Time to Talk Tech and Tenacity

ipad-tech

The amount of changes that people have had to cope with during lockdown would have been unimaginable prior to it happening.  But happen it has, and the world has been forced to adapt.  Those who are neurodiverse have not been immune from this, and indeed the speed at which the alterations have had to take place may have caused additional stress.  The fact that pandemics neither discriminate nor adhere to schedules will have certainly caused problems for some – more on that later – but there is truth in Plato’s saying “necessity is the mother of invention.”  Simply put, in being made to adjust our working and social practices, we may find a better way of undertaking a task. 

People also understand that working from home can be difficult because there is little to separate people’s working and home lives, but are simultaneously aware that a work/life balance needs to exist.  Consequently, because everyone is getting used to a new normal, it might be that the neurodiverse benefit from greater empathy from their colleagues.  Additionally, because those working from home can’t be watched all the time, there is perhaps greater scope for taking things at an individual’s own pace and discovering better ways of working, simply because they are in a comfortable environment. Relatedly, in having to ask what employees need to work most effectively, there are opportunities for employers to educate themselves about neurodiversity. 

Before writing this blog, for instance, I had no idea that you can tint a screen background to make the text easier to read.  Nor did I appreciate that working from home could promote productivity as voice recognition could be used more easily and overlays can be used without fear of having to explain why.  Furthermore, the prevalence of video calls may give people the chance to plan meetings more effectively because they are more likely to be pre-arranged, potentially increasing productivity all round.

All of the above assumes that all employees have adequate space to set up home offices and sympathetic employers.  While some do, this isn’t universally the case, nor can we forget those who have had to adapt in different ways, whether that be as a result of their job or being furloughed.  For example, while teachers are having adapt lessons to account for remote learning, furloughed people are having to learn new skills to boost their employability and/or conquer boredom, so everyone is learning something in the midst of the pandemic, even if it simply coping with their new ‘normal.’ 

How easy this is will vary from person to person, but there are particular challenges for those who are neurodiverse.  People may find it difficult to fill their days if they aren’t working, particularly as organisation is sometimes tricky for neurodiverse individuals.  It may prove harder still because the options that would have previously been available to them are no longer there.  Some of the options that are may also prove challenging.  For example, many people with dyslexia struggle to read for pleasure and trying to do so could compound feelings of frustration.  The importance of technology is again emphasised when you consider that apps such as Audible and screen readers might help some people with this, but such things can only go so far as no distraction is permanent.  In other words, technology is not full-proof, and can often add to our frustrations rather than ease them.

On balance though, I’d rather the technology was there to get angry at than it didn’t exist at all, because even if it has the potential to make someone’s life easier that should be encouraged.  Not only that, but the knock-on effects of this are also important; greater productivity, potentially more leisure time and possibly improved mental health, which would not only lead to a better quality of life for many, but also strengthen the tenacity for which the neurodiverse are known.  When neurodiversity is known to lead to innovative solutions to challenges and new ways of thinking – both things that have been essential during the pandemic – championing the benefits of technology for the neurodiverse has never been more necessary. 

Gemma Bryant, Blog Volunteer

 

Silver Linings

I’m sure none of us is enjoying the Coronavirus Lockdowns at the moment. Being stuck indoors while the weather is improving. Looking at the same four walls day in and day out. Being confronted with our family, rather than our friends 24/7. It’s all a grind.

But as I write this article, I must admit that I’m not suffering in the slightest.  And I’m forced to ponder ‘Why Not?’ Why am I perfectly happy being locked down, by myself, for over 6 months now?’ (I’ve been self-isolating since November for non-Covid medical reasons).

I have come to a surprising conclusion and I see it as a beautiful ‘silver lining’ for life in general and this current isolation…

None of us like to be mocked. Or shunned. Or even bullied.

As a young person with dyslexia and dyspraxia I was always an ‘odd’ child. Couldn’t read or write well, was clumsy and uncoordinated and came out with some ‘out of the box’ ideas.

