Dyslexia-Friendly Workplace ‘’Equality of opportunity is an equal opportunity to prove unequal talents’’. Viscount Samuel Louise Ward, Director Canadian Dyslexia Centre 290 Picton ave., Ottawa, ON K1Z 8P8 613-722-2699 firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Dyslexia? Dyslexia results from a different brain organization, which may cause a problem with reading, writing, spelling and/or speaking, despite average or superior intelligence, traditional reading instruction and socio-cultural opportunity. It is genetically inherited and its cause is biological.
Left Anterior • Left Anterior Dyslexic versus Control • Dyslexic Example • Control Example
Causes of Dyslexia • Dyslexia is genetically inherited, and its cause is biological.
Causes of Dyslexia • The brain of a persons with dyslexia works five times harder than other peoples’ brains.
Causes of Dyslexia • Dyslexia can cause “letters and words appear to move around, jump over each other, blur and reverse themselves”.
Talents of Dyslexics • Often, a person with dyslexia will also have special abilities and talents associated with superior visual-spatial skills. • These abilities, contrasted with deficits in basic skills, make dyslexia confusing for employers.
"Dyslexics are overrepresented in the top ranks of people who are unusually insightful, who bring a new perspective, who think out of the box,"Sally Shaywitz, Yale C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\FORTUNE - Overcoming Dyslexia.htm
Talents Albert Einstein • Great intuition; • Adapt easily to changes; • Sees patterns quickly; • Thinks and perceive in 3-D; • A lively imagination; • Creative; • Sees the big picture instantly; • Usually very ambitious and persistent; • Superior reasoning; • Does not follow the crowd.
Famous People Bill Gates “Often you have to rely on intuition”
Famous People William Butler Yeats • Willie was sent to lessons in spelling and grammar, but he never learned to spell. To the end of his life he produced highly idiosyncratic versions of words.- • Biographer A. Norman Jeffares
Famous People Albert Einstein He told me that his teachers reported that . . . he was mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.- Hans Albert Einstein, on his father,
Famous People Agatha Christie I, myself, was always recognized . . . as the "slow one" in the family. It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it. Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were without originality. I was an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day.-
Famous People Thomas Edison My teachers say I'm addled . . . my father thought I was stupid, and I almost decided I must be a dunce.
Reading • Slow rate of reading • Blurring and distortion of words Th is co ourse wil lst riv etoeq pst ud ent swi the bas ic crit ical t hin kingan d es sa ywri thig sk il ls.
Reading difficulties: • Misreading of words which are visually similar: • was-saw, speak-break • Misreading multisyllabic words: • philosophical, inheritance, interference • Omitting connecting words: • at, is where, who, over, under ect
Lack of paragraph concept • Inadequate or missing punctuation • Mixing up sounds in multisyllabic words • Reversal of letters and/or numbers 4 5 p b q d
Small print below 12 point font • Poor quality photocopies • On white paper
“While most persons with dyslexia are articulate, some may have speech difficulties” • Expressing ideas clearly when speaking • Not finishing sentences • Finding the right word when speaking
- Speaking: • speaking clearly during interviews or oral examinations • speaking on a specific subject within a time limit or interview In his mind’s eye he could see the white sheets of paper on which he had written his sermon. Then suddenly the thing happened--the terrible thing he had feared. The words disappeared! In panic he searched his mind only to find it blank - the rest of the sermon - the works he had tried so hard to memorize - was gone, gone!
Understanding negative sentences • Which one was not there? • What aspect cannot be inherited?
Spelling • Misspelling visually similar words that are not picked up by a spellchecker: - importance-impotence, brown-drown - cursing-cruising, erotic-exotic • Numerous erasure and/or cross-outs which make written work very messy • Mixed up and/or omits letters or words
Spelling • May take up to 2000 times or more to remember how to spell a word, compared to the maximum of 14 times needed by a non-dyslexic. Many famous writers never mastered spelling. • Writes the same words differently in the same passage - familiar, femilliar, fammilliar, femmeliar ‘It's a…. poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word. ‘ - Andrew Jackson
Listening • In a noisy room • Screening out important information • Sensitivity to some sounds, such as: speaker’s phone, hand clapping in a theatre etc
Math • Memorizing multiplication tables • Reversing numbers • Losing place in long division • Reading difficulties may cause problems understanding written problems
Organization Skills • Forgetting appointments • Forgetting work at home or office • Miscalculating time needed for tasks • Getting lost in an unfamiliar building (sometimes in a familiar building as well) • Getting mixed up between left-right, west-east, up-down • Inability to organize desk “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, just what does an empty desk mean?” Source Unknown
Note-taking • Inability to read own writing • Taking notes while listening • Writing fast enough to copy from board
Writing • Expressing ideas clearly in writing • Difficulty planning and organizing essays • Immature writing • Poor sentence structure
Common physical problems often seen in dyslexic persons and affecting work environment: • Migraine headache caused by fluorescent lighting, noise or weather • Extreme stress during testing situations • Feeling of being overwhelmed when a large amount of writing is required • Motion sickness affecting the ability to use elevators, escalators, driving, etc. • Sensitivity to perfumes, strong deodorant or chemicals
Language Training • Orton-Gillingham based methodology • Phoneme awareness cat = /k/ /a/ /t/ • Sound-symbol relationship
HELP! HELP! • If someone spends 3 months in language training and then you find out he/she was dyslexic, then shame on you ‘’I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive. ‘’ John W. Gardner
Dyslexia-Friendly Testing • Extended time • Careful with demand speech • Know the difference between mispronunciations and dyslexic mistakes • Avoid negative sentences • Allow spelling mistakes • Allow ‘’fishing’’ for words
Dyslexia-Friendly Workplace • Full-spectrum lighting • Chromogens lens/colored overlays • Coloured paper • Noise-masking • Mind-mapping • Wordsmith • An understanding ‘’Boss’’
‘’To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men’’.Abraham Lincoln