Weekly Roundup: Dyslexia in Academia and Richard Branson

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Dyslexia in Academia

There is a need for more acceptance of dyslexia in the academic world. This week The Guardian has published an anonymous article by an academic suffering from dyslexia. The author was diagnosed with dyslexia at school, but never admitted their difficulty to an employer in 23 years of working before now, fearing discrimination. The author admits that their dyslexia makes it harder to work with reference numbers and sometimes leads to time-consuming confusion, however it does not influence his/her academic writing. In this respect, it only partially disturbs their working routine, while leaving the most important part of the job – writing academic articles and publications – unaffected. However the fear of losing one’s job and not being accepted within the academic world remains high for persons with disabilities. The author discusses fears and feeling isolation throughout their academic career shared with colleagues also affected by forms of dyslexia.

So what was the motivation of this person to come out and contact the university’s HR department after so many years of hiding? This decision was partly influenced by the upcoming launch of Dyslexic Academic Forum that will aim to support and advice persons working in Higher Education affected by dyslexia. The benefits of an open discussion about dyslexia in the academia world could support the position of up to 1’500 affected lecturers and researches and hopefully lead to an adaption of their working routines according to their stronger skills.


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Success Story of the Week

The dyslexia success story of the week in the press is the one if Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Huffington Post presented the worldwide successful businessman in an article providing advice to young and ambitious entrepreneurs. The English business magnate’s first company was a magazine called Student that he founded at the age of 16 after dropping out of school due to his poor academic performance because of his dyslexia. In 1993 Branson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology from Loughborough University and in 1999 Queen Elizabeth II knighted him. Once again Branson’s life story shows us that dyslexia is not automatically a throwback and that success comes to those who try!

If you want to know more about Richard Branson here is a link to his TED Talk.

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Next Weeks events:

Free Adult Literacy Course, Woking, UK

27nd Feb 2017 – 10:30 to 12:30

Dyslexia Day at the Capitol, Georgia, USA

1st March 2017 – 9:00 to 14:00

Free Children’s Catch-up Club, London, UK

1st March 2017 – 16:00 to 16:45

Free Adult Catch-up Club, London, UK

1st March 2017 – 16:45 to 17:30

Teaching For Neurodiversity by Helen Arkell Centre, London, UK

3rd March 2017 – TBA

The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia – Movie Screening, Wicklow, Ireland

3rd March 2017 – 7:30pm