It must have been 2007 or 2008 when Sara was approached by the Head Teacher from Sir John Thursby to become a Dyslexia Specialist and embark on a comprehensive course run by Edge Hill University. The government initiative at the time was for many people to become qualified dyslexia assessors and specialist teachers across the country; the qualified people would not only work for their school but would also support other local schools.
Dyslexia is apparently the most common SEN, affecting about 1 in 10 people.
When Sara had nearly completed her course, the 2009 banking crisis happened, and then the 2010 general election meant a change of government, and hence a change in government policy. So whilst Sara did complete her qualification, the job she was supposed to have disappeared.
Fortunately a sabbatical at the University of Edge Hill had been agreed, and Sara actually became a visiting lecturer to help others complete the specialist dyslexia course.
By 2012 Sara was becoming frustrated at not been able to use her qualification and skills benefit as many children as possible, so after some thought and planning she took the decision to become an independent dyslexia assessor and also offer specialist support, so Sara became self-employed in 2013 and Literacy Solutions was born.
Sara had also approached the University of Chester and became a part time visiting lecturer for the Ma Dyslexia Course.
By 2015 Sara was becoming very busy and came home saying she needed to employ someone, possibly part time to help her with administration. This is where the initiative of The Bespoke Administration Services or Business Butler came from. So I became Sara’s office manager.
So 5 years ago I began working for Sara and at the time I knew very little about dyslexia, marketing and my typing skills weren’t brilliant. I have learnt a great deal over the past 5 years about dyslexia and other SpLDS, and I have also developed many other skills.
Sara now has a number of local schools that she works for on a regular basis
I have just been to another Low Carbon meeting. Today’s was on Zoom and delivered by Carol Ann Smith and Shaun McCarthy from Action Sustainability. Basically it is about getting businesses, schools, universities and everyone globally to be more sustainable, and ultimately tackle climate change. It was agreed than even with the current corona virus crisis, climate change is the biggest global issue; we need international collaboration to tackle the problem. The implications of climate change will be far more serious than the affects of corona virus.
Whilst Sara cannot do the assessments, as the regulations stipulate that the tests used for Dyslexia assessments etc must be done face to face, Sara and I can offer free advice and send you links to useful resources that will enable you to help your child, employee or perhaps yourself. 01282 618924 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The corona crisis advice is changing very quickly and we have taken the decision to postpone all future assessments and we will make contact as and when life returns to a new normal. The situation certainly puts life in prospective. We urge everyone to follow the government advice and act responsibly. Please take care. In the meantime if you need any advice please email or phone.
We have another course organised for the 8th July 2020 at Burnley Football Club. Whilst the webinars proved popular and the recordings are still available to be purchased, we still think that face to face training is better. For more more information and a booking form please email email@example.com
Yesterday we went to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dyslexia and other SpLDs meeting. We had been especially invited to attend. It was good listen to Peter Kyle and Janet Daby, who are both MP’s who have overcome their dyslexia to become successful. More importantly it was good to listen to other people in the room, who asked questions and made some important points. I was given the opportunity to speak, where I mentioned the need for early intervention and therefore more resource for Primary Schools for SpLDs. Our son (George) highlighted the inequality that occurs for those children who do not have parents who either have the knowledge or finance to help their children. We were also given a guided tour of the houses of parliament by our local MP Andrew Stephenson, this was very gracious of him to do this, as I had asked to meet him to discuss local housing issues; I have to say Andrew looked after us very well and he did not need to go to the effort that he did.
Unum list some ways of supporting someone with dyslexia in the workplace:
1) Learn more about what dyslexia is and how it may affect an individual.
There are many organisations, such as the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), which provide information for employers and people with dyslexia.
2) Understand the advantages that individuals with dyslexia bring.
According to Sir Richard Branson “It is time we lost the stigma about dyslexia. It is not a disadvantage: it is merely a different way of thinking.”
3) identify employees with dyslexic difficulties.
Employees are very reluctant to disclose that they are dyslexic, but it will benefit them if they can be encouraged to do so. Developing a culture in which employees know that dyslexia will be viewed positively and that they will be supported and not discriminated against will add hugely to an inclusive working environment.
4) Offer appropriate assessments and support for employees with dyslexia, or those who think they may be dyslexic
An employee may avoid being assessed for dyslexia – there may be a concern about how their results will be received. It is important to ensure they should have no fear of negativity from their managers and colleagues. For information about assessments call 01282 618924.
5) Make appropriate adjustments.
The law now requires employers to make Reasonable Adjustments to avoid discriminating against people. There are many reasonable ways to make adjustments which will support the individual in your workplace to ensure they achieve their potential. Assistive Technology may help and, as an example, Microsoft’s Office 365 has accessibility built in for users with learning differences such as dyslexia. Read more about reasonable adjustments here.
6) Tell staff about the support you offer.
Raise awareness of the dyslexia support. Inform managers, put information on your intranet, or promote through your employee benefits communication.
“Dyslexic thinking has many benefits. If identified and supported; inspired and encouraged, dyslexics can achieve amazing things” Kate Griggs – Founder, Made By Dyslexia
The Dyslexia Awareness and Dyslexia Friendly Teaching Strategies Webinars, were a great success. Sara receive lots of very positive feedback. Sara managed to record the webinars and they are available to be purchased along with the resources for £40.
If you would like to purchase these webinars, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you the payment details.