Since 1971 SPELD NZ has been helping children and adults overcome dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities (SLD). We are New Zealand’s largest and longest-standing provider of support services for SLD.
SPELD NZ was founded in Christchurch in 1971 after a public meeting attended by educators and parents concerned about children struggling with literacy. The Dyslexia Association of NZ was formed – later morphing into SPELD. One of its key objectives was to convince the Department of Education of its responsibilities to help students with learning difficulties. SPELD’s first teacher training courses began in 1972, facilitated by speech therapist and psychologist Dr Jean Seabrook. Dr Seabrook went on to run parent support groups, conduct research, give public lectures, test and asses, and become SPELD’s first Director. As the organisation expanded, SPELD branches were formed throughout the country.
From 2009, SPELD NZ began working towards transitioning into one national body with regional offices and local liaison groups. This new structure was implemented in 2012. Today, governance is provided by Board members who represent our stakeholders, family members and SPELD NZ professionals. Meanwhile our Professional Standards Committee oversees our rigorously high standards.
SPELD NZ continues to make submissions to Parliamentary Select Committees and attend consultation meetings with the Ministry of Education. Our advocacy and lobbying on behalf of those with SLD has continued for more than five decades.