Discrimination against Dyslexics

There are still comments being added to my post about the programme on BBC3 called ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid’. The one today from Julia, who is both a dyslexic herself and a dyslexic specialist is quite an eye opener!

What strikes me as I read the stories in the comments, and hear stories from parents about their children and about themselves, is how shocking it is that we discriminate against people simply because they find it difficult to read. Because that is what’s happening.

If we had a child – or an adult for that matter – who had difficulty hearing, or with mobility, or with other learning difficulties, we would be falling over backwards to accommodate their needs. There would be services in place to support them in the mainstream. And if there was any sign of discrimination against them, any name calling or suggestion that they were inferior because of their limitations, there would be an uproar.

Yet it seems okay to treat people who have a difficulty with reading this way. It seems it is okay to ignore their individual learning needs and just treat them as thick, as often happens. For these learners are sometimes called stupid and treated as if they had limited intelligence.  

How can this be right? How can we so actively support some difficulties yet discriminate against others? For that’s what appears to be happening.

We are discriminating against people for finding it difficult to read. We are failing to adequately support them. And even worse we are attaching labels that can destroy a person for life.

We are so busy obsessing over qualifications we are failing to provide fundamental support to everyone – whatever their difficulties – so they can achieve this vital skill. And we are destroying futures in the process.

It is a covert discrimination that needs bringing out of the closet.

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2 thoughts on “Discrimination against Dyslexics

  1. I have commented before, but there seem to be no answers or support. My daughter has now been trying to get support from the Disability Employment Adviser at the local Job Centre and a nameless disability employment support provider for 4 months. She has been sent round in a circle. I have spoken to Access to Work who can only help when a job has been secured. My daughter does not have the straightforward dyslexic problem of reading. She can read, spells badly, rubbish at maths and has short term memory and sequencing problems. I feel that most people think fo dyslexia as a reading problem but for those who have to deal with this on a daily basis will know there is so much more to this than just a reading difficulty.

    Yesterday she was told by the DEA and the Physcological Services attached to the job centre that she could not have an assessment for her dyslexia and Irlen’s syndrome which could result in her getting 1 – 1 tuition through the Job Centre Dyslexia Services. She was told she would have to go back to the ‘nameless’ provider and the comments were, if they would not fund this and they may not, she would have to ‘make a fuss’ or pay for private tuition. Private tuition is £70.00 per hour. I refer to the provider as ‘nameless’ because as many of you will know it does not pay to name and shame. How can a disabled person ‘make a fuss’ with the very people she is trying to get to help?

    The powers that be get away with their discrimination because vulnerable people are not in a position to make a fuss.

    Last week she went for a job in a supermarket, 20 hours a week. She explained her problems and told them she had access to support if she had any difficulty with the job. She was unsuccessful, the feedback: She was the sort of girl who would only stay for 6 months and leave. I suspect that they don’t want anybody who may need a little support who could take 6 months to become the valued member of staff which I know she could be.

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