McCann Sarajevo and Association Vjetar make a point that “Dyslexia is not a disease, it’s diversity”
Under the motto “Dyslexia is not a disease, it’s diversity”, for the first time in BiH, the international week to raise awareness about dyslexia was held from 3 to 9 October, with the aim of teaching society about the problems faced by dyslexic people.
Dyslexia is a disorder of reading and writing and is neurological in origin. There is no correlation between the existence of dyslexia, the level of intelligence and the effort of the individual. The public in Bosnia and Herzegovina is largely uninformed about this disorder, and therefore the Association for support of people with dyslexia “Vjetar”, with the support of the Ministry of Education of the Sarajevo Canton, initiated the marking of the week to raise awareness, and chose McCann Sarajevo as the project partner, which creatively helped spread the message about diversity.
McCann Sarajevo devised the creative concept of the campaign in which children who don’t have dyslexia, elementary school students of the Sarajevo Canton, voluntarily agreed to be the faces for the visuals made to mark this week. In this way, the support for children with dyslexia comes from their peers, and communicates that there is no room for stigma and lack of understanding among adults.
Children are shown as criminals, whose crime is that “they read and write badly”, thus questioning both attitude and conscience of the public, especially parents and teachers, who often due to failure to recognize the problem and insufficient education have a judgmental approach to this category of children. Are dyslexic children really to blame for lagging behind their peers, or is this a consequence of inadequate methods within the educational system?!
Posters were distributed throughout the elementary schools, and as the official visuals of the campaign they promoted the week to raise awareness through web banners and ads in a number of internet and print media, which gave their media space for free, on the initiative of the agency McCann Sarajevo.
In order to send a message that dyslexia is diversity and not a disease, numerous activities were undertaken during the week, which showed how to identify dyslexia and promoted the application of appropriate methods of work, thanks to which dyslexic children realize their full potential.
McCann Sarajevo designed the communication campaign under which these messages were marketed through a number of TV appearances, radio reports, newspaper articles and interviews, often with a “dyslexic title or subtitle”. PR team of the agency organized the first press conference in BiH on the topic of dyslexia, which was attended by a significant number of media outlets. Also, a special half-hour show was produced for one of the leading TV stations in BiH, FTV. Campaign was also implemented on social networks, and on the site of the Association Vjetar.
However, the support of media also came in a very specific way. At the proposal of the Agency, on 6 October, the international day of dyslexia, several media changed their logos in a “dyslexic way”, thus once again reminding the public that dyslexia exists in BiH, but is not a disease – it’s a diversity. The leading web portal in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Klix, thus became Kilx, and the logos were also changed by Gracija, sportsport.ba and bljesak.info. A different logo, but the same media and content – it was an activity which expressed empathy and support for diversity. The same was done on their official Facebook pages by many leading companies in BiH.
And the primary goal of the Association Vjetar was also achieved – to raise awareness in the public perception. Within the week to raise awareness about dyslexia, the Association also achieved its second objective; it became a link between the professional staff, speech therapists, special education teachers and teaching staff. Numerous calls which the Association received from parents, suspecting that their child might have dyslexia, who sought help and tips what to do next, were the best proof that the message was received by the general public, most importantly the specific target groups: parents, children and teachers. McCann Sarajevo thus proudly states that the campaign “Dyslexia is not a disease, it’s diversity” is an example of how in a short period of time one can raise public awareness, through effectively designed visuals, communication messages and guerrilla actions.
Associations, companies and the media, who had joined the campaign were: Volonterska mreža Mreža mira, Kriterion, GreenPrint, Creativo centar d.o.o., Buybook, Sarajevo Navigator, Giro di Sarajevo, Sparkasse Bank, Eronet, Alkaloid, Opel, Gloria Line, Carlsberg, Violeta, BH Telecom, Raiffeisen BANK, UNIQA, Salveo, Sarantis, Hypo Alpe Adria Bank, dm, Cm, SCC, M:tel, Komercijalna banka, Oslobođenje, Euroblic, Glas Srpske, Faktor, Dnevni avaz, Gracija, Ljepota i zdavlje, Urban magazin, News Agency FENA, N1, TV1, FTV, TVSA, OBN, PINKBH, TV Hayat, Al Jazeera, Radio Federacije, Radio M, depo.ba, bljesak.info, radiosarajevo.ba, klix.ba, sportsport.ba, mi2.ba, muskiportal.com, oslobodjenje.ba, startbih.info, and many other BiH portals.