My name is Gill and I joined eXPD8 as a Client Account Handler back in October. As someone who struggles with Dyslexia in the workplace I have been amazed by the support eXPD8 has shown me since I started, however I am aware that a lot of people are too afraid to ask for support from their employer. I hope that with more awareness on the subject it will help give people the confidence to talk to their employers so that they too can benefit from some of the amazing things out there.
According to the British Dyslexia Association approximately 10% of the population have dyslexia, of which many dyslexic adults in the workplace have never been formally identified or assessed. Most people have heard of Dyslexia or know of someone who struggles with it, however they don’t understand what it really means.
So the big question is…What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a neurological condition which often occurs alongside other learning difficulties such as Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and ADHD. A common misconception is that it only affects people during childhood, but this is not the case. Dyslexia affects people of all ages, races and nationalities throughout their lifetime, however it is more commonly identified during childhood.
Another misconception surrounding Dyslexia is that it only affects reading and writing. Dyslexia can affect many different areas such as planning and organisation, processing information, numeracy and visual stress to name a few. As it is commonly associated with difficulties with reading and writing this can lead people to believe that people who are dyslexic are not as intelligent, however Dyslexia exists irrespective of a person’s intelligence.
Everyone is Neuro Diverse
A good way to think of it is that everybody is Neuro Diverse. We each have different strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Being Dyslexic does not put you at a disadvantage, it simply means you have different learning preferences. Research has found that people with Dyslexia can often be very creative and good at problem solving, but the important thing to do is work out where your strengths are and utilise them to the best of your ability.
What does that mean in the work place?
Since discovering I was Dyslexic, I have been fortunate to learn a lot about my own learning preferences. I have always been a people person, creative and loved colour. I also love to plan and draw mind maps so for me working for a field merchandising company was a perfect fit! I must manage client’s expectations and build relationships, be super organised to plan campaigns and come up with creative solutions to any challenges – all of which play to my strengths. As I love a mind map (and any excuse to use colour), I created the mind map below to help break down what my strengths are and how they translate into the workplace. This is a great exercise to help visualise what works best for you.
There are still aspects of my role that I find more challenging, but what is great is that the whole team at eXPD8 have made me feel comfortable and supported from the outset. They installed software to help me with spelling, reading text aloud and visual stress, as well as furthering their own knowledge by trying out programmes I have previously used so they could gain a better understanding of how they could support me.
There are so many ways employers can support you at work whether you are Dyslexic or think that you might be, so speak to them if you have any concerns. They can assist with software and training, as well as initial assessments and sometimes even workplace coaching – you would be surprised what is out there!
Unleash your super power!
Remember – employers want the best both for their staff and from their staff so they are there to help. Acknowledging when you need additional support is not a weakness, nor is being Dyslexic. Asking for help allows you to tap into positive solutions to achieve your best and let your strengths shine through!
Client Account Handler