25 years of ADO & Achievements

The Adult Dyslexia Organisation (ADO)

ADO is run by dyslexics for dyslexics and all those concerned with supporting Adult dyslexics. ADO not only advises and empowers dyslexic adults, supporting their particular needs, but also offers a range of services to the public and to professionals, service providers and policy makers.

ADO has become the longest running and most established national Dyslexia organisation in the UK. We have helped to set up other support groups around the UK and all over the world. We have been members of the International Dyslexia Association and founding member of Dyslexia International. supporting groups all over the world and are founding members of dyslexia national.

We fundamentally believe in one person can make a difference, physically a small group of individuals with a large footprint, we have been able to influence government legislation, government department policy, industries, institutions, policies to ensure dyslexics get a level playing field to enable them to fulfill their potential and maximize their contribution to their community and society as a whole.


We have stood up and spoken for dyslexics in the UK parliament and the equivalent governmental institution and departments in USA, Japan, Australia, Belgium, Wales, Scotland, Jamaica, Portugal, Finland, Greece, Romania, Ghana, whist working directly or with our partners and associates around the world, but we have never forgotten our routes as a group starting in Brixton, London, which has been based on the Loughborough Estate since 2002. Working with the community at a local level, where we have run or participated in projects to do with ethnic minorities and dyslexia, drug and Alcohol and dyslexia, mental health and Dyslexia, Dyslexia and small to medium sized business, projects such as;

  • Working with Alison Henry, Harley street Diet, Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle Consultant, delivering a health and nutrition programme for the elderly and a health and nutrition programme for those with mental health (supporting programme community mental health)
  • Assistive technology programme – supported by assistive solutions LTD,
  • Lambeth education – hire spaces in the community centre and also run classes in the community centre.
  • Developing a community café within the community centre, working with Veronica Knight, the community Hub.
  • Awareness on dyslexia and disability training for 9 adult education contractor in Lambeth.
  • Michele truncation James – revitalise the Lambeth council dyslexia support group, to assist dyslexic staff members
  • Ed Rosen, director of Lambeth GP food Co-Op, who is working with GP practices and Kings College Hospital to assist members of the community with long term and ongoing illness.
  • Adult dyslexia awareness with ADO and Lambeth College, with a view to setting up regular classes.

ADO is supported in its work by over 50 consultants in a range of disciplines: education, employment, policy development, e-learning, ICT and assistive technology. Since 1991, we have provided a voice for the large number of UK adults with dyslexia – currently estimated to be 4% of the UK population severely dyslexic (2 million), with a further 6% with some form of dyslexia.
As far as we know, ADO remains the only user-led national dyslexia organisation in Europe. We have handled up to 24,000 enquiries in a year, through our Helpline (staffed principally by adults with dyslexia), and responding by post, face to face, through exhibitions, emails and faxes, to support adult dyslexics, their families and professionals.

Through our work with government departments, major organisations, trade unions, educators and employers, ADO aims for real change in the lives of adults with dyslexia. We have written definitive guidelines on dyslexia for national organizations, striving to ensure that dyslexia is recognized and individuals supported appropriately. We believe that ‘user-friendly for dyslexics can be user-friendly for everyone!’. We are working to establish a network of self-help groups throughout various sectors in the UK and with groups overseas.


We at ADO have contributed to education and employment. Initiatives and to setting up of support groups to enable dyslexics and other people with disability to fulfil their potential and make a greater contribution to society through out the UK and around the world
Examples of achievements and campaigns include:
Greater retention for people on courses with dyslexia in education
Increased productivity within the workplace
The setting of new benchmarks in the design of websites
New standard of service provisions in civil service and public sector
Greater recognition and support provided within the criminal justice system
Initiate, assist and encourage the dyslexia community to work together for the greater good

learning room


Adult Basic Literacy: ADO was a founder member of the then DfES Skills for Live Dyslexia Advisory Group, inputting into the roll-out of this major initiative. Through the project Dyslexia in Different Contexts, we provide distance learning training for up to 1500 skills-for-life teachers and trainers.

Further/Higher education: ADO played a significant role on the National Working Party on Dyslexia in Higher Education, a group who surveyed current provision for students with dyslexia and outlined good practice in the areas of policy, identification, assessment, counselling and access to examinations. ADO contributed to the ensuing definitive report: Dyslexia in Higher Education: Policy, Provision & Practice (HEFCE 1999) and also produced a digest entitled: The Changing Face of Dyslexia in Higher Education (HEFCE 1999).

Prison education. ADO promoted the dyslexia-friendly approach in the government Dyslexia Focus Group for Prisons. Following ADO’s meeting with the Prisons Minister, the Home Office added dyslexia into their policy paper the Offenders’ Learning Journey so that contractors now have to demonstrate their ability to identify and support dyslexics.

