“At the ADC we approach dyslexia in a holistic way - helping the person as a whole and not just the 'educational' aspects they may want to improve upon - this is very different to other learning environments and it works well. Nothing has enriched my life nor my professional practice as much as the people I work with. It is a privilege to be involved in this work.”
Debbie Farnfield, co-founder, former manager
What do we do?
The Adult Dyslexia Centre is a charity that has been supporting adults with dyslexic in the Thames Valley since 2003. From our base in Maidenhead, Berkshire, we can offer advice, help to develop skills and confidence and connect onwards to further opportunities. We support over 300 people each year and can carry out diagnostic assessments for dyslexia.
What makes us different?
Those we support are often unemployed, on low incomes or have missed out on education, so we aim to give them the skills and confidence to find better opportunities at work and in education.
We are a charity and a social enterprise and all our income from our commercial services (assessments, courses, awareness training) is used to help fund our primary purpose, the support of adults with dyslexia.
We can offer our services at a subsidised cost. However we have limited funds available for this so any applicant must meet our criteria. Please contact email@example.com or tel 07774 846 657 for more information.
For adults with dyslexia we can offer:
Information about dyslexia - this includes dyslexia screening and an initial information session (IAG)
An understanding of their dyslexia
Improved literacy and IT skills
Diagnostic assessments for dyslexia
The ADC also provides:
Diagnostic Assessments for children (pre and post 16)
Access Arrangements for extra time in exams such as GCSEs and ALevels
Information for employers and trainers on how they can support their employees with dyslexia
Training on Dyslexia Awareness and consultancy services for employers and organisations
Who we are...
The Adult Dyslexia Centre is a charity that was opened in September 2003 by Debbie Farnfield, a tutor of adults with dyslexia, and Sue Penton-Voak, active in the local One to One club which her daughter attended. They both felt that there was very little support for adults with dyslexia and so the aim of the centre has always been to boost confidence, develop skills and improve the individual’s understanding of their dyslexia.
The Centre’s staff members are a dedicated team of professional tutors and assessors, supported by the board of trustees and a team of volunteers.
ADC Manager - Sue Flohr MBE
Sue is the ADC Manager. She holds BDA professional membership and has experience supporting dyslexic learners in primary, secondary, FE/HE and the workplace.
Sue sits on various boards including the European Dyslexia Association and has worked closely with Government and decision makers to improve the lives of people with dyslexia, and she received the MBE for her services to dyslexia in 2015.
ADC Helpline - Sue Page
Sue Page runs the ADC Helpline. Sue's background is in HR running her own business for ten years. She has four dyslexic sons which led Sue to volunteer with a national dyslexia charity, becoming their Helpline Co-ordinator. Sue's experience includes supporting learners in further education and adult education.
Our Trustees are Sue Penton-Voak (Chair); Chris Gostick (Treasurer); Sheila Kiss (Secretary) Tracy Calleran; Katrina Cochrane; Andy Collins; Emily Gow. To contact any of our Trustees email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue and Debbie Farnfield founded the ADC in 2003 and Sue took on the fundraising responsibilities from the outset. Her connection with dyslexia stems from her dyslexic daughter, and she is so proud that her daughter is now a fully trained dyslexia specialist working in secondary school. Sue's background is in IT but is now retired which allows her the time to devote to the ADC and is the current chair.
Chris is a maths graduate who spent his working career in the Supply Chain Software Solutions industry. He was diagnosed with dyslexia at junior school and received additional help at that time. Chris is now retired and enjoys gardening and watching sport, mainly rugby, cricket and cycling. Chris is the Treasurer for the ADC.
Chris is a marketing and communications specialist and a proud dyslexic thinker. Having worked at several UK and international charities, including The British Red Cross, Samaritans and Trees for Cities, Chris is an advocate for the many strengths of dyslexia and the advantages of processing information in a different way. Chris is passionate about positive emotional health and Mental Health First Aider and is excited about the power of dyslexic thinking for a rapidly changing world - in desperate need of a fresh approach.
