Event: BDA: Promoting Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Networking for Success!

British Dyslexia Association

Date: 28th June 2018, 9.30am – 4pm

Venue:  BRE, Bucknalls Lane, Watford, WD25 9NH  (There is limited parking onsite)

Information about this informative event:
The British Dyslexia Association with Dyslexia Science, Engineering and Technology, are delighted to announce an Adult Conference and Organisational Member’s Day, hosted by BRE.  All are welcome to this informative day!

This conference will explore how individuals can celebrate and accentuate their Neurodiverse talents and explore how those in the workplace can develop Neurodiverse friendly practices.

Our experts include so far:

  • Margaret Malpas, MBE, Vice-President of the BDA. and author of  “Self Fulfilment with Dyslexia: A Blueprint for Success”. Margaret will present on Networking for Success!
  • Katherine Hewlett from Achievability, presenting on Westminster Achievability Commission Report on Dyslexia and Recruitment.
  • Joanne Gregory, BDA Quality Mark Manager will present on The Dyslexia Friendly Workplace and the Dyslexia Aware Award for employers.
  • Aidan Ridyard: Successful and renowned Architect, Aidan will explore how his journey with dyslexia has evolved throughout his life and professional career, his talk ‘Volere Volare… To want to fly’ celebrates positive dyslexia and will be truly inspirational!
  • Masterclass on ‘Neurodiversity and Assessment in the workplace’: This session will give an overview on creating a neurodiverse working environment and will address the procedures around assessing for dyslexia, a fantastic overview of the key issues.

Sensing Culture Conference: Tuesday 1 May 2018 (sold out)

Sensing-Culture
Sensing Culture Conference
Tuesday 1 May 2018, Trinity House, London
Cost: Free
Sensing Culture is a Heritage Lottery Fund funded project. It has been working with blind and partially sighted people to open up heritage at museums, landmarks, archives and collections.
 
The project will conclude on Tuesday 1st May 2018 at the Sensing Culture Conference. The free Conference is aimed at those interested in making museums and heritage sites more accessible for blind and partially sighted people. Attendees will be able to find out the successes, challenges and learnings from the project. The event will:
 
•           Bring together like-minded people who share the same goal of making museums, heritage sites, and
the heritage sector more accessible  
•           Showcase good practice from across the museum/heritage sector, including the Sensing Culture project
•           Get you thinking about what you can do
•           Highlight future opportunities
 
There will be a wide range of talks and workshops from people involved in the Sensing Culture project. The keynote speakers for the day are Liz Ellis & Caroline George (Heritage Lottery Fund) and Simon Hayhoe (University of Bath). More speakers will be announced shortly.
 
It will also be the first chance to preview the new Sensing Culture website. The website will be a one stop shop for information and guidance on making museums, heritage sites, and the heritage sector more accessible.
 
Sensing Culture has been led by the Royal National Institute of the Blind. It has been delivered with the support of several prestigious heritage organisations, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
The partners of Sensing Culture are:
•           Oxford University Museums and Collections led by Oxford Museum of Natural History
•           The Canterbury Cluster (Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury Library and
Canterbury Cathedral)
•           Lewes Castle in Sussex, part of the Sussex Archaeological Society
•           Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Richard Lancelyn Green Bequest in Portsmouth,
part of Portsmouth Council and Libraries
 

Sensing Culture aims to increase the independence of blind and partially sighted visitors, professionals, artists, and volunteers. This is by training staff and volunteers at the partner heritage sites and implementing practical solutions. In support of this, interaction at these sites has been increased and meaningful learning experiences created. This has included using technology, audio description and tactile panels.

 

New Report launched (28 March) from Westminster Commission on Autism

Disability Co-operative Network

This new report was launched on 28 March and in collaboration with autistic people, organisations and charities in relation to fake cures often distributed on social media.  These ‘cures’ are rightfully causing concern so the Westminster Commission on Autism has produced a short report on recommendations to Government to support people and families.
Link to the report is here: https://t.co/yGZCyrnGmr

 

Report Launch: Neurodiverse voices: Opening Doors to Employment – WACReport

achieveability logo

This is a groundbreaking report by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission.  We are proud to be associated and quoted with this important report for all sectors but particularly for us the Heritage, Arts and Cultural Sector.  It is also very timely with the recent release of which is timely to the ‘Making A Shift Report: Disabled people and the Arts and Cultural Sector Workforce in England: Understanding trends, barriers and
opportunities.’

Link to the full WAC report is here: http://www.achieveability.org.uk/main/policy/wac-report-is-released

NEWS RELEASE Monday 22nd January 2018

REPORT LAUNCH

Neurodiverse Voices:Opening Doors to Employment

Ground-breaking report on systemic barriers to employment

A ground-breaking report is being launched TODAY on Monday January 22nd by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC) and then released into the public domain.

Over the period of a year, WAC has gathered evidence on systemic barriers to employment for millions of potential employees who are neurodivergent (i.e. dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic and/or with Attention Deficit Disorder). This significant study from the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission on Recruitment is aligned with the government’s stated aim of increasing the number of people with disabilities in employment, set out in the Improving Lives Green Paper (2016) and Command Paper (2017). There could be no better time to highlight the abilities and workplace support needs of the large neurodivergent population and point to better recruitment and retention practices, for the benefit of the national economy.

