Dyslexia is part of the neurodiversity spectrum which includes dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADD, ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and tourettes. (Source: DANDA)
Up to 10% of the population are known to have dyslexic traits, however as knowledge and awareness increases more people, particularly adults are discovering that they are dyslexic. This is something that is part of their lives and the strengths associated with dyslexia may be a hidden asset to the workplace.
Some people do not think that dyslexia is a disability, however it is recognised under the Equality Act 2010. The issues a great deal of people experience are related to attitudinal discrimination in respect to lack of recognition, support and social barriers, not the dyslexic traits itself.
I think I might be dyslexic?
There are two options: you can be screened for risk of dyslexic traits. There are indications (depending on method of high, moderate and low risk). Screening is economically good (costs from £30 onwards) and if you are not sure or need to know quickly for support. Screenings are offered by local associations who have a great deal of experience in the field and can offer advice.
Diagnosis: this needs to be done by an Educational Psychologist who is a specialist in Dyslexia or a specialist dyslexia teacher – these are assessors who must register with PATOSS (https://www.patoss-dyslexia.org/) and the British Dyslexia Association (http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/) PATOSS and national charities can advise.
Be expected that diagnosis can cost from £200 upwards. Some will charge about £500 for a formal diagnosis and report.
Suggested ways to find appropriate Educational Psychologists:
- Aston University Dyslexia & Development Assessment Unit
- British Dyslexia Association, www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/parent/bda-services-parents
- An EP should be “Chartered” and registered with the HCPC (Health & Care Professionals Council) http://www.hcpc-uk.co.uk/
- List on the British Psychological Society web site at http://www1.bps.org.uk/ or their new site at http://beta.bps.org.uk/
Whats next: How do my traits affect me?
In the past, some adults have been diagnosed with dyslexia but don’t know their strengths or how to manage their traits. Others are very effective in planning, organisation, time management in respect to managing their dyslexic traits. They also recognise how their traits are effected under pressure.
If you don’t know how your dyslexia affects you?
There are a number of films available via You Tube which highlight the strengths of people with dyslexia.
Suggested ones would be:
Don’t Call Me Stupid by Kara Tointon BBC Productions
Kara has dyslexia and shows how recognising and managing traits can make the difference in a person’s life. Also the effect of attitudinal discrimination and support can impact.
Dyslexia: A Hidden Disability
People in high finance, entertainment, medical and technology professions talk about the importance of recognition, diagnosis and support for children and adults.
The Usual Suspects: West Midlands Fire Service
Members of the West Midlands Fire Service speak about their dyslexic traits and the workplace.
Training and expanding knowledge
British Dyslexia Association have launched an online course ‘How to Succeed at Home and Work as a Dyslexic Adult’. It costs £12.99 for the module and is available via this link: http://www.bdaelearning.org.uk/enrol/index.php?id=86
Booklets and information
‘Employers Guide to Dyslexia’
A booklet full of resources and suggested strategies is available via the British Dyslexia Association.
Dyslexia: How to survive and succeed at Work by Dr Sylvia Moody
A fantastic resource of suggested strategies and knowledge regarding dyslexia and workplace. It usually retails at £13.00 but worth looking out for second hand copies on Amazon for about half the price.
Access to Work: Access to Work is a Government funded scheme to support people including neurodiverse people in the workplace. For information in how to apply for funding please check out this film via our website: https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2016/08/07/access-to-work-what-you-can-do/
I’ve got a problem at work and I don’t know what to do?
Dyslexia is protected under the Equality Act and if you feel concerned about any matter relating to workplace, the following numbers can be helpful.
Do check out each organisations websites for resources before you ring:
Equality and Human Rights Commission advice line: 0808 800 0082
ACAS Confidential Helpline: 0300 123 1100. It is available Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday 8am-6pm, Wednesday to Thursday 8am-8pm and Friday 8am-6pm
ACAS website also has useful resources: http://www.acas.org.uk/
British Dyslexia Association Helpline: 0333 405 4567
Helpline Opening Hours: Tuesday 10am – 1pm, Wednesday and Thursday 10am – 3pm.