Scotland’s Census and the dyslexic community 


Scotland’s next census will be held on Sunday 20 March 2022, right at the start of our plan for a dyslexia-friendly Scotland. We’re wasting no time in applying our vision for inclusion to this national requirement. 

What will a dyslexia-friendly Scotland be like, when we get there?  

This was the question we posed to the dyslexic community to help us clarify our vision for the future and reimagine inclusion and participation for the half a million people with dyslexia in our country. The defining criteria they asked for included: 

  • All information is easily accessible to people with dyslexia in whatever format they need 
  • Support for dyslexic difficulties of all kinds is available, encouraged and promoted openly 

These are principles that we’re holding close to our hearts as we decide on the work we do over the next three years of our strategic plan. With 2022 being a census year here in Scotland, as a country we have a historical opportunity to be inclusive of everyone. We must make efforts to take away any barriers that a compulsory form poses to many generations of Scots. 

A national partnership  

When the Census plans were underway, it was a no-brainer that we should answer the call from the National Records of Scotland and Scottish Government about ways they could make the census more accessible. They wanted to ensure that they were considering the needs of the dyslexic community when it comes to filling in the census, and that you can access to the help and support you need. 

We know only too well that official forms can be stressful for people with dyslexia. So what help can people with dyslexia in Scotland access when the census is due?  

  • The census can be completed digitally using a computer, tablet or mobile phone, but you can request a paper copy too. 
  • There’s guidance about every question in the census as well as web chat where you can speak to an advisor 
  • There is a free Helpline to get support completing the census: 0800 030 8308 
  • Enumerators will be working all across Scotland. These are people working locally to help, encourage and support with census completion. You can ask them for help too. 
  • More information about how to complete the census is at: 
  • Help and support is available in other languages and formats, including Gaelic, Braille and large print. 

What is the Census? 

The Census is the official count of every person and household in Scotland. The census usually takes place every 10 years (it’s a year later than usual because of the Covid-19 pandemic). 

By asking people who live in Scotland to provide information about themselves and where they live, the Scottish Government and other public bodies can make decisions about how public money is spent on services that are needed by communities. 

Make sure you are counted as part of this census – access support if you need it. 

Watch the video explainer about what the Census is, and why it’s important.

Support our efforts

Dyslexia Scotland is striving for a society that is welcoming and inclusive for everyone – but of course our particular focus is dyslexia and neurodiversity. We’ll take every opportunity we can to work with other organisations and help them to be more inclusive of dyslexic thinking and processing.  

Help us sustain our efforts to build a dyslexia-friendly Scotland. 

Join us as a member today or make a donation to support our work.

View and share our plan for a dyslexia-friendly Scotland.

The journey to a dyslexia-friendly Scotland was published on 10 March 2022

Published by Dyslexia Scotland

We encourage and enable people with dyslexia, regardless of their age and abilities, to reach their potential.

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