ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses the contributions of the dyslexia pioneers in the first half of the 20th century and their specific researches and methods. The gender bias in the roles undertaken is discussed and how the women’s work was undervalued.

The second half of the chapter deals with the contributions of the pioneers in the second wave of dyslexia research and intervention after the 1950s. They were often students of the early pioneers. It shows how they developed the original pioneers’ programmes or designed and developed their own, all of which are in operation today and have proved effective in enabling dyslexics to make two years’ progress in one year.

The Invalid Children’s Aid Association and Word Blind Clinic (1963-1972) played a pivotal role in the UK in dissemination of best practice although its title does not indicate this. The establishment of the British Dyslexia Association and Dyslexia Institute arose from research and training offered by the ICAA. Even so, looking back we once again see how the gender bias operated against them and hampered progress in dyslexia research and practice.