Dyslexia-friendly books by Miri artist launched

Mary Anne Vaz and her books. – The Star photo.

SARAWAK has launched a dyslexia-friendly books project by prominent Miri artist Mary Anne Vaz.

Undertaken under the Pustaka Negeri Sarawak banner, the project is first of its kind in the state.

State Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah launched the books during the Sarawak Authors Festival at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching recently, The Star reported. Pustaka Sarawak chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo was also present.

Vaz said so far, three different books for dyslexics had been compiled.

“The three books are new innovations in terms of the artwork, font style, usage of colours and wording tones, ” she explained.

“These books are also helpful to those suffering from Irlen Syndrome, who cannot see high contrasting colours.

“Dyslexics and Irlen Syndrome sufferers cannot read normal books but many of them are intelligent and gifted.”

Vaz thanked Pustaka Sarawak for its help in publishing the books and support in helping to bring education to the needy.

Abdul Karim, in his speech, thanked Pustaka Sarawak and the author for their dedication.

“Their hard work and innovation have helped our people to progress in the field of education. They play vital roles in the development of the state, ” he said.

Hamid said the dyslexia-friendly books were wonderful initiatives.

“We appreciate the efforts by our partners who are innovative in helping to bring education to all sectors of people in Sarawak, ” he said.

Vaz has a Masters Degree in Special Education from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.

She is also is an accomplished artist, having won numerous local and international awards for her paintings ever since she was a little girl.

She teaches painting to children, youths, adults and senior citizens and even has whole families attending classes at her art studio.

She said she uses art as a form of family bonding, emotional therapy, mental-health exercise and psychological growth.

And she is helping her students sell their paintings to raise funds for rural Penan folk.

Born in Penang, Vaz is married to a local native in Miri and lives in the city.