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Speld New Zealand
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

About speld nz

The aim of the Government's special education policy is to improve learning outcomes for all children and young people with special educational needs at their local school, early childhood centre, or wherever they are educated.

The purpose of speld nz, therefore, is to work within the framework established by the Ministry of Education, to assist in reducing underachievement in education by students with dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities.

Speld nz is one of many voluntary organisations around the world, which works to ensure every learner with a specific learning disability has equitable educational experiences.

Speld nz was founded in Christchurch in 1971 by Brother Damien Keane, a teacher at the Marylands School in Christchurch, and Dr Jean Seabrook, a speech therapist and psychologist. As the organisation expanded, branches with their individual constitutions soon formed. In 1974 they federated to become SPELD N.Z (Inc) with a national constitution and a National Council consisting of a President, two Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, a Secretary and one representative from each region in New Zealand.

There are currently 28 Member Associations of speld throughout New Zealand. Each Association is autonomous within the constitutional rules of the National body and is affiliated to that body.

Speld provides the following services across New Zealand:

  • Information and advice on dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities.
  • Individual student screening and assessment services for those suspected of dyslexia or other specific learning disabilities.
  • Individual tuition by qualified teachers with specialist training (theory and practical) in dyslexia and specific learning disabilities.
  • Support for families and whanau.
  • Training courses for parents, caregivers and other interested people – Course approved by NZQA.
  • NZQA approved training course for qualified teachers and those with relevant university qualifications.
  • Speld nz is registered with NZQA and is accredited to deliver the courses.
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