A PIONEERING pensioner has revolutionised help for adults and children with dyslexia during her work in the community over the past 20 years.
Rosemary Palmer, 83, offArgyle Road,West Ealing was nominated for by her colleague, Dineke Austin for her work as a long-serving member of the Ealing Dyslexia Association.
During her 20 years working for the charity, she raised funds for, set up and was course director for the Adult Dyslexia Group. The group runs evening classes which provide support and practical help for adults in Ealing with dyslexia and is the only class of it's kind in London.
Dineke Austin, of Midhurst Road, Ealing, called Rosemary "an inspiration to the teachers and adults" who take her courses and described her as a "worthy contender for the community champion award."
Dineke said adults with dyslexia have had their life chances "handcapped by this hidden disability, and even a six week course can so boost confidence, along with their skills profiles, that adults have gone on successfully to take up college courses and to gain employment in the local area".
"We all hope that we will still have her energy, enthusiasm, dedication and sense of humour when we're 83".
Rosemary, whose son suffered from dyslexia, worked as an English and drama teacher in west London schools for many years and after she retired was determined to try and help those with the condition.
She said:"I thought 'If I can do something, I'd like to do it.' I helped set up a voluntary group called the Adult Dyslexia Group five years ago and we did these six-week courses with a team of specialist teachers to try and assess whether adults had the condition. We'd also give them strategies on how to cope with dyslexia. The courses also provide a chance for people to meet people who are the same as them, for people who have dyslexia to realise that they aren't idiots. They know what they want to write but can't write it down.
"Dyslexia is still not truly recognised as a condition, it makes you angry when MPs come out and deny it exists. Some teachers still think that dyslexic children are just lazy because when they talk in class they seem fine but then they can't write what they're saying.
Even at the age of 83, Rosemary shows no sign of slowing down and continues to teach even to this day.