September 2023

Creating a Workplace Where Dyslexic Minds Thrive

Natalie Brooks has long blonde hair, and is wearing a black and white printed dress. She is smiling directly at the camera.


“I can’t because I’m dyslexic.”

Dyslexia can be incredibly challenging at work, especially without the proper tools or support from the workplace.

Now available on demand, Natalie Brooks, founder of Dyslexia in Adults, unpacks the challenges and strengths of dyslexia and shares how organisations can create environments to help individuals recognise and put in place the systems they need to succeed.

Meet the Speaker – Natalie Brooks

Founder @ Dyslexia in Adults

“The list of things that you’re struggling with, are just a list of things that you’re struggling with. Everyone is struggling with something… these just happen to be yours.”

Enhanced Screenshot of Natalie Brooks during the live webinar. Natalie has her hair up and is wearing a floral print top.
Natalie Brooks, Founder @ Dyslexia in Adults

Natalie Brooks is the founder of Dyslexia in Adults, a company that works to create a safe and creative space to discuss both the challenges and strengths of being an adult with dyslexia. After struggling in the workplace herself, Natalie created this community to offer support and empower individuals to better understand themselves.

Watch the full webinar here:

Webinar Summary

Society views dyslexia through a narrow lens. This can impact people with dyslexia in positive and negative ways. To raise awareness and help adults with dyslexia better manage workplace challenges, Natalie Brooks founded Dyslexia in Adults in 2019. 

As someone who has faced many workplace challenges, Natalie has built a support network, community, and structured learning for people with dyslexia through her company.

This webinar episode sees Natalie offer a comprehensive review of what dyslexia is, common challenges in workplace settings, and a set of strategies to support staff with dyslexia in the workplace. Natalie offers guidance for both employees and employers with various management strategies and a review of Dyslexic Thinking.


📝 The challenges of dyslexia

Natalie highlights the importance of reframing problems relating to dyslexia not as ‘I can’t do that because I have dyslexia’ but ‘I need to do that in a different way because I have dyslexia’. This is because dyslexia creates differences in information processing. These differences present challenges that include the following:  

  • Struggling in meetings: Finding it harder to keep track of topics or presentations.  
  • Language-based mistakes: Minor spelling mistakes in reports with managers assuming spellcheck can solve dyslexia. 
  • Working memory challenges: Forgetting verbal instructions or other details.   
  • Sending presentations: Struggling to complete reading or writing-heavy tasks.  
  • Overcompensation and burnout: Adults with dyslexia can feel they’re working outside of their comfort zone. This may lead to a lack of assertion, missed promotions, and the use of self-deprecating humour as a defence mechanism. 
  • Homophones: People with dyslexia often find homophones challenging. Examples include similar sounding words like week or weak, right or write, whole or hole. 

A further area of challenge is the existence of co-occurring neurodivergence. For instance, dyspraxia, autism, Tourettes, and ADHD often co-exist alongside dyslexia. Research shows that between 15% to 50% of individuals with ADHD also have dyslexia and even higher numbers have dyscalculia or dyspraxia.

Identifying, understanding, and accounting for each neurodivergence is difficult and can leave workplace leaders lost on what to do. Understanding this area is critical to supporting staff and getting the most out of their talents while, in the process, improving retention, productivity, and staff wellbeing.

💪 The strengths of dyslexia

Dyslexic Thinking offers a wide range of benefits. It’s a process of tapping into big-picture thinking and synthesising information. This way of thinking can be very helpful for carrying out high-value tasks such as signing up new clients, improving marketing strategies, problem-solving, innovation, and organisational change.    

People with dyslexia also show capabilities that are well-aligned with the skills required for a 21st-century workforce. People with dyslexia exhibit many personal skills needed for the 21st Century like self-development, autonomy, creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. 

Comments and compliments people with dyslexia may hear in the workplace include ‘Good spot, I didn’t see that’, ‘Oh, I never would’ve thought of that’, and ‘You are always so prepared’. 

Along with this bigger-picture thinking there are plenty of strengths that people with dyslexia bring to workplaces: 

  • Image-centric approach: Visualisation and image-centric skills often bring high levels of creativity and strong communication skills.
  • Unique thinking: Dyslexic people can notice problems, patterns, and connections faster than others.
  • 3D thinking: Many people with dyslexia can tap into strengths in engineering and design. 


Natalie also highlights how the term ‘superpower’ can be alienating for people with dyslexia. It can elevate people to a high bar that may be too high. This can add extra pressure to people with dyslexia and create anxiety. A better alternative would be to focus on their strong problem-solving abilities.

🤝 How can organisations create workplaces to support people with dyslexia?