The resulting data has highlighted a widespread lack of awareness, failures in government support and workplace discrimination – but also many examples of good practice as most neurodivergent people are able and skilled – it is recruitment processes that disable them. All of this has fed into the Commission’s report.
The report launch on January 22nd will be followed by a second event, also in Westminster, on Thursday 25th
to celebrate the creativity of the neurodivergent community.

WAC recommendations include widespread awareness training, accessibility of written employment information and an end to inappropriate testing as part of the selection process. We call for the improvement of government support programmes and disability initiatives.

HEADLINES FROM THE REPORT

  • 43% of survey respondents felt discouraged from applying by job application
    processes.
  • 52% claimed to have experienced discrimination during interview or selection
    processes.
  • 73% did not disclose their condition during interview – of those that did, 58%
    regretted it, feeling this led to discrimination.
  • On-line job applications which don’t allow assistive technology and use of spellcheckers bar neurodivergent applicants from accessing jobs.
  • Employers are breaking the law (Equality Act 2010) when they fail to implement reasonable adjustments for disabled people

QUOTATIONS FROM THE REPORT
“My first few staff reports started with the words “this officer will never be suitable for promotion as he is dyslexic.”
“Employers cannot make reasonable adjustments if they do not begin from the premise of acceptance.”
“All psychometric tests are impossible for me, however in many cases I know I would be very good at the job and that these test don’t reflect my capabilities.”

Call For Abstracts: Founding a Community of Practice for Sensing Culture Through Inclusive Capital

Sensing-Culture

Founding a Community of Practice for Sensing Culture Through Inclusive Capital

Monday 26th – Tuesday 27th March 2018

University of Bath, Somerset, UK

Background to the Symposium

Sensing Culture is a Heritage Lottery Fund funded project that enables blind and partially sighted people to increase their independence through visiting heritage sites and museums. Sensing Culture is led by CultureLink South East, which is a partnership led by the Royal National Institute of the Blind with the support of a number of prestigious heritage organisations, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will conclude in April 2018.

Sensing Culture aims to increase independence by training staff and volunteers at partner heritage sites, so these stakeholders understand the impact of sight loss. This training focuses on ways of supporting visitors and positive learning experiences.

Amongst the methods of supporting visitors who are blind and visually impaired, technology, audio description and tactile panels are used to make sites more interactive.

The five external partners for Sensing Culture are:

  • Oxford University Museums
  • The Canterbury Cluster (Canterbury Museums and Galleries, Canterbury Library and Canterbury Cathedral)
  • Lewes Castle in Sussex, part of the Sussex Archaeological Society
  • The Conan Doyle Collection in Portsmouth, part of Portsmouth Council and Libraries
  • The Royal Pavilion and Museums across Brighton and Hove

The Theme

The theme of the symposium is founding a community of practice to engage professionals, volunteers and visitors who are blind and partially sighted to develop more inclusive heritage sites. The symposium will include the launch of a website based at the University of Bath, UK, which will host the community of practice.

Through discussion, presentations of good-practice, and critical engagement with barriers to inclusion, the community of practice will provide a legacy for Sensing Culture beyond 2018. We would therefore particularly like to engage with people who can contribute to this community of practice.

The symposium will work to develop inclusive capital in cultural heritage sites. Inclusive capital can be described as a sense of inclusion in cultural heritage sites, which is gained in four stages:

  • The first stage in this cycle is connecting and bonding with a network of people
  • The second stage is learning through networks
  • The third stage is collecting information that leads to access or knowledge through learning
  • The fourth stage is physical and virtual access to spaces and places where we can learn and gather new information, such as visiting or attending cultural institutions

Call for Abstracts

Your abstract should be brief and a maximum of 100 words – preferably fewer – and should include the theme of developing inclusion, that can form inclusive capital. Examples of presentations could be:

  • a project you have designed or run in a heritage site
  • findings from an evaluation of a project
  • experiences of visiting exhibits as a blind or visually impaired person
  • initial or substantial findings from research

We are particularly interested in receiving brief abstracts from people who are:

  • people who are blind or partially sighted with experience of museums
  • museum managers, administrators, professionals and volunteers
  • academics and students studying museum access
  • teachers (either in a museum or who engages with museums as part of your teaching)

The presentations will be 15-20 minutes, and incorporate 10-15 minute discussions. We particularly welcome on-going projects that can be enhanced through a discussion at the symposium.

The abstracts will be published on paper and on the new community of practice website. If the presenter wishes, we will also publish their presentation or a paper outlining their presentation on the website. We are also preparing a proposal for a special issue of a journal, and papers can also be considered for this special issue, if the author(s) so wish.

Abstracts should be emailed to s.j.hayhoe@bath.ac.uk and submitted by February 14th 2018.

