Coinciding with October’s Dyslexia Awareness Month, Planet Word Unveils a New Installation Focused on Dyslexia and a New Learning Series Highlighting Literacy Research

“Inside Look: Dyslexia” builds empathy and understanding of a learning difference that affects up to 1 in 5 people

Washington, D.C. (October 2, 2023) —Coinciding with Dyslexia Awareness Month, this October, Planet Word, the museum of language, will launch new offerings that explore critical topics in literacy acquisition: “Inside Look: Dyslexia,” an interactive station for museum visitors, and Meet the Researcher, a lecture and workshop series designed for educators and open to all.

“At Planet Word, we inspire a love of words, language and reading for everyone—including those for whom reading does not come naturally. As a museum that welcomes people of all ages from all over the world, Planet Word has a unique opportunity to promote public understanding, encourage empathy, and highlight evidence-based support for those who have dyslexia,” said Ann Friedman, founder and CEO of Planet Word. “Our new ‘Inside Look: Dyslexia’ station and ‘Meet the Researcher’ series build on Planet Word’s commitment to addressing the literacy crisis in America.”

NEW INSTALLATION: Inside Look: Dyslexia

Opening October 4 — Free

Debuting on October 4, “Inside Look: Dyslexia” explores the science behind, and the experiences of, those with dyslexia, a neurobiological condition that makes reading difficult. Through examples and personal stories, the 11-minute interactive station invites visitors to learn about dyslexia, normalizing this common learning difference that affects 1 in 5 people. It also offers a framework for effective interventions based on decades of research.

“Inside Look: Dyslexia” is produced by Planet Word in partnership with Dr. Guinevere Eden, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University and past president of the International Dyslexia Association.

“Building on the riveting exhibits that illustrate the beauty and complexity of spoken language, this interactive station illustrates the importance of written language and why reading is challenging for those with developmental dyslexia. It explains the scientific advances in brain-based research and addresses common misconceptions about reading disability,” said Dr. Eden. “This powerful experience will undoubtedly lead many visitors to recognize and understand why those around them, and perhaps they themselves, struggle with reading.”

Located on the second floor of Planet Word in the Schwarzman Family Library, “Inside Look: Dyslexia” joins 20 other interactive stations throughout the museum that take a deep dive into topics ranging from artificial intelligence and animal communication to joke writing and forensic linguistics.

“Dyslexia is often misunderstood, and because of that, it can be missed or misdiagnosed during the critical time when most children become fluent readers. That’s why it’s so important for educators and organizations like Planet Word to build public understanding about dyslexia. When parents and educators understand the signs and science of dyslexia, they can then take advantage of very real, science-based interventions, ” reflected Kim Wargo, Head of School at The Lab School, a renowned school for students with learning differences in Washington, D.C. “The dyslexic mind is highly creative, adaptive, oriented toward problem-solving and seeing around corners. With early identification, we can use an evidence- and strength-based model that empowers children to overcome challenges while also embracing the way they think and learn.”

NEW LEARNING SERIES: Meet the Researcher in partnership with The Reading League–D.C.

Beginning October 28 | Free, with advanced registration required.

Meet the Researcher is a new learning series designed to empower educators, academics, and interested adults with knowledge, inspiration, and evidenced-based insights to help end the literacy crisis in America, one student at a time. The series is co-produced as part of a year-long partnership with the Washington, D.C. chapter of The Reading League, a national nonprofit that advances the awareness, understanding, and use of evidence-aligned reading instruction.

The first event takes place on October 28 and features respected researcher and practitioner Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, president of the Valley Speech Language and Learning Center in Brownsville, Texas, and former vice president of the International Dyslexia Association. Dr. Cardenas-Hagan will deliver a keynote address, “Structured Literacy for English Learners: A Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Approach,” followed by breakout discussions. Participants will gain insights into Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan’s research, discover instructional practices to bring back to their classrooms and help us launch a valuable forum for questioning, networking, and community-building.

Subsequent Meet the Researcher events will take place in Winter and Spring 2024.

Planet Word is the only museum in the country dedicated to renewing and inspiring a love of words and language. Located in the historic Franklin School on the corner of 13th and K Streets in downtown Washington, D.C., Planet Word opened in 2020 as a new kind of interactive and self-guided museum. Using the museum’s state-of-the-art technology, visitors determine their experience through their own words and choices. Planet Word is a bold and imaginative response to the life-long importance of literacy and to the challenge of growing a love of language. As a private, non-government museum, Planet Word is free for visitors and supported primarily by the generosity of our donors.

Media Contact

Michelle Pendoley  // Pen Communications for Planet Word or 703-203-4794

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