Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Day takes place on 20 October. PhD English Language and Linguistics student Ashley Blake writes on her research relating to DLD and how the University is marking this day.

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a neurodevelopmental condition which causes difficulty in the way in which people use and understand oral language in their daily lives. DLD is found in approximately 7.6% of the population and affects 2 children in every classroom, but despite a high prevalence, DLD is not very well-known.

To raise awareness and help more people learn about DLD, major landmarks around the world are lit up in yellow and purple annually. This year’s theme for DLD Day is ‘DLD Around the World’, highlighting that DLD occurs in every language. On the 20th October, Old Joe will be lit up in purple for the fourth year running, to join the campaign to raise global awareness.

We are proud to be a part of this initiative at the University of Birmingham, and to contribute to continued research in this area. In the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics, my PhD research explores the relationship between specific cognitive abilities and language in children and adults with DLD. This research is supervised by Professor Ewa Dabrowksa and Professor Dagmar Divjak. I am nearing the end of my PhD journey, but I plan to continue with her research in this area to find ways to support people with DLD.

Please remember to look out for Old Joe whose clock face will be ‘proudly purple’ on DLD Day, as a beacon of awareness for DLD around the world!