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Ad of the Day: Made By Dyslexia recruits Jeremy Irons for classroom awareness campaign

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By Chris Sutcliffe, Senior reporter

November 28, 2022 | 3 min read

Jeremy Irons is highlighting the need for dyslexia empowerment and education in the classroom in a new campaign for Made By Dyslexia. The 70-second-long video spot, created by DDB Melbourne, aims to draw awareness to the fact that only one in 10 teachers across the globe understands the nature of dyslexia.

The advert seeks to demonstrate that the school system does not cater for 'square pegs' with dyslexia

The advert seeks to demonstrate that the school system does not cater for ‘square pegs’ with dyslexia / Dylan Nolte

The ad, titled ‘Square Pegs,’ features the narration of the Oscar-winning English actor over visuals of round holes in everyday objects, such as CDs and sticky tape. Irons’ narration states that, while the school system admirably caters to students without dyslexia, those with the condition have different learning needs – but also have inherent strengths of their own.

The video then transitions to images of public figures who themselves have dyslexia, including Keira Knightley and Richard Branson, before informing the viewer that the school system currently doesn’t support those ‘square pegs’ to the same extent as other pupils. By putting the onus on the schools that way, the work demonstrates that the school system is at fault, not the individuals themselves.

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It follows work to educate the public about the benefits of ‘dyslexic thinking.’ In March the charity Made By Dyslexia partnered with LinkedIn to list the term as a skill that benefits those who have it. To support the effort, Dictionary.com also redefined the term as ‘strengths in creative, problem-solving and communication skills.’

This latest work from DDB Melbourne is more public-facing. The ad itself is part of a wider campaign, in partnership with Microsoft, which is offering an online training course aimed at educators. It is set to run in the lead-in to an official measure in front of parliament in the UK, which will ask lawmakers to make the education mandatory.

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