Board Member: Kelly Duffort

City/Town:  Wake Forest

When did you join the Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina (DDNC) Board? October 2020

Why did you decide to join the DDNC Board? Helping a child with dyslexia get the educational support that they need can be a lonely, frustrating and difficult experience. I’d love to help connect parents with information and resources that seemed so very difficult for me to locate years ago, but that have made such a difference for my daughter. I really look forward to supporting DDNC’s objectives of raising dyslexia awareness and empowering families to support their children.

Who inspired you to learn more about dyslexia? My 12-year old daughter who was tested and identified as having dyslexia at the age of 7.

What is the best piece of advice you have received on your dyslexia journey? “School expects you to be good at everything. In life, you need to be really, really good at one thing.” I heard Mark L. Hoffman, national advocate in the LD/ADHD community, share this piece of advice during a talk at Hill Learning Center in Durham, NC in 2015. That was the same year my daughter was identified as having dyslexia. Those words and Mark’s life story have meant so much to me over the past five years. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to give others? Whatever battles and frustrations might be thrown your way as you fight for your child, know that they will succeed in life because you cared, you fought and you supported them. Just as it is okay to be different, it is more than okay to learn differently. Constantly remind your child of this and give them credit for how hard they are working.

What are some of your favorite dyslexia resources?

  • – A website with wonderful articles on signs and symptoms of learning and thinking differences, your child’s rights, assistive technology and much, much more.
  • Blast Off to Reading Workbook – Exercises in this book made sense to my daughter when nothing at school did.
  • Learning Ally – Audiobooks with text-to-voice technology and highlighting of words as the text is read. This was a real game changer in helping my daughter enjoy reading. (Note: Their audiobooks are reserved for people with reading-based learning differences or visual impairments. You need to provide proof of either and there is an annual cost of $135.)