Recognition, Understanding, Action.

Providing a voice for, and services to, the estimated one in ten New Zealanders with dyslexia as well as to those supporting them.

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What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a neurodiversity, where the brain is wired differently. Neurodiversity spans a spectrum and includes dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, autism spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity. 

In the case of dyslexia, for example, brain research shows that whilst most people use the ‘verbal’ left side of the brain to process information, making them neuro-typical word-based thinkers, dyslexic individuals use the ‘visual’ right side of the brain. In short, they tend to turn words into pictures to understand them, and then have to turn the picture back into words to respond – a process that requires extra effort and time if they are required to present something in words. 

Dyslexia’s greatest difficulty is often self-esteem; it only becomes a disability if not appropriately addressed. On the flipside, dyslexia can deliver creative gifts, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

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Our Mission

Since inception in November 2006, DFNZ has built its reputation on successful advocacy and action and has become the foremost lobby group in this area. 

From lobbying the Government for dyslexia to be officially recognised, achieved in 2007, through to working closely with the Government on the inclusive education agenda and raising the Youth Court age, the landscape has been fundamentally changed.

In advocating for dyslexia, DFNZ has noted that experiences and issues for those with dyslexia are often similar to those for other neurodiversities. And that getting it right for dyslexics means getting it right for all. For a number of years, therefore, DFNZ has included other neurodiversities within the scope of its work. 

DFNZ is a registered Charitable Trust and has four focal areas for its work – education, justice, workplace, and wellbeing. 




Family & Wellbeing


Solution Providers

Organisations providing understanding, tools and skills that enable dyslexic individuals to overcome learning issues and harness their potential.

Assessment Providers

Organisations that provide dyslexia and other related assessment services.

Links & Useful Resources

A collection of helpful links & tools along with a directory of local groups for community support and shared experiences.

Support Us

DFNZ is New Zealand’s only national organisation focused specifically on dyslexia. DFNZ does not receive any funding from the Government. Our work is predominantly funded by generous support from our principal sponsor, the Cookie Time Charitable Trust. As a registered charitable trust, DFNZ also receives from public donations and from private and community trusts.