 

University of Bath

NEWS RELEASE 15 January 2018: Neurodiverse Voices: Opening Doors to Employment

achieveability logo

Ground-breaking report on systemic barriers to employment

A ground-breaking report is being launched on Monday January 22nd by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC) and then released into the public domain.
Over the period of a year, WAC has gathered evidence on systemic barriers to employment for millions of potential employees who are neurodivergent (i.e. dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic and/or with Attention Deficit Disorder).

This significant study from the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission on Recruitment is aligned with the government’s stated aim of increasing the number of people with disabilities in employment, set out in the Improving Lives Green Paper (2016) and Command Paper (2017). There could be no better time to highlight the abilities and workplace support needs of the large neurodivergent population and point to better recruitment and retention practices, for the benefit of the national economy.

The resulting data has highlighted a widespread lack of awareness, failures in government support and workplace discrimination – but also many examples of good practice as most neurodivergent people are able and skilled – it is recruitment processes that disable them. All of this has fed into the Commission’s report.

The report launch on January 22nd will be followed by a second event, also in Westminster, on Thursday 25th to celebrate the creativity of the neurodivergent community.

WAC recommendations include widespread awareness training, accessibility of written employment information and an end to inappropriate testing as part of the selection process. We call for the improvement of government support programmes and disability initiatives.

HEADLINES FROM THE REPORT

  • 43% of survey respondents felt discouraged from applying by job application processes.
  • 52% claimed to have experienced discrimination during interview or selection processes.
  • 73% did not disclose their condition during interview – of those that did, 58% regretted it, feeling this led to discrimination.
  • On-line job applications which don’t allow assistive technology and use of spellcheckers bar neurodivergent applicants from accessing jobs.
  • Employers are breaking the law (Equality Act 2010) when they fail to implement reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

QUOTATIONS FROM THE REPORT

“My first few staff reports started with the words “this officer will never be suitable for promotion as he is dyslexic.”
“Employers cannot make reasonable adjustments if they do not begin from the premise of acceptance.”
“All psychometric tests are impossible for me, however in many cases I know I would be very good at the job and that these test don’t reflect my capabilities.”

WAC Media Release 2018

Oral History Training/Volunteering opportunity: History of Place Project

History of Place is offering a day of oral history training at M Shed Bristol on 30th January, followed by flexible opportunities to volunteer until April, taking oral histories of disabled people in Bristol.

Full details here:

http://historyof.place/events/train-with-a-professional-from-the-oral-history-society/

Do pass this on to people who might like to take part – everyone is welcome, and we hope participants will pick up some useful transferable skills.

There’s also a HOP newsletter, which will carry events and further exhibition openings over the next few months – you can sign up at the top or bottom of the page here: http://historyof.place/events/

Community Panel – volunteer opportunity

Staffordshire County Council

Staffordshire Museum is looking for enthusiastic people to help us to develop a new exhibition around the theme of ‘Childhood’. This community panel will work with us to create a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition for diverse audiences across Staffordshire.

You can learn about the museum and the fantastic objects in our collection and have the chance to work with museum staff and a professional designer.  As the exhibition develops there will be the opportunity to get involved in different areas such as research, display and marketing.

We would meet approximately once a month from November 2017-July 2018.

If you want to find out more please get in touch with Natalie at natalie.heidaripour@staffordshire.gov.uk.

Community panel flyer

NEWS Update: Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC) on recruitment and neurodivergence

For World Dyslexia Day (5 October) and Dyslexia Awareness Week (2 – 8 October), Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC) have produced a media release which has important information for dyslexic and other neurodiverse adults in the workplace.

The Media Release outlines the key findings of the two WAC surveys and the four evidence sessions and flags up the fuller report to be launched in January 2018.  The full report will outline a series of recommendations in line with the key findings.

WAC Media Release 2017

For further information regarding the work of WAC please see http://bit.ly/2yX1sK5

Consultation Opportunity (Questionnaire) Dyslexia and the Impact of Managerial Practices Research

Disability Co-operative Network

Hello,

I’m trying to determine whether or not there is a relationship between managerial practices, and the impact on people with dyslexia regarding employment stability.

The study involves the completion of a short questionnaire which is available online and will take approximately 40 minutes to complete. Please click on the web link below to take part in the online questionnaire.

Link – https://stirling.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/dyslexia-and-the-impact-of-managerial-practice-research

Secondly in-depth interviews are available for anyone who would like to contribute further to the research and should last approximately two hours.

If you would like to participate in an interview and want to find out more, please email me at: dps00002@students.stir.ac.uk

The deadline is 19th July 2017.

Many thanks

Dean Smith

University of Stirling

Signly – a great app for sign language

Signly

Signly is an app which displays pre-recorded sign language videos on a user’s mobile, enabling better access to written content for d/Deaf sign language users.  Signly can be used for trails, posters, leaflets and forms.

Information regarding the app and links are here

Signly Poster – Click to download PDF

 

 

NEWS: Reimagining the neurodiverse performance space – participants required

Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry

Culture Coventry are looking for participants in the following project:

Summary

Neuroaesthetics explores the synergy between the needs and interests of neurodiverse audiences, with the fascinations and performance modes utilised by live artists. Working in collaboration with young people who are largely non-verbal, with severe needs, the artists will be challenged to find meaningful points of collaboration, and together radically re-imagine the neurodiverse performance space.