For those who loved me, I was simply peculiar. I was considered the ‘absent minded professor’ and left to my own devices. It was an environment of benign neglect with plenty of food and shelter, but little engagement or even hugs.

For those who had no obligation to love me it was simply easier to ignore, shun or reject me. In extreme cases, different meant ‘threat’ and led to bullying and violence. I was simply better off keeping to myself… to self-isolate.

And there we have it… for whatever reason, I learned to be self-sufficient, on my own, from a very early age.

In retrospect, I probably did go through the loneliness, anxieties and frustrations that many are feeling today in the corona virus lock downs… but I would have done that when I was too young to recognise it. I didn’t know I was supposed to feel sad about it. Like dyslexia itself, it just was how it was.

In the words of the famous self-empowerment song , and my anthem,  “I am what I am”. Why not sing along with me… sing it to your family!

https://genius.com/Gloria-gaynor-i-am-what-i-am-lyrics

Now there is a danger in being self-empowered and dyslexic… and that’s ‘creative licence’.

Being dyslexic, I’m fairly creative and, for me, ‘out of the box’ is perfectly normal. And being empowered, I give myself permission to be and to think whatever I want. Luckily most of this stays in my mind and doesn’t leak out. I love my internal orchestra and I think it makes a beautiful noise. So what if other people don’t get it, or me.

That’s why being locked down during the pandemic is no big deal for me… because I’m dyslexic. After all, I’m being locked down with the one person in the world that ‘gets’ me most, who I’ve spent most time with alone and who loves me like no other. Who could have guessed dyslexia has such a fantastic silver lining? … What’s yours?

Blog by MIKE GORDON

Mike Gordon is a life coach and volunteer with Dyslexia Scotland. Although dyslexic, Mike has earned 3 degrees in science and business and has had two best-selling self-help books published. Mike believes his dyslexia has been a genuine enabler in his life: Isolation opens up imagination and creativity to him; while struggles with words have driven a sense of ‘rightness’ in what he says and does. Words are a blessing.

Dyslexia and Anxiety by Anonymous

trees_sun

I guess I have always been a little bit of a worrier, always making things bigger than they actually are, obsessing over what I’ve said or done or getting upset over the smallest thing. But to be honest I didn’t even realise what it was until I went to university. I mean university was a huge turning point in my life. Given that at 14, I felt I was failing at life, didn’t want to be in school, had been pretty badly bullied and had pretty much given up on all hopes of being able to pursue any sort of career. I had wanted to be a vet or a doctor when I was younger but I had come to realise that these were unattainable for me.

I finally set on a degree in Biology which was suited to me at a nice university. I felt that my life was beginning properly and I could finally achieve what I wanted from life. However, instead my brain was filled with worry and it was controlling me rather than me controlling it. It had been a massive adjustment going to university and I realised that when I had my first major anxiety episode in the middle of a lecture. My whole body went into some sort of freak out and I couldn’t move or breathe. All I kinda remember is my lecturer stopping the lecture to ask me what was wrong and him escorting me to student support office.  I sat there for a while and she made me feel calm, though I do remember her saying:

“I mean there are other ways to get out of a health and safety lecture” (this was a joke, she was joking!). It made me feel better because it made my laugh.  

The people in student support have gone onto support me throughout my university experience, I mean I honestly cannot thank them enough. They are the best. Some of my lecturers totally got it and were also hugely supportive. However, even though I felt better… it never really went away and it sort of continued. I eventually got told by a medical professional that I was suffering from anxiety.

I think that Dyslexia can cause anxiety. Now that I understand it better, I can look back over my life and understand why I did things in certain ways and why I felt certain ways. Reading aloud and having to do presentations can be sometimes be the main triggers for people who have dyslexia and anxiety. But also writing, spelling, maths and organisation can also be triggers but you just might not be so obvious.

