“How a few made a difference to thousands”


Initiated as a one-off community project by RCRC in 1989, DAS has since served thousands of individuals with dyslexia and is continuing to develop capabilities with an aim to eventually support Singapore’s dyslexic community

SINGAPORE, 3 FEBRUARY 2015 – The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) unveiled a plaque in commemoration of initiation the DAS by the Rotary Club of Raffles City (RCRC) at the DAS Rex House Learning Centre today. As champions behind the founding and advancement of DAS, Dr Jimmy Daruwalla, President of DAS and Mr George Abraham, graced the unveiling event showcasing RCRC’s signature projects and contributions to DAS. At the event, RCRC also announced the donation of $34,000 in funds to DAS.

DAS began as a community service project in 1989 by the then-President of RCRC, Mr Abraham, and Dr Daruwalla to raise awareness of dyslexia in Singapore. After organising two public forums on dyslexia, the first of which counted Mrs Marion Welchman, the founder of the first UK dyslexia association and Dr Lee Wei Ling, who was a consultant paediatric neurologist and the head of the Learning Disorders Clinic at School Health Services as its speakers, RCRC forged ahead to establish a local dyslexia association and formed a committee to see to the project in April 1991, leading to the official registration of DAS with the Registrar of Societies in October 1991.

Following the inception of DAS, RCRC and its members have organised numerous charity golf events, film show screenings and dinners to raise approximately half a million in funds for the association.

With the RCRC’s support and many other significant donors and sponsors, DAS has expanded from an initial intake of 12 students and a teacher in 1993, to its current full-time staff strength of 240, which includes educational therapists, specialist psychologists and speech and language therapist, to support more than 3,000 students with dyslexia in 13 centres in Singapore.

“We are thankful for the unfailing support from the Rotary Club of Raffles City throughout the past 25 years. It is because of charitable organisations like RCRC that DAS is able to continue to enhance our capabilities and expand our reach and scope to assist more individuals with dyslexia. The evolution of DAS as a small-scale community service project by RCRC into its present-day scale demonstrates that no charitable effort is insignificant, that an initiative of a few can benefit thousands. We hope this partnership will inspire more organisations and people to give individuals with dyslexia a helping hand,” said Lee Siang, Chief Executive Officer, DAS.

“The RCRC is proud to have initiated a community service project on dyslexia that became the foundation for the growth of DAS into an organisation offering support for students with learning needs. Beyond observing 25 years of support to DAS, RCRC understands there are many more children with dyslexia out there and is committed to supporting DAS to help these children overcome their learning differences, reach their potential and achieve academic, professional and personal successes,” said Corina Lai, President of RCRC.

Based on the estimate that four per cent of any population has dyslexia severe enough to warrant intervention, there are more than 200,000 individuals, of which 23,000 are primary and secondary school students, who would benefit
from dyslexia support, there is a need for greater support from organisations and the community to enable DAS to help more individuals with dyslexia.

Annex – Rotary Club Raffles City Signature Projects with Dyslexia Association of Singapore since 1989

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