Each artist will explore and reconfigure their distinct practice in this highly unpredictable, ‘extra live’ context with the support and guidance of the two lead artists. It is anticipated that seeing their work through this new lens and receiving unmediated audience responses will provoke rich new creative lines of enquiry.

Neuroaesthetics looks to challenge ideas of risk in a highly safeguarded area of work, and dismantle the idea of a fixed a ‘disabled theatre’ aesthetic to make way for new possibilities of making performance for and with this often sidelined group of individuals.

Application and further details:

Applications are open for artists to take park in the project this October.
The deadline for applications is Mon 19 June at 12noon.
Further details including how to apply are here:
http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/opportunities/diy-14-2017-ellie-griffiths-greg-sinclair

 

PRESS RELEASE : New boat for Para-Rowers at Marlow named after Rivertime Boat Trust co-founder Pat Davis

"Rivertime Pat" Boat Naming

Rivertime Boat Trust LogoA donation of £2,500 from the Shanly Foundation has supported the purchase of a new boat for the Para-Rowers at Marlow Rowing Club. At a naming ceremony, organised by the Club on Sunday 7 May 2017, the Shanly Foundation unveiled the name for the boat. Inspired by one of the founders of the Rivertime Boat Trust the Shanly Foundation has decided to name the boat after Pat Davis. Pat set up the charity in 2006 and has provided memorable experiences for over 15,000 disabled and disadvantaged children and adults on the Thames so far.

The Rivertime Boat Trust is also staging the first ever Rivertime Accessible Regatta on the 14th June. With Marlow Rowing Club actively supporting the regatta it will showcase a wide variety of accessible activities on both water and land for children and young people with disabilities in the Thames Valley.

The donation for the new boat comes just in time for the Paralympic development scheme – a British Rowing initiative with Marlow Rowing Club to encourage more disabled individuals to get involved with Para-Rowing and step up to an elite level.

“We are thrilled to have been able to make this donation towards the new para-rowing boat at Marlow Rowing Club” comments Tamra Booth, trustee of the Shanly Foundation, who have sponsored both the Marlow Rowing Club and Rivertime Boat Trust. “This is an exciting time for the club, having been selected as hosts for the new Paralympic development scheme.”

Rivertime Pat naming ceremony (l-r) Richard Buckeridge, Marlow Rowing Club Member, Pat Davis, Rivertime Boat Trust co-founder, Jonathan Walne, Marlow Rowing Club Captain; credit MRC
Rivertime Pat naming ceremony (l-r) Richard Buckeridge, Marlow Rowing Club Member, Pat Davis, Rivertime Boat Trust co-founder, Jonathan Walne, Marlow Rowing Club Captain; credit MRC

“We wanted to name the boat after Pat who has, together with her husband Simon, made such a difference in the community and dedicated so much time to ensuring everyone, no matter how impossible it may seem, can enjoy life on the river. Pat’s cruises continue to be a highlight for many disabled people, young and old, so we thought it extremely fitting to recognise her achievements with her very own boat.”

Pat Davis, co-founder of the Rivertime Boat Trust says “It is a great honour to have this new boat named after me and the Rivertime Boat Trust. I am delighted to see that others also recognise the work we have done with the Trust over the last ten years in opening up the River Thames to the less able.”

Jonathan Walne, captain of Marlow Rowing Club, adds: “The adaptive rowing squad is an important part of our activities here at Marlow: the athletes make an enthusiastic contribution to club life, and have already achieved success at local, national and international level. We are very grateful for the continuing support from the Shanly Foundation, which will help the group grow and prosper. We look forward to more success from our athletes in the years ahead.

For further information on the Shanly Foundation and the causes it supports, please visit: www.shanlyfoundation.com

ENDS

 

For further information, interview requests, or images please contact Firebird PR:

T: 01235 835 297/ 07977 459 547

E: enquiries@firebirdpr.co.uk

 

ABOUT SHANLY FOUNDATION

  • Part of the Shanly Group of companies, The Shanly Foundation is the Group’s charitable arm established by founder and owner, Michael Shanly.
  • Financed entirely by the profits generated by the Shanly Group of companies, The Foundation has to-date donated over £10m to thousands of local community groups and charitable organisations to provide support and improve the quality of life for those most in need.
  • Other companies within the Group are Shanly Homes, Sorbon Estates and Shanly Partnership Homes specialising in commercial and residential property development, ownership and asset management across London and the South East.

