You may have already heard something about the role of an Accredited Dyslexia Champion – about them being; approachable, knowledgeable and impartial work colleagues who, following their training about neurodivergent ‘conditions’ in the workplace, are qualified to provide foundation information and signposting. However, with the next training programme fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to share a couple of examples of the great work some of these, now qualified individuals, are doing – not just making it safe to talk about challenges with worktasks and providing foundation information, but helping ensure their employing organisations are more able to ‘tap into’ and utilise any latent potential within a neurodiverse workforce.
The first example is an Accredited Dyslexia Champion, who works in an equality and diversity role within an organisation employing over 7,000 staff. He realised after undertaking the training that there was no clear process of support within his employing organisation. On investigation it was found that what people could access and how well (and appropriately) they were supported was very ‘hit and miss’, depending on who they spoke to and where they were located. The Accredited Dyslexia Champion was instrumental in bringing together a number of key members of staff, who had been doing their best to provide information and guidance – yet were not themselves qualified in this, and he helped facilitate a collaborate approach to producing a comprehensive, accessible process. This process, based on what the Accredited Dyslexia Champion was able to share with the group, now helps ensure staff are able to access appropriate support and, when on this ‘journey’, each individual can expect to receive the same level of service.
The second example relates to someone who is a Union Learning Rep working within an NHS organisation. She herself shares several really useful examples of how being an Accredited Dyslexia Champion has helped people access support and how she has been able to offer guidance to line managers related to need to implement ‘reasonable adjustments’ as recommended within a workplace needs assessment. This particular individual was also an extremely valuable contributor to a recent NHS dyslexia/neurodiversity network learning event I had the pleasure of being involved in. During the event I did an online presentation and Q & A and then the Accredited Dyslexia Champion did a follow up activity with the group to discuss what their ‘next steps’ might be following what they had learnt in the session. As a result of her involvement, a number of NHS organisations are now actively moving forward on their journey to help make their workplaces more dyslexia/neurodivergent-aware organisations.
When asked what they had learnt from attending the network event in their group discussions these are some of their key points they listed:
Delegates on the Dyslexia Champions™ training & accreditation programme come from a cross section of organisations and these individuals undertake a range of different roles. These are just two examples of the positive impact these individuals are now having within workplaces. I will share more in future posts.
Regardless of where they currently work…and the role they do, every one of them has given feedback stating how valuable this training has been to them and to their organisations.
If you’re interested in becoming an Accredited Dyslexia Champion and becoming a catalyst for positive change within your organisation you can find more information here.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Janette Beetham – Founder Dyslexia Champions™
Staff Dyslexia & SpLD Consultant – Imperial College London