On 1 August 2013, dyslexic singer, artist and make-up artist Klaire de Lys will shave her head to raise bursaries for people with dyslexia and on a limited income to access the Davis Dyslexia Programme.
After years of going undiagnosed, Klaire underwent a Davis Dyslexia Programme to address her personal challenges with dyslexia. “To say that that experience made a difference is a serious understatement,” says Klaire. “It changed my life completely and gave me the tools to achieve things I could only dream of before.”
Watch Klaire talk about the campaign
The Davis Dyslexia Programme was created by Ronald Davis, author of the internationally best-selling book, “The Gift of Dyslexia”. The programme originated out of Davis’ own experience of severe dyslexia and is now provided in over 30 languages and in more than 45 countries. It plays to the perceptual talents inherent in dyslexia and makes innovative use of plasticine clay as a learning medium.
“At present, the Davis Programme receives no state funding,” says Richard Whitehead, Director of Davis Learning Foundation, the non-profit UK arm of Davis Dyslexia Association International. “We are delighted with Klaire’s amazing gesture, which will bring the benefits of the programme to people who could never have dreamt of them before.”
At the same time as shaving her head, Klaire will launch her new band, Fenix, with a song that is all about her experiences with dyslexia.
“I'm hoping that by approaching this project by both shaving my head to raise awareness, and releasing my song Paper Wings, I can really make a difference in the lives of Dyslexics,” says Klaire. “Not only raising funds to help, but also by hopefully creating a song which will continue to raise awareness long after my hair has grown back.”
People with dyslexia will not be the only people to benefit from Klaire’s gesture. After shaving her head, Klaire plans to donate her hair to Wigs for Kids, a non-profit company providing hair replacement for children who have lost their hair because of cancer treatment, burns and other medical issues.
In spite of everything, dyslexia is still misunderstood. Dyslexic children are always creative, original thinkers and visually talented. They could be future assets to society. Currently much of their potential is wasted. They are diminished and undermined through the experience of school. Klaire tells of the mental torment she suffered from not receiving an education that could draw out her talents, but only made her feel stupid. She describes how the Davis Programme literally 'saved her life'. She is now a celebrity video blogger – named as one of the 20 top video bloggers by the Observer.
Support Klaire's Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for other dyslexics – struggling with the confusion, mental torment and literacy problems - unable to finance the programme themselves. Make a donation here >>