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The Link Between Ikea and Dyslexia

If you’ve ever had to furnish an apartment on a budget, chances are you’ve had the pleasure of assembling Ikea furniture. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the directions are a bit different than most assembly manuals. Ikea’s assembly manuals rely entirely on pictures; there are no words to be found. If you’ve never assembled the beloved Ikea BILLY bookcase, you might not be familiar with this.

I recently learned why Ikea’s manuals lack word, and it makes perfect sense.  Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad was dyslexic – and purposefully created his user manuals to be something user-friendly for consumers like himself.  For more information, read this fascinating article about the mastermind behind the blue-and-yellow icon.

For the next couple of posts, I’ll be blogging about dyslexia – what it is and what it isn’t (and of course, why I feel so strongly about getting the word out!) We can learn a lot from our colleagues across the Atlantic, who have started a public service and social media campaign called #seedyslexiadifferently. The goal – of course – is to encourage the public about dyslexia as a brain difference, rather than deficiency.  Take a look at this appealing video. Maybe you’d rather listen to a podcast about it – if you haven’t heard this one, listen to the wisdom of Margaret Snowling.   Watch this space for upcoming posts where I dispel the myths and misconceptions that continue to linger about dyslexia.

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