The way to a better working life .....
Often people wonder whether it's worth finding out about dyslexia support in later life, with many not realising that challenges they are facing are actually associated with dyslexia. Recently I received this email from Matt, someone I had the pleasure of working with early last year. He said he wanted to share his story to encourage others to take the first step in finding out about dyslexia workplace support. I am extremely grateful to him for these kind words. This is what he had to say:
After many years of living with dyslexia and it giving me little to no problems (I had run my own company for a number of years and was very involved with various local groups) and as I'd never let my dyslexia get in the way, it was never really a problem. It was only after I had a change in career and to be fair, I spent a lot more time sending emails and having to write to people, that I had a massive loss of confidence. I thought that I was losing my memory - among many other issues that I could not understand. However, I was sure that this was related to my dyslexia and started to think about what I should do.
The answer to this question came quite quickly, I was looking though LinkedIn for people and found Janette Beetham. After reading about Janette's work helping people in the workplace with issues similar to mine, I sent a message asking if she could help me (after all, being in my 40's I was feeling unsure and wondered whether I would be a helpless case). I soon had a call back and we spoke on the phone. I explained my problems and the difficulties I was experiencing - and that I was sure I was in the early stages of Alzheimer's, dementia or something worse! In our conversation I was reassured that this experience was not at all uncommon for people with dyslexia when having a change of career or even just a change in working environment. Janette suggested that I had a workplace needs assessment and with this she would be able to suggest some tools and strategies which might help me cope more effectively. She explained the assessment would take place in my working environment and I would need to involve my line manager (in this case my MD). I said that I would need to get back to her after speaking to said person.
Well, it took a while for me to get the confidence to have the conversation. In time it happened, Janette came and we spoke for a couple of hours. Digging in to my history from school and my different places of work to my current employment. We also had a walk around the office and the environment I was working in. Following this there was a talk with my MD to discuss the problems I was experiencing and things the company could do to help. I was shocked and so grateful at this point that all of my issues were normal and quite easy to solve. No, she was never going to be able to get me to spell complicated words or even write amazing email, but what was to follow was incredible. With the aid of the talking function on my laptop and a pair of head phones, I was able to compose emails that made sense. Having previously asked colleagues to check my emails I was producing messages that didn't need to be checked and when they were coming back unchanged my confidence grew - and with new found self awareness and new strategies, in no time I was back to the person I had previously been.
I could go on saying how much Janette changed my working life. I would encourage anybody who has a company, who feels they could have staff that are struggling, to make contact with her. You will not only have more productive members of staff but confident ones too. Likewise, if you are a 'me', it doesn't matter what your age, it’s never too late to start the ball rolling to a better working life.
It’s the best thing I ever did!
If you would like more information about how we might be able to help you or a member of your team please do contact us. You can do this either via Facebook or by using the contact form.
An Oxfordshire-based engineer has developed an exciting new software application which saves time and simplifies a set of tasks which plumbers can often find challenging and time consuming.
Rich Cartwright, who studied Marine Engineering at Plymouth University, realised there was a ‘need’ for an effective tool for this type of work because he was being approached by countless plumbers asking him to carry out these tasks on their behalf.
The tasks being referred to are related to conducting room by room heat loss calculations as required to comply with the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) The Domestic Heating Design Guide EN 12831. These calculations are important for plumbers, heating engineers and surveyors yet they can be a real ‘headache’ to calculate and present to clients and this can be especially so for those who have ‘processing differences’ such as dyslexia and dyscalculia.
Rich has been able to utilise his vast practical work experience and his dyslexia related strengths of problem solving, creativity and ‘big picture’ thinking to undertake the research, design and development of this new plumber’s tool which he has simply called ‘Heat Engineer’ software.
Whilst the features of the software include:
It would appear this innovative piece of software is actually one of the first industry focused, ‘dyslexia friendly’ work tools - and it is particularly relevant that it is related to engineering. The engineering profession is known to be a particularly attractive career path for those with dyslexia and other associated ‘processing differences’ – and many of these individuals will not be aware that their, often not literacy related, challenges are associated with them being amongst the 15 – 18% of the workforce who are ‘neurodiverse’.
There are countless ‘literate dyslexics’ working in every type of workplace yet many may not be in a position to confidently explore their dyslexia related strengths. Many may be experiencing challenges which have the potential of affecting their wellbeing as well as their productivity - due to lack of awareness, appropriate support or useful ‘tools’.
Rich Cartwright says he has put a lot of ‘blood and sweat’ into developing this new tool and he passionately believes this will make a real difference to those who have struggled with undertaking heat loss calculations until now.
To find out more about the software please visit:
Or to find out more about Dyslexia in the Workplace please visit:
Janette Beetham MIC FRSA - Workplace Dyslexia Consultant
Please follow on Twitter @JanetteBeetham @neuro_diversity
An increasing number of forward-thinking organisations are taking a pro-active approach to neurodiversity in the workplace.
7 reasons why embracing and supporting 'neurodiversity' is good for business:
If you have a member of staff who is under-performing have you considered whether it could be their 'processing differences' rather than their ability which is holding them back? Would you like to find out more about how to ensure managers and HR can take the most appropriate steps to improve workplace performance?
If we can be of assistance to you please contact us.
Janette Beetham MIC, FRSA
Director - Right Resources Limited