National Union of Students (NUS). We have continuously provided Guides to Further and Higher Education for the NUS to support their disability and welfare advisers.

Ufi/learndirect. We produced “The Adult Dyslexia Guide: A Guide for Learndirect Tutors and Support Staff” to the 2000 learn/direct centres and the 6,000 UK online centres. We formed a committee to address dyslexia and its overlapping conditions; and guidance for the design and content of their dyslexia websites; development in conjunction with BFAWU (Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union) of an accredited e-learning and dyslexia course; producing a series of awareness conferences in conjunction with the then Department for Education & Skills’ (now the Department for Children, Schools & Families) E-learning Strategy Unit and UfI/learndirect.
We co-operated within the UFI Single Equality Scheme Action Plan to deliver training to learn/direct centres and developed an accredited e-learning course: “Adult Dyslexia Organisation – Supporting Learners with Dyslexia in E-learning” and a CD-Rom on assistive technology. We are currently developing three centres of excellence and organizing a series of awareness seminars

Exam bodies. We liaised with City & Guilds and Open College Network on accreditation of our courses

Making courses dyslexia-friendly. ADO provided consultancy to Habia, the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority Sector Skills Body in 1999 and 2006, to make their NVQ courses dyslexia-friendly and student-friendly.
The Supporting Dyslexic Learners in Different Contexts project funded by the Skills for Life Strategy Unit, managed by CfBT Education Trust in partnership with CTAD and Dyslexia Action.

Learning & Skills Council (LSC) ADO provided consultation report to address the LSC’s Disability Equality Scheme.


Department for Work & Pensions (DWP): As a result of the Dyslexia Friendly – User Friendly campaign, the ability of occupational psychologists to identify and support dyslexics was upgraded by the dwp’s Psychology Division. DWP provided compulsory dyslexia training for two years.

We produced the CD-rom “Dyslexia and Employment, Enabling Full Potential”,working in partnership with the DWP and with support from JJ Charitable Trust. Additional assistance was given by five government departments, and a range of specialists in the fields of dyslexia and employment law. ADO also ran a conference to support the CD-rom.

NATIONAL CLIENT FORUM FOR ACCESS TO WORK 19th June 2003 (a committee made up of key users groups and national bodies giving feedback and identifying best practice for Access to Work)

The Disability Rights Commission undertook a formal investigation into Fitness, Standards in Social Work, Nursing and Teaching Professional, with ADO acting as professional witnesses and providing evidence of good and bad practice. This allowed us to introduce the Dyslexia Friendly – User Friendly approach.

The National Disabled Teachers Task Force, facilitated by the National Teaching Council for England, addressed the issue of fitness to teach in relation to the Disability Discrimination Act, working in conjunction with the LLU+ (formerly London Literacy Unit). Again, we were brought in as professional witnesses and asked to provide evidence of good and bad practice, which allowed us to introduce the Dyslexia Friendly – User Friendly approach.

Trade Unions. ADO has worked with a number of unions to develop and provide training for employers, employees, managers and union learning representatives, organizing short dyslexia and employment awareness courses.


Website accessibility We have successfully lobbied MPs throughout the UK to encourage central and local governments to make facilities for reading website contents available to the public;
MyGuide project As stakeholders we carried out the website testing and ongoing development of new website accessibility guidelines. This project encourages ethnic minorities, disabled people, the 40+ age group, and economically disadvantaged groups to use the Internet.

Day-to-Day Living

Department of Transport The ADO has worked with Department of Transport, Transport for London and Dr Deborah Lomont Senior Lecturer from Cardiff Metropolitan University over the last three years in their research on ‘Transport and Dyslexia’.

Brixton Challenge ADO developed the first black and ethnic minority communities project under Brixton challenge targeting dyslexics from ehnic minorities. The campaign has been so successful that industry and government departments have implemented some of our recommendations.
We have worked in partnership with the National Health Service, reviewing the service and how it works. In addition, we have worked with the Disability Rights Commission on Internet accessibility, the Civil Service, on their Guide, Fitness for Work for Nurses, Teachers and Social Workers; the Fire Service, reviewing their disability policy in relation to dyslexia; the Ministry of Defence, developing dyslexia awareness training; and the Ministry of Justice, supporting their Civil Service Dyslexia Contact Group.

Adult Dyslexia Organisation (ADO)
Ground Floor
Secker House
Minet Road
Loughborough Estate
Email: Donald.ado@gmail.com

Opening Hours
Monday 11.30am – 3pm
Wednesday 11.30am – 3pm
Friday 11.30 am – 3pm

Appointment by arrangements