How Dyslexia Aware are you?


Dyslexia Awareness Week is this week. The week when the British Dyslexia Association highlights the difficulties that dyslexic people face every day. The aim of the week is to debunk the myth that dyslexic people just have difficulties with reading and spelling. It’s also about raising awareness of the other difficulties dyslexic people face such as poor short term memory, difficulties with Maths, poor organisational skills but not forgetting the strengths that dyslexia can bring too.

This year their campaign is called ‘Making Sense of Dyslexia’.

There is a common misconception that dyslexics jumble up their words and are poor at spelling. Having discovered for myself, through my daughter, dyslexics develop clever coping strategies. Many invent clever ways to disguise and deviate from their weaknesses.

Considering that 1 in 10 of the population are dyslexic it’s challenging to think how dyslexia friendly many forms of communications are?

I thought I’d share some tips:-

  • When producing fliers, posters, newsletters keep the typeface simple. Don’t show off by using different typefaces.
  • Use illustrations and photographs to reinforce your points.
  • When printing double sided, use quality paper. Documents printed off on cheap paper can prove difficult to read.
  • Use pastel coloured paper – this is often easier to read than stark white paper?
  • Consider the layout of text. Using a list of points is easier than continuous prose?
  • Provide video and audio facilities where appropriate.

Dyslexia seems to be difficult to identify in the education system. There’s also a lack of specialist teachers to deliver the style of teaching which enables learning therefore many pupils are leaving school having ‘hid’ the condition and head for more practical based careers.

The chances are though; there will be dyslexic people in your workplace and most definitely in your customer base. Their strengths are to be celebrated as dyslexics tend to be creative, inventive, and curious with the most imaginative minds – many making great entrepreneurs.

If the campaign this year is to ‘Make Sense of Dyslexia’, I’d like to turn that on its head and ask you -are you making sense to your customers, employees and potential clients?

I was interested to read that Bible Society have launched a dyslexia-friendly Bible this week (The Psalms and Gospel of Mark). Traditionally a book that has been difficult to read due to small print, paper thin pages and heavy text.           

Whilst researching for this blog post I came across some great illustrations designed by Harriet Birt who has commited to release one each day this week during Dyslexia Awareness Week.