History of Dyslexia

This project is a collaboration between the Department of Experimental Psychology and the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford. The researchers are William WhyteMaggie SnowlingKate NationKieran Fitzpatrick and Philip Kirby, based at St. John’s College, supported by Robert EvansSteve Chinn and Denise Cripps.

Currently, the project is exploring three main strands: the science of reading, creating an authoritative account of the scientific debates over the definition of dyslexia and its causes; the politics of dyslexia, exploring how scientists and campaigners struggled to make the goverment take dyslexia seriously; and the everyday experience of dyslexia, uncovering how dyslexic people and their families came to understand the subject.

To inform each of these, the project is creating the UK Dyslexia Archive – a collection of oral histories of major actors in dyslexia’s history and other relevant materials, including personal papers, case notes and unpublished histories.

The project is funded by the John Fell Fund (ref. 152/045) and the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund 2016-18.

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