 

ABOUT RIVERTIME BOAT TRUST

 

  • The Rivertime Boat Trust offers disabled and disadvantaged children and adults the opportunity to get out on the River Thames between Windsor and Oxford on their specially constructed boat. The Trust is a charity registered with the Charity Commission.
  • On 14 June 2017, the Rivertime Boat Trust and Give Them a Sporting Chance will stage the first Rivertime Accessible Regatta in the Thames Valley for children and young people with disabilities.
  • The Rivertime Accessible Regatta will be held at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Berkshire and will include competitive bell boating, accessible sailing, wheelchair powerboating and canoeing, as well as a selection of land-based sports such as accessible cycling and chair basketball.
  • For more information, visit www.rivertimeboattrust.org.uk

PRESS RELEASE: Disabled anglers now able to fly fish for trout on Draycote Reservoir ~ The Wheelyboat Trust

The Wheelyboat Trust Logo

Release date: 7 April 2017

The first wheelchair accessible Coulam 16 Wheelyboat at Draycote Reservoir in Warwickshire will be launched on Wednesday 12 April, following a successful fundraising campaign supported by Draycote Fly-Fishers Association and led by one of its members.  An established trout fishery for many years, Draycote Reservoir is a 600-acre lowland reservoir near Rugby famous for its buzzer hatches and large grown-on brown and rainbow trout.

Designed and developed by The Wheelyboat Trust and JM Coulam Boatbuilders, the Coulam 16 Wheelyboat stems from the fundamental desire of disabled anglers and wheelchair users in particular, to have the same opportunities to fish as the able-bodied.  The boat is based on Jim Coulam’s 16’ reservoir fishing boat design and has been adapted to provide wheelchair users with step free access on board.  With an open cockpit and level floor throughout, the disabled angler can choose to sit at the bow or the stern and is able to drive and operate the boat quite independently.

The unique design features of the boat are not immediately obvious, making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for disabled anglers.  Wheelchair users board the Coulam 16 Wheelyboat via a ramp from a pontoon onto a hydraulic platform that lowers to floor level.  Removable handrails around the platform help keep the angler secure and simplify the boarding and disembarking procedure, which means that only one able-bodied helper is required for assistance.  The boat has a 6’ beam, low centre of gravity and is very stable.  In normal conditions wheelchair brakes are sufficient to hold the angler in place, but D-rings on the floor provide secure strapping points when required.

The project cost £9,200 and was funded by the Janet Nash Charitable Settlement, Draycote Fly-Fishers Association and their members, and Fishery Management (UK) Ltd which has been running the fishery on Draycote since 2011.

Andy Beadsley, Director of The Wheelyboat Trust, says “Angling is an activity that most disabled people can participate in very successfully given the right access and equipment.  Our Wheelyboats overcome all the difficulties of accessing waters like Draycote and we are delighted that Ifor and his team have become the latest fishery to operate a Wheelyboat.  This is the 180th Wheelyboat to be launched and is a particularly proud moment for me being the 100th Wheelyboat launched since I took over as Director in 2002.”

The Wheelyboat Trust relies on the support of individuals, companies and charitable organisations to fund its activities. Donations can be made in a variety of ways including online atwww.wheelyboats.org/donate.html.

-ENDS-

 

Media Contacts

Jane Bevan or Jana Fickerova, Firebird Public Relations

T: 01235 835297 / 07977 459 547

E: jb@firebirdpr.co.uk / jf@firebirdpr.co.uk

 

About accessible angling

  • The need for accessible fishing boats has come about by the inaccessible nature of reservoirs, lakes, ponds and rivers to wheelchair users and others with mobility problems: the banks are often steep and unmade and where there is access, it may be limited and offer little opportunity to fish the water effectively.
  • Fluctuating water levels, the norm on most reservoirs, make the problems of access even worse.  Standard boats have not been designed to accommodate wheelchair users and are very difficult to get into.  Once on board the disabled angler is usually totally reliant on a boat partner.
  • Whichever Wheelyboat model is preferred (the Trust currently supplies four models – two purpose-built fishing boats and two multi-purpose models including a 12 seater inshore powerboat), Wheelyboats overcome all the difficulties. They make the entire water accessible, are simplicity itself to board and the level floor provides access throughout thus giving the disabled user the dignity of their own independence.  Wheelyboats enable disabled people to participate in waterborne activities alongside and on equal terms with their able-bodied counterparts.
  • Fishing has many charms and where suitable facilities are provided, such as at Draycote Reservoir, it is an activity that most disabled people can participate in very effectively.

 

About The Wheelyboat Trust

  • The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity dedicated to providing mobility impaired people, young and old, with the opportunity and freedom to participate in waterborne activities all over the UK.  Its role is to help and encourage venues open to the public to acquire Wheelyboats for their disabled visitors and to help groups and organisations acquire Wheelyboats for their own use.
  • The Wheelyboat Trust was founded in 1984 when it was originally called the Handicapped Anglers Trust.  The first Wheelyboat built received its official launch from HRH Prince Charles at Fishmongers’ Hall in London.  In 2004, the charity was renamed The Wheelyboat Trust to reflect its broader aims and the clear need for Wheelyboats beyond the fishing lake for disabled, elderly and infirm, families and community groups for recreation and sporting pursuits.
  • The Trust has designed 7 different Wheelyboat models since its work began in 1984: Mk I, Mk II, Mk III, Mk IV, Coulam 15, Coulam 16 and Coulam Wheelyboat V20.  180 Wheelyboats have so far been supplied across the UK, Ireland and Denmark.
  • For more information, visit www.wheelyboats.org

