Happy New Year, 2024!
I’m a goal-driven person and the start of the new year is a perfect time to set new goals. As I was reflecting on Dysgraphia Life’s progress in 2023 and our goals for 2024, I went back to my very first New Year’s blog in 2020 when I talked about my love of goals and the difference between goals and resolutions (you can read it here).
We have grown and accomplished so much in the past 3 years – I could not have foreseen what the organization would look like today. We reach thousands of people every month with our newsletter, have a strong and growing social media presence, and serve so many students, parents, educators and adults living with dysgraphia with our content. The thank you emails that we receive are the heart and soul of the organization.
Yet, Dysgraphia Life wants to do so much more! There are so many goals still to accomplish. But when I looked back, I was struck by how much the core of our goals remain the same.
Here are the 5 goals I wrote about in January of 2020:
More (engaging) content
Products and Services
As we think about 2024, these goals are still the same - just in new flavors.
More engaging content – Our website pages and blogs have been expanded greatly. The IEP goals page is our top organic hit besides the homepage and most months, the news blogs are among the top pages. Yet, this is an area we want to continue to improve in 2024 – incorporating blog content onto the main pages and writing new helpful content. In addition, we are looking at incorporating more video-based information.
Success stories! – Learning about others’ journeys with dysgraphia is helpful for so many people. One of the thank you emails that has resonated with me most said, “your website is making my daughter realize she is not alone.” We heard an outpouring of community stories during our October 2023 Stories Sparking Science awareness initiative. We look forward to sharing more dysgraphia journeys with you in 2024. (If you want to share, all it takes is to email us a short video (from your phone is fine) or a short written piece to firstname.lastname@example.org – we do all the editing and formatting and let you approve before it posts!)
Products and Services – Our first foray into services was our Professionals Database which is still free and allows our community to find professionals to help them. In 2023, we launched our first “product” – a book all about IEP goals for dysgraphia. Yet, it is our free, parent-focused Dysgraphia Webinar Series which has been our top service for the past few years. It has educated thousands of people. In 2023, I offered our first professional development lectures for organizations such as ALTA Alabama and the Illinois SLD Support Project. As we look into 2024, we are thinking about ways to best expand the webinars into virtual professional development as there seems to be a significant need. This won’t stop the free series and please save the date for our first one on January 30th on handwriting. UPDATED: Registration is now open!
Science – It’s no secret to those who have met me, I’m a scientist at heart and want Dysgraphia Life to help find answers to important questions for our community. We are so proud of being funded for our efforts on Building Research Capacity for Dysgraphia. We have built an amazing Research Advisory Board and 2024 will be dedicated to building a prioritized list of the research that is most needed. The intent is that we will then be able to bring together groups of researchers and community members to address these questions moving forward. Admittedly, it’s a little delayed, but we are also still working on our Research Registry to collect dysgraphia information directly from our community. Stay tuned for more!
Partnerships – Somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of students experience writing difficulties – we can’t support them alone. We need partnerships across many different segments of the community. We are so lucky to have made some great partners already. Learning Disabilities Association of Virginia has embraced us and we work collaboratively together with them on key initiatives. 2023 also brought a great partnership with Texthelp/Don Johnston where we were able to partner on a key resource and bring educational webinars to the community. If you and/or your organization want to work with us on a project, please reach out!
The realization that Dysgraphia Life’s big-picture goals have not changed in the years since its founding was meaningful to me. We have so much more to accomplish but our fundamental desire remains strong - to help people who are struggling find answers.
We hope that you have a fabulous 2024 and make progress on all of your goals. We will be right here, working on ours and finding new and improved ways to help the dysgraphia community.