Aidan Ridyard to address British Dyslexia Association Conference

Aidan Ridyard is this afternoon speaking about his experience of dyslexia at the British Dyslexia Association’s prestigious Telford International Centre. Through the power of social media an unexpected link was made. Aidan saw a post about the International Conference and posted “Hey there fellow dyslexics: you might be interested to know Telford International Centre was designed by this particular dyslexic!!”

Telford International Centre by Aidan Ridyard at Hickton Madeley Architects

Telford International Centre by Aidan Ridyard at Hickton Madeley Architects

The 11th British Dyslexia Association’s International Conference (BDA IC) and EXPO is a leading conference on Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties.

Tom Gray, Chief Executive Officer of the Southwater Event Group, “We are looking forward to welcoming all the guests, delegates and visitors to the British Dyslexia Association International Conference and are thrilled by the coincidental connection relating to Aidan being instrumental in our Centre’s design.  He did a great job as the striking architecture of our venue is regularly and favourably commented upon”.

Aidan described a little of his inspirational journey from a boy who could barely read and write to a successful architect with 25 years in practice, and now a Principal at Burrell Foley Fischer, a practice of 30 people in London and Birmingham.

“I was born in the late 60’s, so growing up there wasn’t much awareness of dyslexia. My parents couldn’t figure out how I seemed intelligent and articulate enough but could barely read and write at school. Fortunately, they heard about a research group at Aston University and took me there in the early 70’s. Lo and behold, when we understood my problem, we could address it!” 

Helen Boden, Incoming CEO at the British Dyslexia Association, explained, “A discrepancy between oral ability and reading and/or writing is often one of the first indicators of dyslexia in a child’s first few years at school.“

Telford International Centre by Aidan Ridyard at Hickton Madeley Architects

Telford International Centre by Aidan Ridyard at Hickton Madeley Architects

Dyslexia affects approximately 10% of the population. Many adults and children with dyslexia struggle to fulfil their potential, as a large percentage of the population still does not understand what dyslexia is; the difficulties which the condition presents and how to support someone with dyslexia. Dyslexia is not an obvious difficulty; it is hidden. As a result, people with dyslexia must overcome numerous barriers to reach their full potential and recognise their differences as strengths.

After being diagnosed with dyslexia, Aidan Ridyard managed, through much hard work, to get O and A levels then to go on and be awarded a first-class degree in Architecture. Despite his high level of academic achievements, he still finds its challenging to read out loud, but has found ways to make his skills eclipse his difficulties.

Recently, Aidan Ridyard spoke about careers in architecture at the Skills Show, NEC. After the presentation a young lady approached him and said, “I really like architecture, but I’m worried I couldn’t do it because I’m dyslexic.“ When he replied to say that he is too and that she’d be a better architect because she’s dyslexic, he was rewarded with a wonderful smile!