About Draycote Reservoir Trout Fishery

  • The fishery is within easy access of the M1, M6, M40 and M45
  • 32 boats all with outboards are available giving access to Draycote’s 600 acres and its famed shoals (underwater islands).
  • Anglers fishing from a drifting boat, fishing a team of dries or buzzers over and around the shoals, will experience the finest top of the water fly fishing any midlands reservoir has to offer.
  • Draycote is a popular competition venue with many clubs and associations enjoying its excellent fishing and facilities.
  • The team at Draycote feel passionate about their sport and are keen to encourage other anglers into fly fishing, or if required, to try and improve their knowledge. Visit the website’s Guiding/Tuition pagefor further details or call 01788 812018.
  • Fishery Management (UK) Ltd is owned by Ifor Jones and runs the fishing at Thornton, Foremark, Draycote and Eyebrook reservoirs.
  • For more information, visit www.flyfishdraycote.co.uk

 

About J M Coulam Boatbuilders

  • Established for 24 years, they are one of the largest small boat builders in the UK having designed and built over 1,000 commercial boats.
  • Specialising in small day hire boats, they have expanded with help from The Wheelyboat Trust into larger commercial craft.
  • All boats are individually built in GRP to customer’s own specification.
  • Their own engineering and stainless steel fabrication shop allows them to custom make fittings and components and almost everything else.
  • They supply custom built trailers for all types of applications and are a leading floating pontoon manufacturer.

Event: From Individual to Infrastructure: Enabling Success for Adults with Dyslexia

From Individual to Infrastructure - Flier - click to download PDF
From Individual to Infrastructure – Flier – click to download PDF

Enabling Success for Adults with Dyslexia is a conference by the British Dyslexia Association with Dyslexia STEM, kindly hosted by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Friday, 28 April 2017 in Watford.

This conference will explore how individuals can acquire the characteristics that successful individuals with dyslexia or related conditions, share. It will also look at how networks and groups, organisations and infrastructure can encourage and inspire success. There will be speakers and case studies throughout.

Keynote speakers include:

Professor Amanda Kirby who has developed the Do It Profiler, a super screener with resources for adults. Prof. Kirby will be able to tell us about its use in many workplaces creating research findings on literally thousands of adults with dyslexia.

Margaret Malpas, MBE, Joint Chair of the B.D.A. and author of the new book “Self Fulfilment with Dyslexia: A Blueprint for Success” which is being published in all English speaking countries on 21 February. The book describes the ten characteristics, underpinned by research, that successful dyslexic adults, share. “Dyslexia won’t stop you from writing your own success story. Approach the obstacles of dyslexia pro-actively, and unlock your potential with this inspiring step by step guide”.

Chris D’Souza – Chris is currently the BG Integration Programme Director at Shell. He has worked at Shell for 16 years in a number of global roles in operations and Information Technology. In 2016, together will colleagues from Shell’s enAble network and training from the BDA, he helped setup the Shell Dyslexia Mentoring programme, where he is a trained mentor.

This will be a very popular conference and we therefore encourage delegates to book now to secure your place by clicking on this link, or visiting the ‘Event’ section of the BDA website.


Location: BRE, Bucknalls Lane, Watford, WD25 9NH
Fee: £25 plus booking fee per participant
Queries: Phone – 0333 405 4565, Email – conference@bdadyslexia.org.uk

 

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2018

Sky Arts Portrait Artist Flyer Logo

CALL FOR ARTISTS! Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year is looking artists to take part in the next series. Click on the link to apply and find out more (Deadline 3rdMarch 2017) https://www.skyartsartistoftheyear.tv/portrait

Sky Arts Portrait Artist Flyer
Sky Arts Portrait Artist Flyer

You could win a £10,000 commission for a major British institution and £500 of art materials from Cass Art.

If you would like to watch Portrait Artist of The Year being filmed, heats will take place at The Wallace Collection in London, home to one of Europe’s finest art collections. They are open to the public and will record on the following dates in 2017: Wednesday 5th April, Thursday 6th April, Friday 7th April Monday 10th April, Tuesday 11th April, Wednesday 12th April

 

Research into Issues for Adults with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties ~ Margaret Malpas

Over the last 12 months, I have been conducting some pilot research to identify issues and experiences of adults with dyslexia or related specific learning difficulties (SpLD).  The aim was to use the pilot to discover which characteristics were helpful to adults with dyslexia and other SpLD. I anticipated that topics which were very relevant would appear and help shape more detailed research. However, the findings were so consistent and interesting that I decided to publish them and to use them as a basis for a book (“Self Fulflment with Dyslexia: A Blueprint for Success” available from 21 February 2017).  Here is the report on my findings.

Thank you

In total, 45 individuals have now completed the questionnaire. Thank you very much to all of you for taking the time and effort to fill it in.

Methodology

I did a literature review of existing research on adults with dyslexia, excluding research on reading acquisition. The available research was not extensive but produced some interesting connections. In addition, having listened to many adults with dyslexia or a related condition, I was able to put together the questionnaire. The questionnaire is attached as an appendix at the end of this report.

