Boosting the better side of dyslexia


"slimmer dan je baas,
dyslexie op het werk"

Valk & Uil offers dyslectic adults a new perspective

Valk&Uil is a small enterprise directed by Jan van Nuland.

Since 2003 Valk&Uil has supported many Dutch Universities (*1) with a dedicated literacy empowerment course for dyslectic students. In those years (2005-2007) Dutch government promoted the Law for Equal Rights Law for people with a Handicap. University teachers and professional became interested in the relative new phenomenon "dyslexia" and wanted to know what they could contribute to supporting dyslexic students. The Valk&Uil seminars for this target group happen to be a great success. (*2)

The way to look at dyslexia as something more than a problem with reading and writing came from exchanging experiences with other dyslexic adults (e.g. in workshops) and by studying Literature. Books like "Dyslexia at the workplace" , "The gift of Dyslexia" (Ronald Davis) supported our primal idea. More scientific "proof" came form: "Overcoming Dyslexia"(Sally Shaywitz); "Proust and the Squid"(Maryanne Wolf); en "Dyslexia in Adults (Reid and Kirk)".

The Dutch Dyslexia Association asked Sjan Verhoeven and Jan van Nuland to write a book Slimmer dan je baas, dyslexie op het werk. The Valk&Uil experience with dyslexia in adults happen to be rather unique in the Netherlands in 2006.

The Grundtvig Learning Program "Breaking Barriers"(2010-2012) started the lasting involvement with Prison Education. The Finnish Dyslexia Organisation "FINDER" (5000 members) defined the rational of this program as:

  • 1.“A lifelong learning is not very easy for dyslexic adults; during their school period they have had many negative experiences.”
  • 2. “Dyslexia is not only a problem; it carries also possibilities from a different way of processing information.”

within the project Valk&Uil organised a cooperation with the Dutch Prison Education. Reid and Kirk already showed the sky high incidence of dyslexia in UK prisons. Dutch Prison Education didn't have any expertise on this subject. The National coordinator of Dutch Prison Education - Annet Bakker - recognised the importance of this issue. She has personaly been very important for the project, to convince the Head Quarters to start a follow up "Dutch Dyslexia Pilot (2012/2013) and to win the Learn for Life international Price 2012 with this project.

Again in cooperation with Annet Bakker, Valk&Uil set up Grundtvig Workshop ALIPPE (Awareness Literacy Improvement Possibilities for Post-secundary Education) in March 2014. 16 Prison Education professionals from 10 European countries were introduced in the Dutch experiences with the course aiming to empower literacy possibilities of the dyslexic low litterates. Some of the attends have personaly been involved in translating the student workbook into their own language.

since 2015 Valk&Uil has become the publisher of the "ALIPPE - introduction to a different way of learning";
The teachers book is available in English and Dutch. The student workbook is available in English, Dutch, Swedish, German and Italian.

The name Valk & Uil comes from the saying:

Everybody wants his owl to be a falcon

every one thinks his own geese swans (ook every mother thinks her sprats are herrings)

This occurs from the feeling of dyslexics (as we are!!) To be not worth it when you are an owl (dyslexic): You should possess the literacy qualities from the falcon;
Valk&Uil recognises the strong points of the owl (dyslexic)! And likes to boost the better side of dyslexia. Becoming proud about what we are, and trust that we will overcome the challenges the "Falcon" society makes us!

  • latijn: quisquis amat ranam, ranam putat esse Dianam;
  • fries: elts mient dat syn ûle in falk is   of ook:
  • Hoch Deutsch: jeder hält seine Eule für einen Falken oder jeder sieht seine Eule für eine Nachtigall an

Valk&Uil cooperates with:

Annet Bakker:                     Chair of the EPEA

Jolanda van den Bergh:      Bergh en Leren

Fiona van Schendel:           "Ghost writer van Slimmer dan je baas"

Marzenka Rolak:                 Dyslexie Centrum Rotterdam

Karin de Jager:                   Woortblind dyslexie helptelefoon

Chantal Fransen:                One of us

(*1)Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, TU Delft, Leiden Universiteit, Universiteit Utrecht, Universiteit Maastricht, Open Universiteit, AVANS Hogeschool, HAS den Bosch, Saxion Hogeschool
(*2)Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Leiden Universiteit, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Universiteit Tilburg, Windesheim Hogeschool, Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen, AVANS Hogeschool, HAS den Bosch, Saxion Hogeschool, Haagse Hogeschool.