Graham’s journey is representative of many people that face challenges within the workplace. From an early age Graham was aware that his brain acted differently to other people but was worried that he would be stigmatized as a result of this.
“I had always struggled with spelling since school and wasn’t aware of any specific condition that would cause this and just put it down to not being academically gifted. I enjoy reading but I struggled with the writing aspect of language. I would ask family and friends to proofread my written work. I did not feel fully comfortable asking anyone else for help in case they stigmatized my dyslexia”.
Moving in-to his working career, Graham felt that his dyslexia created barriers within his place of work, however like a lot of people Graham was initially apprehensive about taking the first steps in seeking support.
“My job is involved in multiple work sectors and each sector uses their own terminology and processes which I found difficult to navigate in my own mind. I felt that my career progression was filled with barriers relating to my dyslexia.
I then heard about ‘Assistive Training and Technology’ from a friend and they explained that I could receive support with my dyslexia in the workplace. Although I was worried about taking that first step, I made a referral via ‘Access to Work’ and was put in touch with a psychologist who assessed my specific challenges relating to my dyslexia”.
After Grahams assessment he was offered support in the form of Coping strategy sessions and technical training sessions. These enabled Graham to view his Dyslexia in a different light, whilst also offering assistive technology that could enable Graham to succeed and overcome the barriers he was facing.
“From there I attended coping strategy sessions and technical training sessions which supported me with being more organised in my work and how to use assistive technology. I had assistive programs set up on my laptop to cater to my specific working needs.
From the sessions I was also made aware that there is no shame or embarrassment linked to dyslexia and realized I had been placing too much focus on what other people might be thinking about my dyslexia rather than ways to manage my dyslexia in order to feel more confident.
The psychologist helped me to bring more focus to my work tasks, be more accepting than demanding of myself, and to be more reflective in my work and daily life”.
Graham has subsequently completed further education studies and now feels confident that he has made positive changes that will benefit his life, both in work and education.
“I have since obtained a level 3 teaching qualification and feel confident undertaking a MA degree after completing a Foundation degree. I would recommend ‘Assistive Training and Technology’ to anyone who is struggling in silence with dyslexia, the way I did for years, and wants to make a positive change in their ability to carry out their job role”.