Advancing the education of children and adults | SPELD NSW

Supporting children and adults with specific learning difficulties

About Us

SPELD NSW is a not-for-profit organisation offering support, assistance and advice to children and adults with specific learning difficulties, their families, tutors, teachers and schools.

SPELD NSW operates a free referral and advice InfoLine for families of students with learning difficulties and adults with learning difficulties. SPELD NSW also provides workshops and resources for families and offers psychological assessment of specific learning difficulties.

SPELD NSW provides training and professional learning to teachers and other professionals and provides support and resources to schools.

Our vision is that individuals in New South Wales with specific learning difficulties will have every opportunity to achieve their full potential in life.

This will be achieved when individuals with specific learning difficulties receive: 

  • early identification and intervention during the critical early years of education
  • instruction with evidence-based methods in key literacy and numeracy skills
  • specialist teaching and appropriate adjustments during their school years
  • support and adjustments in further education and the workplace

How we work

SPELD NSW effects change through the provision of support for children and adults with specific learning difficulties, their families, teachers, tutors and schools. To this end we provide:

  • information, support and services for children, adults and families
  • resources and assistance for schools, educational services and workplaces
  • professional learning in evidence-based literacy and numeracy instruction
  • advocacy for children and adults with specific learning difficulties engagement with educational and government authorities

Our Story

In 1968 Yvonne Stewart, a mother and kindergarten teacher began helping children in Sydney with undiagnosed learning difficulties. SPELD NSW grew from her home in Sydney where Yvonne answered the call of 5,000 parents looking for support. It puzzled Yvonne that some children did not learn to read as easily as others. This ignited her passion to train teachers and equip children with the skills to break the reading code.

With up to twenty percent of children experiencing learning difficulties at school, SPELD NSW works to provide ongoing parent support and professional learning for teachers and professionals.  In 2018, SPELD NSW celebrated our 50th anniversary year. Since our inception we’ve grown into a statewide organisation with strong connections across Australia to deliver support, resources and professional learning.

Thanks to our dedicated team, each year thousands of parents and teachers have gained the knowledge and skills to help children with specific learning difficulties.

SPELD NSW Partners and Supporters

SPELD NSW is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission as a charity and public benevolent institution.

Thanks to our members we’re proud to be part of a strong community of educators and educational organisations working to support students with specific learning difficulties and promote evidence based education practices.

We’re a member of the Australian Federation of SPELD Associations (AUSPELD), a Global Partner of The International Dyslexia Association and an alliance partner of Five from Five.

SPELD NSW is grateful for pro bono legal support from Gilbert & Tobin and Clayton Utz and for support from the Australian Government Stronger Communities Programme and the Universal Charitable Fund.

ConstitutionSpecific Learning Difficulties Association of New South WalesThe Management Committee, with the assistance of Gilbert + Tobin, prepared a Board Constitution for SPELD NSW. This Constitution has been unanimously accepted by the SPELD NSW members at a Special General Meeting held on 29 February, 2016. At a Special General Meeting held on 6.3.17 a resolution to amend two clauses 12(b) and 27(b) of the Constitution were unanimously accepted by the SPELD NSW members.

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