Presentation on theme: "Part 3: Transitions into the workplace In what ways are workplace demands different to those posed by the HE environment? How do we engage employers in."— Presentation transcript:
Part 3: Transitions into the workplace In what ways are workplace demands different to those posed by the HE environment? How do we engage employers in the support of adults with dyslexia?
Workshop 3: New challenges? In pairs, think of ways in which workplaces offer challenges which are different to those encountered in an educational setting, and which may cause particular difficulties for a person with dyslexia.
Supporting students in work placements An opportunity to bridge the gap between HE and work Key objective: engaging all stakeholders
Work placements: aiding transition Distinguishing dyslexia from other disabilities in documentation Raising awareness both of dyslexia and entitlements with placement officers, employers and dyslexia students Revised employer documentation Support, training and advocacy in transition (Bankfield 2001)
From HE to employment I had a good think about business and finance and thinking I still cant spell very well, so if I need to speak over the phone and write things down.. It frightened me. It put me off. So I went to Tescos as a baker. Callum
Applying for jobs During the interview process, I always disclosed my dyslexia in my application. This did not stop me getting interviews. In fact, I still got a good 85-90% reply and invitation to interviews. Primary school teacher
Attitudes to labelling Some students with dyslexia do not accept the label of dyslexia This can impede their access to support. I have never seen it as like I am disabled. Do you know what I mean? Like when the word disabled is mentioned I expect you to pull up in a mobility car or something like that. Callum
Disclosure Support mechanisms in the educational setting are clear but the lack of these in the workplace inhibits self-disclosure and potentially reduces the effectiveness of the placement Disclosure decision making was primarily based on the risk perceived to themselves and their patients Morris and Turnbull 2006
Disclosure in placements It would be nice if I were asked if they could tell the staff. Seems to be a taboo to some people, I would rather be open and let all staff know that I have problems spelling. Im not too ashamed, its just embarrassing. Student teacher
Disclosure: If you hide it, it is harder Right from the start be straight, because there would be nothing worse than to get to a job and your boss is expecting you to be able to do this, do that and then you get there and you cant do it But variations in responses on when to disclose.
Workshop 4: for and against disclosure Make a list of reasons for and against disclosing dyslexia to an employer or potential employer, from the point of view of a person with dyslexia. What are the possible implications of this? What would your advice be to a student with dyslexia?
Access to Work Funding available from Jobcentre+ Individuals usually need a positive screening test to go ahead In England, government support exists but is almost certainly underused. Access to work attaches funding to the individual – the medical model of dyslexia.
Accessing Access…..how easy is it? We dont have anybody with dyslexia in our town. We just have a few people who say they cant read and write but its because they didnt bother at school Jobcentre+, Disability officer
Despite legislation, attitudes may not be changing… Ive sacked a lot of people for the reasons you have just described as symptoms of dyslexia. How do I know if they have dyslexia or if they are just lazy and dim? Isn't it just an excuse for middle class parents who cant accept the fact that their children arent very clever? Quotes from audience of local employers in response to talk on 26 September 2008
What is the best way to deal with misconceptions? Legislation Training (For whom?) Awareness raising
How did dyslexia support at university help you make the transition to work? The support helped me look at ways in which I could help myself. They showed me resources and strategies that I would never have thought about or tried without their help. A lot of their strategies and software I still use now Primary school teacher
Needs individual support Can only read slowly Difficulties with proof reading Cant follow directions Needs IT equipment Cant decipher overheads Difficulty using library Cant get to work on time Has difficulty meeting deadlines Cant type accurately Low self-esteem Poor organisational skills Cant take notes (Dyslexia in Adults: Education & Employment, Reid and Kirk, John Wiley & Sons Ltd) Individual model of dyslexia
Funding linked to the individual: the medical model. Would be nice if there was funding in place so that schools and workplaces can buy software and equipment to help dyslexic teachers. Both the DSA and Access to Work put the responsibly on to the individual who owns the impairment
Lecture theatres, libraries and other facilities made friendly Flexible working hours Easily accessible assessment Written materials in dyslexia-friendly style All staff aware of dyslexic difficulties Empathy/understanding Information given in different ways eg audio tapes Relevant computing facilities & software available Qualified tutors provided Public resources made available Oral assessment for promotion and exams (Dyslexia in Adults: Education & Employment, Reid and Kirk, John Wiley & Sons Ltd) Social model of dyslexia
Accessing support from the community Some firms are starting their own disability networks Local dyslexia groups
Banbury Adult Dyslexia Group Meets monthly at East Street Centre Speakers Support Screening tests All adults welcome: employers, teachers, parents…
Discussion and conclusions: Breaking the cycle Education: changing public perceptions, including those of teachers, academics and trainers Better liaison with employers from higher education establishments
The need for extending inclusive practice Measuring competence at work – what criteria are used? Heavy literacy bias to workplace qualifications, tests and promotion criteria. Information about this provided to students before they move into work. Access arrangements should not be just for school exams Ongoing support – still linked to literacy and not to workplace needs. Funding should not be linked to accredited outcomes.
Working with individuals Counselling and guidance: encouraging self advocacy, e.g. training for interviews – when and how to disclose dyslexia. Choosing the right path and mapping out a way of following this. At admission to HE discussion of what doing the job involves Metacognition: dyslexia support should encourage adult to recognise own strengths and weaknesses and match these to suitable employment.
Talking to local employers Possibility of short presentations like this to local businesses/employers Training days and consultancy through university. Use work placement contacts
Ways forward: Creating models of good practice. Further research could develop case studies and training packs to help transition to employment. These could be used at all levels of education where adults move into employment Creating a passport to work for students with dyslexia outlining their strengths and weaknesses. University alumni – could these extend support to students with dyslexia? Creating an online group to help ex- students support themselves.