A great session took place at the Mechanics Institute last Tuesday as 20 ULRs came together to discuss dyslexia in the workplace.
Our tutor, Julie Mooney, has over 30 years experience working with adults around numeracy and literacy and has learned about dyslexia through coming into contact with people for whom dyslexia has been a barrier to learning – due to poor practices in schools and workplaces.
In particular, we looked at some union literature including some from our beloved regional centre, which it turns out is not always dyslexia friendly.
Reps picked up top tips for workplaces including making reasonable adjustments such as increasing font sizes for text and using sans serif fonts like Ariel. Julie also explained the impact of the 2010 Equality Act and how this can be used to persuade stubborn workplaces. By and large however, simply making the case to employers about the importance of being dyslexia friendly is enough to win the argument, and our ULRs are now much better equipped to tackle employers over these issues.
As Julie explained, it’s important to talk about the many positives that people with dyslexia bring to the table, and a pop quiz where we learned of famous people with dyslexia highlighted this fact. For example, Winston Churchill, Einstein, Agatha Christie (history’s best selling author) and Cher all had dyslexia.
Many groups now plan to host dyslexia awareness sessions of their own in workplaces and branches – to create and instil a dyslexia friendly culture.