I have five handy tips for easing anxiety which I feel we need now more than ever given the current times with COVID-19. These may not help everyone, but they’re things that I do to make myself feel better.

  1. Accept that some days are going to be easier than others; sometimes you’re able to take on the world and some days you’re not and that’s ok.
  1. Art can be very therapeutic for those suffering from anxiety – even if you can’t draw, doodling or painting random shapes or lines can really help to relieve things a bit. The adult colouring books are also a god send.
  1. Certain apps such as calm, headspace, chill pill and smiling mind are all good for mediation and mindfulness. It doesn’t work for everyone, I still find it a bit wishy washy sometimes but it can be beneficial.
  1. Getting outside! Fresh air and nature can do wonders for your mental health. It might be kinda difficult to get out at the moment, but just make sure you’re taking your daily exercise allowance.
  1. Turn your worries into worry cards. Start with the worry at the top and then underneath write how it was either tackled or how you resolved the worry. If you’re having that same worry you can go back and look at that card and see how you fixed it.

I am not going to tell you by doing all this things that your anxiety is going to magically go away but it may help to make you feel a bit better. I often use the worry tree to try and tackle my worries.

worry tree

Remember that talking to friends and family about what’s going on may make you feel better, but I understand that sometimes that isn’t always possible. If you feel unable to do this, then your GP is also a good person to talk to – they’ll be able to signpost you to all the right help. Also another scary option I know :/ but you may feel better.

And finally just remember that you’re not alone, there are thousands of people out there that feel this way and you shouldn’t be ashamed of feeling like this.

Just a reminder that the Scottish Government launched a mental health programme last week.  It’s called ‘Clear Your Head‘.

 

 

Volunteering during Lockdown

volunteer_balloons

Like everyone, I’ve found the past few weeks very challenging.  So much of my role is about supporting volunteers face to face and online.  We have had to cancel all of our face to face events for March and April and we’ve had to switch most of our work online. I’m very proud and thankful of our three Helpline Volunteers (Anne, Celia and Claire) who have taken to answering Helpline queries at home, like ducks to water! This is in part due to the support of our Senior Helpline Advisor, Sharon, who spent much of mid-March liaising with our call handling company and our IT support guys, while putting together individual information packs for our Helpline volunteers to access at home.  

Many of our other volunteers, whose roles are face to face, either in group or one to one settings, are currently what I would term as ‘resting’. I’ve really missed the informal opportunities to catch up with our volunteers at events and meetings. However, I will look forward to our overdue catch up meetings once we are out of this lockdown period. We are in the process of piloting a couple of our volunteer-led events online, so we shall see how they go over the next few weeks.

We recently recruited six new volunteers to our Helpline and Mentor roles. When the lockdown was announced, our new volunteers were part-way through their recruitment and induction period. Their PVG membership or update forms (sometimes called police checks) were sent off mid-March. I’m still unsure when they might be returned, as coronavirus volunteering roles are (rightly) being prioritised at present.  This wait for PVG certificates can be a tricky time in the best of times, as volunteers are keen to get started in their roles. I’m hopeful that these new volunteers will continue on through these unpredictable times to become the great volunteers that I can envision them being.

One of our new volunteers was recruited just around the time of the lockdown, so I’ve quickly had to revamp some of our recruitment and training processes. This was the first time that I have interviewed and provided induction training online. As a person who enjoys the opportunity to meet new people, I’ve had to adapt to the challenges of ‘meeting’ with her online. I’m relieved that she has been very understanding about the delays to getting her started in her role. 

It’s been heartening to see so many people getting involved in volunteering in their local communities over the past few weeks.  In Scotland, around 28% of the adult population volunteer and this figure has been fairly constant for around 10 years. I’m hopeful that this figure might increase once we are released from lockdown. 

We will all be changed by this lockdown experience. A crisis in our lives can lead to a growth period afterwards.  I’m hopeful that people will remember the kindness in their communities and seek out new ways to help and volunteer in the future.

