Dyslexia Adult Network No 2 Winter 2016



Access to Work (AtW)

DAN has now delivered awareness training to AtW Advisers in all three UK centres: Harrow, Basildon and Halifax.
This was a mixed experience, during which we identified further areas of work.

Our main concerns are as follows:

a) quality of assessments and b) lack of a quality assurance process
c) the AtW process seems to be measured solely on administrative throughput
d) inexperience, and inadequate training of AtW advisers
e) difficulty of getting hold of the same person, to enable continuity.

We hope to be able to have some input into the proposed renewal of contracts for providers of workplace assessments. Our interim report will be up on the DAN website shortly.


Disability Confident Employers – Two Ticks scheme

DAN has responded to a letter from the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, about the Disability Confident campaign. We are concerned that the supporting information for Employers does not give an accurate picture of Dyslexia in the workplace and noted that Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and AD(H)D were omitted altogether. We are hoping to feed into the development of resources for Employers who sign up to the Disability Confident initiative, and will be available to respond as an expert voice on SpLD/Neuro-diverse issues.

LOGO Competition

We are pleased to announce the winner of our Logo Competition, Beverley Walker. Her Logo for DAN is now on the website and is being used on all our correspondence – including this edition of Network News.

Beverley works as a dyslexic freelance artist and designer. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art, where she was diagnosed with dyslexia – but doesn't consider herself to be disabled.She describes her design as configuring the acronym DAN into the image of a network and referencing the way the dyslexic mind finds patterns and connecting ideas.

News from Dyslexia Scotland (DS)

Dyslexia Scotland is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, redesigned following extensive consultation with its members. It is now much more accessible for people browsing on mobile devices as well as for those viewing it on their PCs, and offers the option to chat live to DS advisers, as long as the ‘Webchat’ is ‘online’. Visit www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk to find out more.

Following a successful pilot, DS has secured funding to employ an Employment Adviser whose role will have three main elements: one-to-one guidance, liaison with employers and development of the employment service.

Communicating with DAN

From Becki, our Communications Officer

To follow our conversations and keep yourself regularly updated with DAN news, follow us on twitter @dyslexiaadult. This is also a good forum to share ideas.

Recent threads picked up on social media have included positive messages from mainstream media about recognising dyslexia in the workplace (see News item below). Unfortunately discrimination, through lack of awareness, still seems to be a major issue for many of you. We have also seen discussions on effective strategies and useful technology via hashtag discussions offered by twitter.

Interesting articles are available to download from the FILES AREA of the DAN Jiscmail list.


Employee with Dyslexia wins disability discrimination case against Starbucks 

An employee with dyslexia, Ms Kumulchew, has won her disability discrimination case against Starbucks after she was accused of falsifying documents. In fact she had made errors recording fridge temperatures but had flagged up dyslexic difficulties to her employer. No reasonable adjustments had been made. She now awaits a separate hearing to determine any compensation.

Full story and video interview on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35521061

Sperm banks and Dyslexia

In November, an Oxford university student applied to be a donor at Britain's largest sperm bank. On receiving the documentation, he discovered that he was deemed ineligible through his dyslexia. He contacted BDA's Helpline and was supported in his appeal to Jeremy Hunt, the Health Minister. The member charities of DAN all contributed to the media interest.

Since then, the organisation has changed its policy and documentation to be welcoming to dyslexic people.

Changes to student support funded by the Disabled Students Allowances (DSA)

As most of you know, the DSA includes 1:1 support for students with SpLDs on first degree and medical courses. To date there has not been a qualification requirement for these support staff.

But this is about to change. The Dept. for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has stated that it needs to ensure that DSA funding provides good quality support, and entered into discussions with relevant educational charities and bodies.

BIS has now determined that people providing this service will need a level 5 qualification in dyslexia/SpLD support in order to register, from next September. This qualification can be studied through various bodies, including Dyslexia Action and the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre. In addition there is a system of accreditation of prior learning and experience (called individual merit) available from the British Dyslexia Association.

There is some concern that insufficient support staff will be qualified and registered by the deadline.



DAN continues to liaise with AchieveAbility on improving the situation in the workplace. Whereas DAN is focusing on the Access to Work programme, AchieveAbility has been working on another part of the employment agenda, by providing courses for unemployed people with dyslexia (in East London). These work preparation sessions enable Job CentrePlus clients to develop their skills by working to their strengths and using Assistive Technology.
W: www.achieveability.org.uk E: info@achieveability.org.uk Twitter: @AchieveAbility1

New Inclusive Arts Network

The Disability Co-operative Network was launched on 15 September 2015 at the Royal College of Physicians to champion and influence dialogue to create an inclusive heritage and cultural sector.

Contact info@musedcn.org.uk to find out more about this exciting initiative.
The digital offer is available on www.musedcn.org.uk

The Appropriate Adult service

Last year the media highlighted a report There To Help showing that the Appropriate Adult service is being under-used for vulnerable adults in police custody. In December the DAN Chair was invited to appear before an All Party Parliamentary Group on the issue of vulnerability and Dyslexia / SpLDs, tying this into key pieces of legislation.
Melanie’s briefing notes are on the websites of DAN and www.dyslexia-malvern.co.uk

Collaboration is on-going with the National Appropriate Adult Network to ensure that volunteers have the best information in order to provide a good service to adults with SpLDs in police custody. More information about Appropriate Adults is available from www.appropriateadult.org.uk


The positive XYZ approach (developed for the Lancaster Adult Dyslexics group)

When explaining your dyslexia always start with the positives, before mentioning difficulties and how you are able to get round them. This is the XYZ approach
“I am good at X”.
“I sometimes have problems with Y but I get round them by doing Z”.

We’ll include some examples in the next edition of Network News

Use your phone to take pictures of anything you’ll need to remember: bus stops, useful landmarks, notices, timetables etc. These visual prompts will then be readily available.

Acknowledgments to the Adult Dyslexia Organisation


Website www.dan-uk.co.uk Twitter @DyslexiaAdult

Email via website OR join jiscmail list at: www.jiscmail.ac.uk/dyslexia-adult-network-dan

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