Making spelling errors, having unusual thoughts, or needing more time to process information can lead to awkwardness or embarassment in the workspace. Using a motto of ‘bear with me’ can help people with dyslexia to manage these moments better while asking others to make allowances for them. 

Nicole uses two key pillars that all workplaces can put in place: 



Workplaces that instill an ethos of flexibility can help people with dyslexia feel more comfortable bringing their key strengths to work while offering support in ways that suit their needs. 

Flexibility can also allow staff members with dyslexia to challenge existing structures, systems, or processes to drive improvements to teamwork or new or innovative approaches. This can have the greatest impact in areas such as: 

  • Changing processes or systems: Giving more autonomy to people with dyslexia can help to redesign, simplify, or improve systems that benefit everyone.  
  • Describing information in different ways: Giving context, top-level information, or examples of interconnectedness can help people with dyslexia digest new information and concepts. 
  • Amending roles and responsibilities: Flexibility in roles or making reasonable adjustments can help reduce stress when faced with tricky aspects of a role.   



Natalie shares how many of her clients say they were most successful at work when they had an understanding boss in place. And there are several ways to show kindness that can promote better environments and situations: 

  • Being patient when others need a little extra time to explain themselves
  • Helping people with dyslexia by checking their work when needed
  • Showing an understanding that dyslexic challenges can look different for different people

Organisations can also find success by building systems that work for the brains of people with dyslexia. Examples include visual-led systems, practical ways of working, and providing context or background information.

Watch the Q&A session here:

Read the Transcript

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Really good, very informative.
Very inclusive and I love their life

00:00:08.142 –> 00:00:12.230
experiences that almost every speaker
had. Definitely recommend, I’d

00:00:12.230 –> 00:00:14.965
happily come to another one myself.
The fact that we’ve been able to

00:00:14.989 –> 00:00:16.570
network, today’s
been amazing. There’s

00:00:16.582 –> 00:00:17.929
been lots of opportunities to do

00:00:17.929 –> 00:00:21.917
that. Range of speakers was amazing.
You’re learning from experience

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rather than from assumptions, which
is always brilliant. Many people

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don’t really know the best way to
support us and if we can raise that

00:00:29.241 –> 00:00:32.529
awareness to events like this,
that’s marvellous. We’ve had a great

00:00:32.529 –> 00:00:34.064
time today and it’s
been really, really

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insightful. We
took a lot from it.