If you would like to read more about volunteering, please see these blogs by Volunteer Scotland:

https://www.volunteerscotland.net/about-us/news-blog/our-blog/

Blog by Helen Fleming, Volunteers Manager

A CV of Failures

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Last year I was invited to be one of the speakers at a high school assembly about our career journeys. The architect, business woman and teacher who had preceded my own talk all spoke about the subjects they chose at school and the degrees they went on to accomplish to enter the roles they were now in. I had realised from listening to my peers that something was missing from what we were sharing, and what our audience needed to hear.

What went wrong along the way?

I focussed my presentation on every failure, firing and fiasco I’ve lived out along the way, and how each of those things are as valuable to me as anything I could legitimately declare a success. Because they, too, got me to where I am now. As did all the jobs I was good at, but despised; and the ones I kinda liked, but was, as my then colleagues told me, ‘nae guid tae man nor beast’ when it came to doing the work.

Add to that the repeated failed driving tests (when a licence was a condition of the promotion I’d worked so diligently to earn), the banishment from a university, the two rejections from a prestigious art school that sandwiched the offer of a place that I rejected out of sheer rancour, and the half-failed work-place cycling proficiency test. (Half-passed, you could say; the examiner took pity on my inability to indicate right without falling over. In response to my desperate sobs he reluctantly agreed that he’d sign me off on the proviso that my journeys were made of left turns only and that I promised to practice clockwise circles in my spare time).

I noticed my young audience sit up and pay attention. Engaged because they could relate to my own cracks and flaws, motivated because they understood how those could be converted to learning experiences, relieved that it’s acceptable to mess up; it’s how you deal with it that matters.

You see, as neurodiverse individuals, we typically become adept at recording our difficulties and collecting our failures and insecurities anyway. What we need to be better at is recognising the value lurking within each one.

I found that when I aired all my disasters to the fledgling employees in front of me, they didn’t laugh and they didn’t scorn; they warmly thanked me for sharing an honest portrayal of my whole career journey. They marvelled at how interesting life can be when it’s not a straightforward route, like all the airbrushed success stories they siphoned from Instagram day-to-day. My presentation of failures had, in part, demystified what a ‘career path’ can be.

Since that assembly, I’ve discovered that others have done the same, sharing their CVs of Failures. I can assure you, it’s a cathartic process when you get going, especially with hindsight and wisdom to soften the process. It’s up to us to be kind to ourselves, and to revel in our lives ‘less ordinary, more interesting’. If there’s one thing us neurodiversies are truly gifted in, it’s seeing the bigger picture, and recognising what part each of those fallen moments have contributed to our character, to our story. It’s how we tell those stories, the conclusions we draw from them, that will really make or break us. Own your so-called ‘failures’, they’re worth a lot more than you may realise.

What’s your CV of Failures?

Some inspiration:

Melanie Stefan

Johannes Haushofer

Utkal Gaurab: successful people v unsuccessful people

Subscribe to Dyslexia Scotland TV to catch new episodes in the Dyslexic Career Journeys series with dyslexic adults talking about their current job roles and how their strengths and challenges formed their careers.

Katie Carmichael, Career Coach

Headlines must not be a hindrance for those who have dyslexia

letters

Following the recent controversy surrounding the employment of a postman who has dyslexia (see an article about it here), my first thoughts while reflecting on it wasn’t just regarding the rights or wrongs of the situation.  While some people may choose to argue that a postman with dyslexia seems a bit counterproductive, others believe that the employee had an expectation of reasonable adjustments being made to his role, or if that wasn’t possible, redeployment within the organisation.  However, the summary of the arguments is not the point of this blog.  I am more concerned with how it must have felt for the individual about whom the article was written and whether such a topic should be the subject of a newspaper article.  The last thing I would want to be accused of is hypocrisy in drawing attention to it through this blog, but I think the whole scenario raises many points about privacy and the fact that unfortunately discrimination and dyslexia too often go hand in hand. 

