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Dyslexia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are not doing as well as other Australian children in terms of their education.

We know that:

 

  • School attendance rates for Aboriginal children who live in remote areas are pretty bad – as low as 14 per cent.
  • Across the whole country, just one in every 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students graduates from high school.

There’s almost no research at all about the rates of dyslexia and other learning difficulties among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adults, but what we know about educational outcomes for this group of Australians is not good. Given what the justice system section told us about education and incarceration rates, you won’t be surprised to learn that there is also a disproportionate number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system.

There are a lot of different and long-lasting factors that are involved in poor outcomes for Aboriginal Australians. At the moment, we don’t know how much of a role in those inequities might be played by dyslexia and other learning disabilities. However, regardless of why things have gone and continue to go badly, it is clear that more needs to be done to close the gap in outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Start here to learn more about literacy challenges and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians:

Australian Literacy Foundation

First Peoples Disability Network

Creative Spirit

Close the Gap 2015

Art work by Mildura based Lardil woman, Sonja Hodge