Onhandiscute is a new part of @talentEgal where every month we take a look at a different disability or illness. As part of our plan to raise awareness, in these articles, we’re giving you some background information on each of them.
Just like Albert Einstein, the famous mathematician, more than 4 million people in France alone are affected by cognitive problems known as dys disorders. The most well-known of these disorders include dysphasia, dyspraxia and dyslexia. These issues generally appear in childhood and persist into adulthood. When we talk about dys disorders, it’s nothing to do with any mental retardation, nor is it anything to do with any intellectual deficiency or psychological problems, but rather a neurological issue that simply changes the way we learn. Dyslexia is a persistent and long-lasting disorder related to written language. People with dyslexia can get confused with the letters next to each other, jumbling up the syllables they read and have trouble associating the sounds they hear with the letters they need to write.
Want to experience how it feels to read with dyslexia? Click HERE!
Although it’s impossible to put an exact figure on it, it’s thought that around 4% to 5% of students at school age are dyslexic. Dealing with dyslexia requires a multi-disciplinary approach, including speech therapy to retrain the audio and visual parts of the brain. Depending on each case, psychological monitoring is often introduced to ensure there’s proper support for rebuilding the child or adult’s self-esteem. For children, tailored education pathways can be put in place with adapted teaching methods introduced by a specialist doctor (you can find more information on possible help here, as suggested by the French Dys Federation). Teachers can also be helped by specialists. People who have dyslexia can also be supported throughout their careers. Indeed, businesses and line managers should take these kinds of disorders into account, particularly in terms of avoiding any potential difficulties with concentrating or mental strain that could come about as the result of stressful periods, moments of pressure or urgent situations. Learning how to do a job or taking on a new role can be especially complex for people with dyslexia, as they don’t necessarily understand, read or write in a very fluid way.
Companies must adapt in various ways, and here are just a few examples of what they could do to help:
- job interviews – be mindful and understanding of both your verbal and written expressions;
- work scope and organization – provide a pleasant environment with specific tools and set out any employee support;
- written help – prioritize written scripts to aid understanding or perhaps leave some more time for writing tasks;
- integration – informing other employees about somebody’s disorder may be an option, with their prior agreement, building their confidence.
A number of tools are available to support people with dyslexia, such as software to help with reading, writing and even adapted screens:
- assistance software for writing, such as predictive text;
- spell check and grammar software;
- verbal recognition software;
- reading software (text to speech).
It’s important to give more time to people who have dys disorders and to reassure them, like any people with a disability, perhaps with discussions about their future career plans within the company.
Governments are implementing more and more measures to make the daily lives of people with dyslexia even easier. Just look at the example of recent legislation about making modifications to getting your driver’s license, both in terms of the practical and theoretical tests. Efforts are being made everywhere we look to recognize disability, how we take care of people with disabilities and how we can support them. Both at a national level and more globally, we need to shine a light on the international Dys day, created 10 years ago, and get lots more people involved every year across the big cities. Helping to measure progress already made and to set future goals for the years to come, this dedicated day looks at employment, training and support. For more information, go to: http://journee-des-dys.info/