While I understand that the person concerned remained anonymous in the reports, that only goes so far.  While a great number of people won’t know who this is, a thought has to be spared for him and those who do.  It’s not a great feeling to be told you can’t sufficiently do a job for which you are employed, never mind having that magnified and debated by the press.  Don’t get me wrong, there are instances where highlighting discrimination due to dyslexia is absolutely the right thing to do – see the example herebut its context, phrasing and timing are crucial.  If we compare the two articles mentioned previously, one appears to highlight not only evidence of dyslexia discrimination, but the attempted resolution of the grievances, while the other, the regrettable case of this postman, seems, at least to me, to have left him and other people who have dyslexia open to unnecessary scrutiny.  Note that one article uses the language “a wake-up call for employers,” while the other states there was “nothing they could do” to remedy the situation as “that would be discrimination.”  The difference in attitudes seems considerable.

Aside from the blatant disregard for privacy evident in that the report suggests that someone was told the postman has dyslexia without his expressed permission, the publication of the article needlessly paints those who have dyslexia in a bad light.  Although there are countless success stories about people who have dyslexia – Keira Knightly, Jamie Oliver, Holly Willoughby and Richard Branson are a few examples – people are more likely to remember stories that have negative headlines.

Additionally, when we live in a world where self-worth is often equated with how much you can do and achieve as an individual, no consideration was given to not just this man, but others who may be struggling with obstacles caused by learning differences.  The sad fact is that while reasonable adjustments should be made to allow everyone to reach their full potential irrespective of learning differences, it wouldn’t necessarily occur to everyone to take such steps, and stories like this one only reinforce the belief that people don’t have to.  Even though the article goes to great lengths to promote a positive message regarding dyslexia and the changes that could be made in this case, a lot of people are guilty of only reading headlines and making snap judgements based on them. 

Consequently, the media has a responsibility to consider the ramifications of publishing such content.  While some may see this as a good opportunity to highlight the need for equality, others are just as entitled to wonder why it was published at all, given the predisposition of some to automatically assume that the individual with a learning difference is somehow at fault rather than  the institutions that should be supporting them being the cause of the difficulty.  Despite the irritation that insensitivity to learning differences can cause, there’s a couple of things that need to be remembered.  One, the media and the content they produce can be used as tools to aid the eradication of discrimination, of which this article is a great example.  Two, without the institution of the media, celebrities who have dyslexia would be unable to inspire readers with their stories of triumph, sometimes in spite of dyslexia, and sometimes because the learning difference allows them to approach situations in a unique way.  If nothing else, stories like the ones that have been discussed should encourage people to remember that differences can and should be celebrated, which is no bad thing. 

Gemma Bryant, blog volunteer

 

A Knitter Without Yarn and Yarns With Knitting

knitting

 

  Places without people.

People without place.

  Knit six.

  Yarn over.

  Knit two together.

 
Hello, isn’t the weather awful today?

How are you?

   
  Success without failure.

Failure without success.

  Yarn over.

  Knit two together.

  Knit fifteen.

 
I’m not feeling great myself.

What you making?

   
  Squares without angles.

Angels without guile.

  Knit two together.

  Yarn over.

  Knit two together.

 
My back’s killin’ me.

Is that knitting or crochet?

   
  Communion without community.

Community without communion.

  Yarn over.

  Knit six.

 
My grandma used to crochet.

My head’s splitting.

   
  Courage without fear.

Waves without frequency.

  Knit six.

  Purl twenty one.

  Knit six.

 
Did you see River City?

My throat’s burning.

   
  One without another.

Anyone without someone.

   Knit six.

   Yarn over.

   Knit two together.

 
In fact I think I’m getting the flu.

How do you do that?

   
  Listening without hearing.

Hearing without thinking.

   Yarn over.

   Knit two together.

   Knit fifteen.

