Dyslexia Strengths

Living with dyslexia can be difficult it can also be tough and stressful. Motivation and perseverance is not often lacking but you may find yourself doing a small amount of procrastination, but that is life!

Many dyslexics face many difficulties. I’m a severely dyslexic adult and have many challenges every day from writing out a list to reading a newspaper but what are my strengths?

In a previous role I was told by senior members of staff that if there is ever a problem we always go to Arran as I’m pretty good at solving problems, I look at the situation and look for a solution, I can think outside the box and can look at the bigger picture, I have lots of ideas but have difficulty writing them down it’s better for me to explain it verbally. One of my strengths is looking at the problem and thinking how to solve it, this is probably because my dyslexia enables me to do this, team building activities are things I enjoy doing as I’m able to contribute and often solve the problem before others.

Seeing the bigger picture is being able to understand what action you or someone else may make and what the consequences will make be it a positive or negative contribution.

My brain works at a hundred miles an hour, I am constantly thinking of ideas, planning, strategizing and trying to live in everyday life. In a previous role I worked in a retail environment and at certain times in the year it was sale season, I worked as a supervisor working with the management but also working on the shop floor and I could never understand why people got stressed about sale, yes I can understand it’s a lot of work but I strived in it which I also I think is another strand my dyslexia has, that I can see both sides of any story, but coming back to the sale, why people didn’t enjoy the sales, I had no problems with it mainly because it was at a fast pace and decisions had to be made quickly which for me was easy as I could see a problem, I would think that that shelf is empty, I was then able to fill it or rally staff to fill the shelf, I was also able to work with customers and ensure they had the best experience even though we were in sale mode.

Looking at the advantages of dyslexia can actually be really beneficial, the CEO’s that are good strategy thinkers, the architects that can see that creative vision along with the artists, the actors, the businessmen and you and me.

Looking at the positive sides of dyslexia will help everyone to be able to grow in confidence and understand their difficulties and strengths which will be really positive.

We can have success with dyslexia!

Accessibility

What do you think of when you hear the word accessibility? Does it mean a ramp, does it mean a handle, or does it mean opening the door wider? We often think about the accessibility in terms and concepts around physical disability and we often forget that a larger percent of our population has a hidden disability.

Over 6.2 million people in the UK statistically have some severity of dyslexia. That is 1 in 10, I am one of that percentage, I actually class myself as severely dyslexic. So, what do I think of when someone says accessibility to me? By making things accessible it puts me on a level playing field with my peers and colleagues, writing this blog for instance would be very difficult because my dyslexia gives me difficulties in spelling, punctuation and writing. Of course, even though I’m dyslexic I can do all the things it just takes me a lot longer and my ability to spell is not the same as other people. At my last dyslexia test I had the spelling age of an 8-year-old which is substantially lower than my chronological age. So what accessibility tools would help me when I’m using dictation some have been designed for productivity and for medical problems such as RSI and have been immensely useful in the dyslexia community to remove the frustrations and put everyone on a level playing field.

What happens when I receive a letter through the post or I’m going to send one? I’m very lucky in one sense as I have a partner who can read very well, and she can also spell very well and understands my dyslexia. I could do many things, I could scan it in and use text-to-speech. I could use a C-Pen reader to scan the text, I can use apps, or I can get Lucy to read to me. But actually, whose responsibility is it to make it accessible, is it me or is it the organisation that sent to me?

Accessibility comes in hand in hand with the Equality Act 2010, it states that organisations should make reasonable adjustments. For me putting a ramp in isn’t a reasonable adjustment but sending me a letter on a CD or calling me to read out the contents of the letter is very beneficial, and I would class as quite reasonable.

We should remember that accessibility covers a huge amount of differences, difficulties, disabilities and more. Therefore, we must think outside the box to ensure that we are supporting everybody in every community.

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Technology is the way forward, we have to put people with dyslexia on a level playing field so that we can have success with dyslexia.