Dyslexia study day highlights need for reasonable adjustments

CSP members from across the profession shared their experiences of dyslexia at a study day, organised by the society’s disabled members’ network.

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More than 50 CSP members attended the study day

The event discussed legal rights of people with dyslexia to have reasonable adjustments in the workplace, explored best practice solutions and offered positive suggestions for coping strategies.

Theresa Awolesi, a recent physiotherapy graduate from the University of Nottingham, told the meeting how she had developed her own strategies to help her cope with clinical placements.

These included providing her educators with a document outlining the difficulties dyslexia caused her, and suggesting practical ways in which they could support her individual learning style.

‘I realised that a lot of people have a lack of awareness about what dyslexia is, and simply saying “I’m dyslexic” doesn’t identify the specific difficulties that you have,’ she said.

‘If you can identify the difficulties your dyslexia presents to your physiotherapy practice then you can develop and apply appropriate strategies to overcome them.’

Focus on solutions

Stephanie Mansell echoed this sentiment when she described her journey as a clinician with dyslexia to a consultant physiotherapist post. ‘The more proactive you can be the better,’ Ms Mansell told delegates.

‘Understand your weaknesses but focus on your strengths and embrace them.’

She outlined the strategies she used in her role at London’s Royal Free Hospital, including proof reading, dictating reminders and the use of assistive technology, such as Dragon and ClaroRead.

Ms Mansell described how she considered her dyslexia to be a strength and outlined positive attributes found in many dyslexic clinicians. Examples included good verbal communication, creative problem solving and being able to see the bigger picture.

The study day was chaired by Cliff Towson, convenor of the disabled members’ network, who said: ‘It was fantastic to see so many members come together to support one another.

‘It’s important that we think of dyslexia in a positive way and focus on the solutions to any barriers in the workplace.

‘I would encourage members with dyslexia to join the disabled members’ network to share their experiences and access peer support.’

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by Robert Millett

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