The questionnaire has not been through an ethics review by a university but I did seek feedback from two senior academics.

Who Filled in the Questionnaire?

There were three groups who completed the questionnaire. The first group, of 15, were from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and locations. The second group were all individuals attending the B.D.A.’s International Conference in March 2016.  There were 17 respondents (2 were not dyslexic but were knowledgeable about dyslexia). This group of individuals were either academics or specialist dyslexia teachers with a lot of knowledge about dyslexia and SpLD. The third group of 13, were present at the B.D.A.’s AGM in November 2016. They are activists and want to help others with dyslexia, as is evident from their work as members of B.D.A. and its local associations.

The majority of respondents were aged over 35 years and many were over 50 years. This meant that they were able to take a long view, reflect on their life experiences over many years.

The questionnaire required mostly free format answers. This ensured that the individual is not led to answer but it also makes analysing the responses rather more difficult. So, it was necessary to accept some close synonyms. For example in the answering the first question “What do you put your key successes in life down to?” many people said “determination” but some said “persistence” and these answers are treated in the results as being under “determination”.

Responses

The answers given to each question are shown here.

  1. Key successes were ascribed to:
Group 1Group 2Group 3Total %
Determination8  (53%)10  (67%)6  (46%)56%
Empathetic6  (40%) 4  (27%)0  (0%)23%
Intelligence or particular ability0  (0)%) 4  (27%)6  (46%)23%
Motivated by helping others3  (20%) 5  (33%)0  (0%)19%
Supportive family4  (27%) 2  (1%)2  (15%)19%
Hard work0  (0%) 3  (20%)3  (23%)14%
Effective education0  (0%) 3  (20%)1  (8%)  9%
Wit4  (27%) 0  (0%)2  (15%)  6%

In analysing the three groups’ responses, we need to be aware that this is asking people to self-report and so, for example, I found that the second group (of academics) ascribed their success to a mixture of determination and hard work in a subject they were already good at. They also reported that their intelligence was a key element of their success and that this had nothing to do with their dyslexia. It was apparent, though, that having an effective education and particularly sympathetic teachers had, had a significant effect on this group compared with the first group. Interestingly, the controls also put down ‘determination’ and ‘hard work’ as their primary reasons for success. The third group had a number of self made individuals, including lawyers, politicians, consultants and nurses. This experience of making it despite difficulties at school came through very clearly.

It’s particularly useful to look at this data with the answers to question 4 “Do you believe your dyslexia/SpLD has bestowed certain abilities on you”.  In their replies to this question, there were even more individuals including determination, persistence and particular abilities. This will be discussed in more detail with the question 4 responses, below.

  1. Diagnoses of dyslexia/SpLD

I was interested to learn the proportion of individuals who had been formally diagnosed or had self diagnosed. Diagnoses of dyslexia/SpLD have increased as a consequence of better awareness in schools and especially the implementation of the Disabled Students Allowance scheme but are still low.

Group 1Group 2Group 3Total %
Diagnosed 12

Self-diagnosed 2

Diagnosed 11

Self-diagnosed 4

Diagnosed  7

Self diagnosed 6

   70%

28%

 

  1. Perceived Levels of Self Esteem
Group 1Group 2Group 3
Range 5–10

Mode 8

Range 6–9

This group also reported variability according to recent experience

Range 4-10

Mode 8 (7 participants scored themselves at 8)

The majority of respondents reported high levels of self esteem. There did not seem to be a connection between whether they had received a formal diagnosis or were self diagnosed and their levels of esteem. However, there was a distinct relationship between those who later answered that they felt they had strengths because of their dyslexia/SpLD, and their levels of self esteem. Those reporting self esteem levels at 4 and 5 did not see dyslexia as conferring a benefit to them.

  1. Abilities and strengths Perceived to be from Dyslexia
Group 1Group 2Group 3Total
Yes791265%
No23114%
Number of respondents listing strengths 

7

 

11

 

13

 

72%

Seeing big picture77544%
Atypical problem solving55330%
Empathy34426%
Determination51321%
Data patterns2119%
Inspiring others3109%
Coping strategies1002%

 There is a need for interpretation on these figures.  There were some people who did not circle the “yes” but did list strengths, hence the row on those who listed strengths does not quite match the number in the “yes” row. There were 3 respondents who replied “no” but went on to list attributes which others considered strengths of dyslexia. These were determination and empathy with other dyslexic people. So we have 69% of respondents specifically saying they have strengths and abilities that arise through their dyslexia/SpLD.  There was very considerable overlap in the wording used by respondents to describe these abilities. This could in some cases be because some of the descriptors are ones used throughout the dyslexic community. However, the second part of the question asked for examples, and these firmly bore out these descriptions of strengths. Here are some examples of these which also demonstrate how some of these abilities were clustered using synonyms.

Atypical problem solving/ thinking outside the box/finding alternative approaches or solutions were exemplified by taking successful legal appeal cases with an alternative approach; complete post graduate degrees (against a poor literacy achievements at school); develop learning opportunities that suit the individual and overcome problems; develop a career based on problem solving and consultancy/ advisory work.