 
I think I should have stayed at home.

What are you making?

   
  Laughter without mirth.

Speaking without talking.

  Knit two together.

  Yarn over.

  Knit two together.

 
I’m always ill.

I wish I could knit.

   
  Seeing without vision.

Vision without purpose.

   Yarn over.

   Knit six.

 
My family’s falling apart too.

Will you teach me to make that?

   
  Shadows without light.

Light without darkness.

    Knit six.

   Purl five.

   Knit thirteen.

 
When is this going to start?

What are you making?

   
 

 

 

Understanding without words.

Words without meaning.

    Purl five.

    Knit six.

 
Tell ME!

What? Why? How?

   
  Orange with yellow.

Yellow with green.

   Knit six.

   Yarn over.

   Knit two together.

 
    I’m glad to see you both.

Head colds are the worst.

  Gold with silver.

Slivers with slices.

   Yarn over.

   Knit two together.

  Knit fifteen.

 
    That looks like a lovely scarf you’re knitting.

Flu is horrid, tiring and very infectious.

  Knit with natter.

Natter with yarns.

   Knit two together.

   Yarn over.

  Knit two together.

 
    I forgot to bring my needles today.

I love golden thread running through my fingers.

  Stitches with stories.

Stories with smiles.

   Yarn over.

   Knit six.

 
    Little by little, a little becomes a lot.
  You with me.

Me with you.

   Knit six.

   Purl twenty three.

   Knit six.

 
    I understand.

Knit six. Purl twenty one. Knit six.

By Doreen Kelly

Dyslexia Scotland Resource Centre Volunteer and Member

 

Action Plus Reaction Equals Interaction

coffee

This poem was originally published in Issue 8 of Blether Stories:

“I have come here for a bit of a blether.”

Is what some might say.

In the event of social interaction.

My reaction is action (get away, far away).

Action plus reaction equals interaction.

My reactions are unusual.

Not normal!

But then – What IS “normal”?

Abnormal is normal.

 

“Let’s have a nice wee blether”

I hear!

I cringe!

I worry! But smile obediently.

 

A nice wee blether: indeed!?!

 

No-one sees

Inside my brain.

Chuntering are my neural processes.

Especially dyslexic, am I.

 

Wee Yoda and I might get on well.

Earthlings and I often don’t.

Every visit, trip out or meeting brings anxiety.

 

Being neurodiverse means:-

            -Lifelong differences

            -Every aspect of thinking affected

            -Totally “normal” on the outside

However, peek inside and see:-

            -Expansive lands of extreme reaction where

            -Random weaknesses clash with random talents.

 

In every human being similar experiences.

Neurodiversity magnifies

Distinctions between haves and have nots.

Enormous chasms abut

Enormous mountains

Delightful if you enjoy adventure.

 

Because blethering, simply smiling and just having a natter is so

Loathsomely difficult for me.

Ethereal are the rules of conversation. Enormously difficult to grasp and utilise.

Rumour has it a wee blether is brilliant! Rumour has it everyone loves a wee blether! Rumour has it no one can fail to have a good talk!

That is until I do. Until I blunder. Until I spoil everything.

 

Longing to fit in:-

Everyone says “It’s good to talk!”

Talking changes minds! Talking changes lives! Talking changes the world!

Sharing halves problems! Sharing halves worries! Sharing solves problems!

The common wisdom has it.

All good mental health comes from a good blether.

Laughing increases endorphin release.

Keep chatting and everything will be alright!

 

Silence is required for meditation, though

Taking time out clears the mind.

Over-activity causes stress.

Rotating cogs in some brains can be slower.

Intelligence has nothing to do with it.

Eccentric genius is common.

Shining bright in the silence.

 

By Doreen Kelly

Dyslexia Scotland Member and Resource Centre Volunteer

A Busy Week of Volunteering

A couple of weeks ago, I had an enjoyable and busy week. I was helping at Dyslexia Scotland. This included helping set things up for Dyslexia Awareness Week and the Education Conference in Glasgow. I became an origami expert in folding the boxes for our ribbons. Helping with all the laminating, posting and of course putting packs together for all the teachers at the conference.

