information processing disorder and those who struggle with it.

And while many people may wonder why the colour red was chosen by dyslexia awareness groups to promote dyslexia awareness month across the U.S., Australia and now Canada, Cathy McMillan has a simple answer.

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“It signifies the red pen that a lot of teachers use when marking a students’ work. Sometimes they get a lot of red pen,” commented McMillan, whose daughter is in Grade 12.

McMillan is a founding member of Dyslexia BC and says families with children struggling at school need more help. Her daughter is attending a private school that specializes in students with dyslexia and it’s been a success — her daughter is doing well — but is also costly.

But the Port Moody mom says she continues to advocate for her daughter, and children of other families, who need extra supports, so they don’t have to go to private school.

“Hopefully these kids get more help,” said McMillan, noting that some research suggests that between 10% and 20% of the population has an information processing disorder.
“So it’s common and we need to be dealing with it.”

The light up red at city hall event will bring awareness and attention to the issue, she hopes, noting that there will also be supporters waving signs and wearing red that evening between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the hall.

On Oct. 20, Coquitlam will be lit up red for dyslexia awareness.

Dyslexia BC is also hosting a professional development program on Oct. 19 in Surrey where teachers can learn more about dyslexia from experts from the Dyslexia Training Institute.

Attendees will participate in a short simulation of dyslexia, learn about the facts and myths and discuss strategies for teaching all students how to read and spell.

Approximately 100 teachers have signed up, including some from School District 43, McMillan said.

To register for Classroom Instruction Strategies for all Students Learning to Read and Spell, go to

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