Creativity was mentioned a lot but in the context mainly of problem solving.

Determination, persistence, and grit came up repeatedly. In several instances these had not been mentioned as an answer to question 1 but were included here as one of the positive outcomes of dyslexia. Examples quoted for this included setting up and running a charity for 22 years; several people described completing post graduate degrees despite having severe literacy problems at school, and working in the professions.

Recognising patterns was another common theme which did not easily fit into being clustered. For some, it was about recognising patterns in data, for others it was about recognising patterns of behaviour, being able to read others; and for others, it was described as recognising connections between things that others have not seen.

  1. Challenges from Dyslexia

 

Group 1Group 2Group 3Total
Literacy12 (80%)8 (53%)13  (100%) 

77%

Memory particularly affecting organisation5  (33%)10  (67%)6 (46%) 

49%

Background distractions4  (27%)1 (7%)0 (0%)12%
Getting lost3 (20%)0  (0%)1 (8%)9%
Learning is difficult2  (13%)0  (0%)2 (15%)9%

 

Almost all the respondents wrote about their challenges. There was considerable consistency in the replies which can be seen above. In terms of literacy difficulties, the comments were mainly about slower reading speed, slower comprehension, and difficulties managing large tracts of reading material. Many respondents had trouble with confidence with spelling and quite a few commented that their writing was scruffy.

  1. The Effects of these Challenges on their Lives
Group 1Group 2Group 3Total
Considerable difficultiesMany0ManyMany
Underachievement52367%
Relationship issues (personal and professional)91126%
Stress and health issues63021%
Lack of self-belief30212%

As the responses were freely worded, it wasn’t possible to calculate all the answers numerically. In some cases, it was necessary to take a qualitative approach and recognise that the lists of outcomes would create considerable difficulties at some point in the individual’s life. This is where the table shows “many”.  In all the other challenges the actual words used were counted and synonyms were not used here.

  1. Have you received individual support?
Group 1Group 2Group 3Total
Relative or spouse48540%
No one33526%
Dyslexia coach63123%
Network member33219%
Sympathetic teacher03416%
Mentor32012%
Sympathetic boss0205% 

Out of 45 total respondents, 37 individuals said they had received support from a particular individual. In the main, those who listed a family member spoke mostly about that person maintaining their self esteem. The support from professionals which included mentors at work and specialist dyslexia teachers or coaches was on the development of coping strategies.

  1. Disclosure
Group 1Group 2Group 3Total
Yes911660%
No34733%
Positive experience511140%
Negative experience40419%

Previous research has shown that disclosure often has not resulted in positive outcomes for the individual. We also see very low numbers of take up on schemes such as the Government’s Access to Work where disclosure to the employer is a requirement. This question was included in order to see if anything more could be learned in this area as it is critical in tackling discrimination at work. There were quite a few individuals who had not disclosed their dyslexia to an employer because they were self employed in this sample. There were also individuals who described two experiences of disclosure to an employer, frequently a bad and a good experience.

  1. What would you recommend to a young person?
Group 1Group 2Group 3Total
Learn coping strategies99249%
Look for things you are good at06628%
Take or ask for help34323%
Recognise you are different but not less worthy42219%
Don’t worry, it will all work out44019%
Develop a positive mindset05216%
Get a diagnosis early32114%

There was a lot of consistency in these answers. It was an interesting question to ask these respondents as most were at least middle aged and could look back over their lifetime with some distance on any emotions that dyslexia challenges had presented.  The answers were overwhelmingly positive in outlook.

Conclusions

I was surprised at the consistency of answers. This was not expected given that the questions were largely free format. There was also surprising consistency over the three different groups who were not chosen to be similar, other than their dyslexia/SpLD.

It’s quite clear from these responses that there are some significant themes. Determination, hard work, motivation and the encouragement of others all lead to successful life outcomes. Issues with literacy persist throughout life but can be improved by the use of assistive technology.

Lack of awareness in schools results in poorer literacy outcomes, lower achievement but also persistent bullying by staff as well as other pupils. This has lasting effects on individuals and can cause ill health.  Yet some individuals who were described as “thick” can use their determination to go on and achieve the highest academic levels.

Understanding that you are dyslexic be it through self awareness or a formal test is important to self esteem.

69% of these adults say they have strengths and abilities that are due to their different neurological condition, their dyslexia or SpLD. There are also some who do not attribute their determination or empathy directly to dyslexia but indicate that it is borne out of the experience of being dyslexic.

A detailed study of these responses together with the literature review undertaken, showed that there were ten characteristics which successful dyslexic adults often share. This has been made the subject of the book “Self Fulfilment with Dyslexia: A Blueprint for Success” by Margaret D. Malpas, MBE. It is being published on 21 February 2017 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. The book covers all ten characteristics and how to develop them, as well as case studies to illustrate each trait. All royalties have been donated to the B.D.A.

Appendix – Research Questionnaire into Issues for Adults with Dyslexia/SpLD

Margaret Malpas

January 2016