This is my daughter’s artwork (acrylic on canvas) and written statement as submitted to the Ontario Human Right’s Commission Right to Read inquiry. Sarah is a 14-year-old student living in Ottawa.
I wasn’t taught to read in school. I learned to read mostly thanks to tutoring that I know most people can’t afford…that’s why you must do this inquiry.
We should support students in reading, but also in expressing themselves in writing.
I can’t express how I read. It’s something that I have to do and will do, but it’s just as important as expressing yourself through music and painting.
There is no way to explain how I see words but I can show how I see music. Recently I learned that I have synesthesia which means I can see music.
Music and words are both indescribable things and I wanted my painting to express that.
We shouldn’t judge kids on their ability to read — either good or bad — because it will lead to deep rooted insecurities. The two eyes in the centre of my painting show the insecurities about reading peering through.
Help but don’t judge.
Please request permission if sharing this image. This image must be credited to the Dyslexic Library.
Ontario youth are invited to submit #RightToRead submissions:
The OHRC invites students to explore the experience of reading disabilities, literacy, the right to read and standing up for human rights, to create art, poetry, sound or video. The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2020.
“The Commission is inspired by youth-led movements around climate action, anti-racism and the right to education. This initiative aims to empower students with reading disabilities to share their life experiences and ideas for progressive change through creative expression,” said Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane.
Find out how to submit at the OHRC website: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/news_centre/ohrc-marks-human-rights-day-call-student-art-poetry-and-media