Dyslexia Awareness Week
This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week, and the British Dyslexia Association are focusing on empowering people with dyslexia. Over 6 million people in the UK have dyslexia, meaning if you have a moderately sized business, you are likely to have a dyslexic person in your team. There can be amazing benefits for companies who embrace neurodiversity, so what are you going to do this week to empower your workplace?
Dyslexia Awareness Week 7-13 October 2019
Dyslexia spans every job, every culture, every stage of life and every part of society. In the right environment – one where people are empowered to play to their considerable strengths – dyslexics are making invaluable contributions to individuals, organisations and our country.
This year, Dyslexia Awareness Week is all about empowering people with dyslexia. Whether it be empowering them to access support in schools, find careers where they can flourish in organisations that value them, or access and contribute to the wider world in every way they wish to.
The British Dyslexia Association is asking businesses to pause for half an hour or so with their team and use the time to give everyone an opportunity to come together by:
- Sharing information about dyslexia using the British Dyslexia Association’s Dyslexia Awareness Week packs
- Inviting relevant people to share their thoughts on dyslexia, including a:
- A member of staff discussing what being dyslexic in the organisation is like, including the strengths it brings
- Senior dyslexic member of the organisation talking about how dyslexia has played a role in their success and what has empowered them
- Member of the HR or SEN team talking about what support is available to people with dyslexia or that suspect they may be dyslexic
- Setting some time aside to invite questions and comments from everyone participating
What is dyslexia?
According to the British Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is a learning difference which primarily affects reading and writing skills. However, it does not only affect these skills. Dyslexia is actually about information processing. Dyslexic people may have difficulty processing and remembering information they see and hear, which can affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills. Dyslexia can also impact on other areas such as organisational skills.
It is important to remember that there are positives to thinking differently. Many dyslexic people show strengths in areas such as reasoning and in visual and creative fields.
The benefits of dyslexia
There are many benefits of having a neurodiversity such as dyslexia, some of which are:
- Being highly innovative with a strong creative drive
- Being persistent and incredibly conscientious
- Quick to grasp new concepts
- Identify patterns or connections that others may miss
- Excellent puzzle-solving skills
- Being able to think outside the box
- Good spacial knowledge
- Sharper peripheral vision
Supporting your staff with dyslexia
It is essential to have open communication with your employees to understand any adjustments they may need to their working environment as a result of a neurodiversity.
Effective changes don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, often small organisational changes can help to get the very best from your employee.
It’s worth keeping in mind that any changes you make to your way of working can benefit all employees, not just those with dyslexia, and may also help your dyslexic customers and clients.
There are many benefits to raising the awareness of dyslexia in the workplace and creating a dyslexia friendly work environment. It helps to establish an inclusive culture for all your employees and ensures that individuals can use their strengths, such as atypical problem-solving and creativity.
You can get more information on how to support your staff on the British Dyslexia Association website here.
If your organisation is wanting to take part in Dyslexia Awareness Week, then you can download the free resources pack for the workplace here.
If you found this information useful, you may also want to check out the following:
- How neurodiversity in the workplace can benefit your business
- Would you let your employees pick their own salary?
- Flexible working and your business
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