I met new people and enjoyed the interesting conversations. One person was helping and lived in Australia. He was an engineer also dyslexic and told me stories of living out of a suitcase and going to posh restaurants with his clients. When everything was complete, we parted ways looking forward to meeting up at the conference.

I got up very early in the morning for the conference and set off for Glasgow. I got my bus heading for the train and all was going well. Then when I got to the train station disaster struck as my trains had been cancelled. I of course panic as I hate being late. I then go to the other station for a train as this is a different line. This was when I found out the Caledonian sleeper had broken down and this was why there was delays on trains. I tweeted I was delayed but would be there as soon as possible.

The Glasgow Caledonian University is very easy to find from the train station. It is in an area called Cowcaddens, this brought back childhood memories of watching Glen Michael’s cavalcade on a Saturday morning on STV. The university cannot be missed once you go behind the large shopping gallery. It is about a five-minute walk and covers a large area. I eventually found where I was going and set about helping.

I found out later that all the other volunteers had turned up in red. I had missed the memo for this one! As all the volunteers are also dyslexic it made an interesting day. We had our chief usher with his iPad looking very professional and a t shirt reading if life has giving you melons then you could be dyslexic. I went into the main lecture hall to watch the opening speeches and the lecture by a professor on improved reading for children in Canada. It was fascinating to see this come together. Dyslexia Scotland had a large hall filled full of stalls with help not only for dyslexia but other learning differences such as adhd, autism, visual impairment etc. The books and all the new apps and help and support from tech pens was amazing. It was great talking to everyone and seeing how it worked.

We were helping all the teachers to find the classes they had booked. This is not easy for a dyslexic person upon being asked where W010 or W110 was confusing, it is much easier to say they wanted the early learning or tech workshop. It was great catching up with everyone and fun trying to read another dyslexics phone which is so different from mine. I think it was a wonderful success and I hope there is great feedback for Dyslexia Scotland.

Susan Taylor,

Dyslexia Scotland Events Volunteer

Dyslexia Awareness Week Scotland 2019

DAW-Supporter-logo-for-web

Dyslexia Awareness Week in Scotland is 4-9 November.  Our theme for this year is ‘building independence for life’.  We carry this theme out in a variety of ways across the year. Here are just a few examples of our work:

  • Our Young Ambassadors are involved in Youth Days and other speaking events throughout the year to inspire young people to see their dyslexia as a positive trait. The Young Ambassadors were instrumental in the development of Dyslexia Unwrapped, our website aimed at children and young people aged 8-18.
  • Our 18 volunteer-led Branches hold meetings/events in their local areas to educate local people about dyslexia and enable them to support children, young people and families.
  • Our 3 adult networks in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling provide regular meetings to educate adults about dyslexia to empower them to access the support that they are entitled to.
  • Our Career Development Service empowers job-seekers to highlight their dyslexic strengths to help them in their career development.
  • Our education conference, Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit and learning modules provide opportunities for teachers to learn more about the support that they could provide to their dyslexic pupils.
  • Our quarterly membersmagazine provides members the opportunity to tell their dyslexic story in a variety of ways. Our blog also provides this opportunity in a different format.
  • Our Helpline empowers parents and adults to request the support that they or their child needs to thrive in their learning or workplace environment.
  • Our other events, including DyslexiFest, provide an opportunity for dyslexic people and their families to learn more about dyslexia

This is just a flavour of our ongoing work, you can see much more information about what we do on our website. Also, have a look at the Dyslexia Awareness Week page of our website which has details of all the events taking place, as well as a range of resources to use.  

If you can’t make it along to an event, please do share the information that we highlight on social media next week using #DAWScot – we’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Helen Fleming, Volunteers Manager