DYSLEXIC STORIES FROM THE WORK PLACE THROUGHOUT DYSLEXIA AWARENESS WEEK
I never wanted to be a blogger, the thought used to bring me out in hives. But when I started The Codpast it soon became clear that a single monthly podcast would not have the masses baying for more. So I put finger to key and started putting out bits and bobs to fill in the gaps between shows. A few months down the line I’m kinda liking this whole blogging thing.
To be honest before ‘The Codpast’ I’d never really read blogs, but now blog reading is part of my daily routine. Researching for ‘The Codpast’ I have come across many well written blogs, one that is always creative and entertaining is Alternative Wiring Written by Emilie Peck. Emile’s kindly contributed to this series of blog posts.
I was identified early on as dyslexic, which means I was enrolled in special education classes throughout elementary and middle school. By the time I hit high school, I had progressed enough to study with the rest of the kids. When my last year rolled around, most of my accommodations had been taken away, and my grades began to falter.
Was I prepared for the “real world” by the time I graduated? Absolutely not. In fact, I was downright terrified.
I was never taught how to advocate for myself, and I knew embarrassingly little about how my own mind worked. I didn’t know why background noise obliterated focus, or just how much my letter and number reversals would damage my working life.
I didn’t know about the protections granted to me under federal law, either. I hadn’t realized the workplace bullying I’d faced when I disclosed my dyslexia gave me grounds for legal action. It didn’t occur to me that the applications I’d made a note of dyslexia on had probably been thrown out.
So I’m dyslexic. So what?
Apparently, it’s a bigger deal than I had realized at the time.
Over the years, I figured out some strengths directly related to my wiring. I solved complicated problems creatively, I put effective displays together in eye catching ways, and I was often praised about how well I handled customers. That creativity, big picture thinking and unique problem solving ability are all qualities closely tied into my dyslexia.
Since then, I’ve learned to concentrate on the gifts dyslexia gives me. Maybe working a register isn’t for me, but selling merchandise on the floor is just as valuable. I may not be great at data entry, but I can still write entertaining and informative articles.
There’s a place for everyone, even those of us with dyslexia. The world still has towers of ignorance all over the place, but when we demonstrate our strengths without shying away from what we are, we transform them into monuments of change.
Can we prevent this from happening to future generations? Absolutely. Here are a few places to start:
Spread awareness of what dyslexia is and the gifts associated with it
Teach children to advocate for themselves as early as possible
Make the rights available to dyslexics widely accessible
Standing up for ourselves and spreading awareness are the first steps towards a happier world.
Words by Emilie Peck
Emilie is a freelance writer who lives in the United States with her husband and a small herd of cats. When she’s not spreading awareness about dyslexia and related issues on her blog, Alternative Wiring, she dabbles in textile based crafts, jewelry making, upcycling and creating fictional worlds.