Tracy is a long-standing ADC trustee. She benefited from the ADC when it was founded in 2003. Thanks to the support she received, she gained confidence and learnt to see dyslexia positively. Tracy later became a volunteer tutor with the ADC and is a special needs tutor.
Katrina has worked in the field of dyslexia for over 20 years. After completing her specialist training, she worked for Dyslexia Action for 14 years, running the Egham Centre and then as Southern Regional Manager. In 2012 she was seconded to the BDA as Head of Education and Policy. In 2016 she set up her own company and is an experienced assessor and trainer. Katrina has two adult sons, one of whom is dyslexic and dyspraxic. She brings a wealth of professional knowledge and experience to the ADC.
Andy has been involved with ADC since it began. He received support from the charity and has been a trustee for many years. Andy works full time but still finds time to volunteer for the Samaritans, write poetry and is the drummer in a rock band.
Emily is a languages graduate and was selected for the Charityworks graduate scheme, an acclaimed leadership and development programme for young people seeking to build a career in the charity sector. Emily works full time for The Diana Award as Programme Manager (Youth Development). She is a keen triathlete and long distance runner.
Assessors & Tutors
Jeanette's background is in HR and has been working with adults with specific learning needs since 1998.
She is particularly interested in how assistive technology can be used to support clients in the workplace, when studying and during leisure time.
Kim is a qualified specialist SpLD assessor and teacher with more than 30 years' experience supporting adults with dyslexia and dyspraxia in a variety of workplace and educational settings. Friendly and professional, Kim makes the assessment process a comfortable, productive and positive experience.
Kim assesses adults who want to understand their learning style and challenges more fully, and offers practical solutions and ideas to support them. Kim can demonstrate specialist software and teaching tips that may be useful.
Assessments are always followed up with a detailed report including recommendations for support at work, or studying.
Judith is a dyslexia tutor with over 14 years experience and a long-time member of the ADC. She is passionate about supporting children with dyslexia and their parents; delivering a one-on-one service focused on learning and literacy skills development. By cultivating a positive learning environment, students are encouraged to harness their strengths to develop skills to deal with their challenges. Judith delivers the ADC's Understanding Dyslexia course for parents and holds a Level 5 certificate in Teaching Learners with SpLD (Dyslexia)
Rachel has over 30 years of experience in education and is particularly interested in language, literacy, and dyslexia. She currently works part of the week in a school for children with Developmental Language Disorder.
Rachel holds an Assessment Practising Certificate and assesses students from 7 – 18 in their home or school. Making the assessment process positive is key. Rachel ensures that the report is meaningful to the young person with emphasis on their learning style and how to use their strengths to help them to reach their full potential.
Debbie Sweetman trained as a Specialist Teacher after qualifying as classroom teacher. She became the dyslexia coordinator at further education college, teaching and assessing students with SpLDs. Following on from this, Debbie set up as an independent assessor and tutor.
Debbie holds a current Assessment Practising certificate (APC) with, and is a member of, PATOSS - Professional Association of Teachers of Studens with Specific Learning Difficulties.
Debbie is qualified to assess children from age seven up to adults, including university students.
Aya holds a PhD in Education. She works full-time in a secondary school as a Specialist Teacher and Assessor, as well as SENDCO. She has been assessing since 2018 and holds a current Assessment Practising Certificate with the BDA. Aya assesses students from age 9 to university/college students.
Barbara Ratcliffe is a qualified Specialist Teacher and has worked with children and adults with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) for over 30 years. She has worked at both primary and secondary level as a SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) and as a one to one support tutor for university students.
Rowena is one of ADC's newest assessors, she holds an Assessment Practising Certificate with the BDA (British Dyslexia Association) and assesses children from 7 to 16. Rowena is also a Learning Support Teacher.
ADC needs to collect and use certain types of information about people with whom it deals in order to provide services to clients. These services include, full assessments, workplace needs assessments, IAG (information advice and guidance), screening for dyslexia, and other services offered by ADC.
Our GDPR Regulation Policy can be found here.