Attendees of the 2023 DFQM Award ceremony in Zoom

Success Story

Five tertiary organisations acknowledged in online DFQM ceremony

1 December 2023 Educational outcomes, Strategic Leadership and Change, Literacy and numeracy skills

We were delighted to acknowledge five tertiary organisations for their achievement of the New Zealand Dyslexia-Friendly Quality Mark (DFQM) in an online ceremony yesterday.

The DFQM provides organisations with strategies to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment for their dyslexic learners. A total of 11 organisations have achieved the DFQM since its inception in 2021.

For 2023, Ako Aotearoa staff and facilitators were pleased to officially award the DFQM to the following organisations:

  • Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga (Learning Delivery)
  • Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga (Foundation; Design Communication and Culture; School of Business; and Student Success)
  • Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) | Te Pūkenga (Invercargill Campus)
  • Literacy Aotearoa (Ikaroa-Rāwhiti / Gisborne Cluster)
  • Y Education (PTE).

“It’s a really exciting occasion, and I’d like to congratulate all of our DFQM awardees,” said DFQM Programme Lead Annette Tofaeono at the online ceremony. “Achieving the DFQM is no mean feat and meeting the 27 DFQM standards is a huge achievement.”

“From its inception we’ve understood that the Quality Mark benefits both tertiary organisations and learners alike,” said Tertiary Education Commission Principal Advisor Sara Williams. “We really look forward to seeing the community of practice grow and strengthen as more organisations adopt the DFQM. It’s really exciting to see where it’s going!”

We were delighted to hear from the following representatives of each organisation about their DFQM journey:

Trish Chaplin-Cheyne, Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga: “A lot of valuable work by many of our awesome kaimahi went into achieving this Dyslexia-Friendly Quality Mark. Today can be marked as a significant occasion because not only are we recognising manawanui – welcoming in our neurodiverse ākonga, kaimahi, and community – we are also changing the way we do this.”

Igor Maksimov, Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga: “This accreditation enabled us to understand that we can apply the same standards across other neurodivergent areas … I’d like to acknowledge and congratulate all recipients – I think better times are coming for our neurodivergent ākonga because everyone is doing more.”

Robyn McNaught, SIT | Te Pūkenga: “I’d just like to say thank you to all the team at Ako – you made a very big project very easy. It was a lot of hard work but the process of it was more simplified, and we had the full support of your team.”

Bruce George, Literacy Aotearoa: “Providing resources, strategies, and professional development for dyslexic learners and staff is just the start for us. Organisational change is happening in Literacy Aotearoa – we embrace the Dyslexia-Friendly Quality Mark and will continue to roll it out around the country in 2024.”

Leona van der Heyden, Y Education: “To get this award and be recognised for the work we’re doing is a real honour … It’s been a great journey, and we fully recommend it to any tertiary provider that is wanting to improve how we respond to our learners and how we better meet their needs.”

Congratulations once again to all organisations for this significant achievement. We hope you will continue to share your newfound strategies throughout your organisations to promote dyslexic and neurodiverse learner success.

We currently have a further 17 organisations going through the DFQM accreditation process, with another intake starting in March 2024.

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