Read More

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Hi everyone. Everyone’s just joining,
so welcome to Skill Sessions.
00:00:50.130 –> 00:00:55.179
We’re just going to allow everyone
to join. So welcome, welcome.
00:00:55.179 –> 00:01:00.167
Thank you for everybody
being so prompt. That’s fantastic.
00:01:00.191 –> 00:01:05.179
So yeah, welcome to Skills
Sessions online. For those of you
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who aren’t aware, Skill Sessions is a
series of events online and in-person
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hosted by CareScribe.
The whole idea is these events are
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designed to share knowledge
about areas of neurodiversity and
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disability, to help build and foster
an inclusive community where we
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can discuss these sorts of topics.
So yeah. And each event is based
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on a different topic. And this
event follows on nicely from our
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last one, which was
on neurodiversity.
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This time we’re
talking about dyslexia.
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We’ve got the fantastic Natalie
Brooks, founder of Dyslexia in Adults
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speaking on the topic
of creating workspaces that are
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dyslexic, where dyslexic thinking
thrives. Lovely to see so many
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of you joining. As you join, please,
get into the chat, say where
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you’re joining from. Say hello,
and make sure your chat settings
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are set to all, otherwise you
won’t be saying hello to everybody.
00:02:05.041 –> 00:02:08.279
You’ll just be saying it to a
couple of us. So make sure
00:02:08.279 –> 00:02:11.307
you’ve changed your chat
settings, so everyone can see who
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you are, where you come from.
And yeah—and keep the chat going
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because if you’ve been on
these events previously, normally
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there’s lots of people
joining, lots of people chatting,
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sharing experiences and
that’s what this is all about.
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Fantastic. So yeah, lots and
lots of people joining. This is
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brilliant. So let us know
where you’re joining from, and
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as I say, just pop things
into the into the chat there.
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Brill. Okey doke. So before
we get over to Natalie,
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I’m going to tell you a little bit
about who I am, who we are, and—
00:02:51.380 –> 00:02:54.797
yeah, a little bit more about
CareScribe. So my name’s Rich.
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I’m one of the founders and directors
of CareScribe. Carescribe’s an
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assistive technology company
based out of Bristol. So shout out to
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anybody else based in Bristol.
Myself and the other two founders,
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Chris and Tom, we’re all
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neurodivergent, as
are many of our team.
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And the company, as a company,
we spend every single day working to
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support people who are disabled
or neurodivergent to work and study
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more independently. That’s our
kind of mission. And we do that
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by building technology—so by building
assistive technology. We have
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a couple of software tools that
we’ve built, which you may well have
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heard of. The first one’s called
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Caption.Ed. Caption.Ed
is a captioning
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and note-taking tool designed to
help people to better comprehend and
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retain the huge
amounts of information
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that are thrown at us every
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day in our busy lives, whether that’s
in a workplace or if you’re studying.
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This is, of course, of
tremendous value to
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those with a wide range of
disabilities and neurodivergent
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profiles from perhaps those
who are deaf or have hearing loss,
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who may have difficulty comprehending
what’s being said, to those
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who are, like me, and dyslexic,
or have ADHD or ASD, who maybe
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have similar difficulties or
find it hard to focus and retain
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information as it’s being said, or
even those with maybe a motor
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impairment, who find it difficult
to get thoughts down quickly on
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pen or paper or on a computer.
And so that’s Caption.Ed
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and how Caption.Ed can
help support individuals.
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And then, of course, our
other piece of software is
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called TalkType,
which, again you may
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well have heard of.
And that’s a dictation
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software. So that
is designed to help
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people convert thoughts
to text, something
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that a wide range
of people find very
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challenging for a
wide range of reasons.
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Of course, if you want to find
00:04:41.908 –> 00:04:45.068
anything—any more
information out about our
00:04:45.092 –> 00:04:49.279
assistive technology and how
we can support either yourself or
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people you work with or know,
please pop a message in the chat or a
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message in our feedback at the end
of the session or even just get in
00:04:56.680 –> 00:04:59.021
touch through our
website and we can set
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up a demo and a
conversation with you.
00:05:01.909 –> 00:05:06.880
Brilliant. So quick bit
of housekeeping. So I can see
00:05:06.880 –> 00:05:09.935
that people have already
turned on the closed captions, but
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you can turn on closed captions
if you need to, and you can do
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that within Zoom. So feel free to
click the button and turn those on.
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As I said, use the chat
and tell us where you’re tuning
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in from. And if you’ve got any
questions or anything like that
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that you want to pose to us,
then please pop them, ideally,
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in the Q&A section, which is
slightly separate to the chat.
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But, yeah. Pop them in the Q&A
section and we’ll pick them up.
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You can also
upvote other people’s
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questions. So, if
whilst we’re Talking,
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somebody has a great question you
think, “Oh, I want that answered,”
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then upvote it. There’s no wrong
questions. This is a safe place to
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learn so, please feel free to and
to get your questions over to us.
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You’ll be glad to know this session
is recorded, so if you miss anything,
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don’t worry. Lucy is going
to send over a link to you after
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this. And it’ll also be up on our
CareScribe LinkedIn tomorrow.
00:06:04.450 –> 00:06:08.680
Final thing just to mention, and
I’ll mention it again at the end, is
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we keep running these Skills
Sessions on lots of different topics,
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and we’re actually going to be
doing an in-person session in
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November, in London, which
is all about ADHD awareness.
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So if that’s something that’s
of interest to you, we’ll be
00:06:23.779 –> 00:06:27.468
getting the registration details
out relatively soon and that’s
00:06:27.492 –> 00:06:31.180
on the 7th of November. So
invites are coming soon, but just to
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make you aware this online
session is going to be doing—we’re
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going to be doing another in-person
event, this time in the South.
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That last one was up in, in
Manchester. Okey doke. So, without
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further ado then, let’s hand over
to Natalie, who is going to give
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us a talk all about dyslexia. So
over to you Natalie—take it away.
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Hello. Yeah, hi. Thank you so much
for having me. And I’m super excited
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about today’s session. So let me
get up my presentation and we will
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dive straight in. Can I just check
from everyone that you can all
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hear me OK? Everything’s all
good? Just—Rich, can you hear
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me OK? Just making sure
everything is all good. OK. OK.
00:07:19.479 –> 00:07:25.318
Wonderful, good, good, good. Great.
OK. So I am Natalie and I’m going
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to be discussing how to create a
workplace environment where dyslexic
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skills and minds can thrive. So
what we’re going to be discussing
00:07:36.611 –> 00:07:41.580
today is understanding the reality
of dyslexia and what exactly that
00:07:41.580 –> 00:07:47.328
looks like. But also suggestions on
how to navigate just like if you’re
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in the workplace and some ways to
think about how to better understand
00:07:51.979 –> 00:07:56.652
dyslexic strengths. Now, the pitch
of today is going to be a little
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bit if you’re a manager or if
you’re someone who is not dyslexic
00:08:01.279 –> 00:08:05.243
yourself, and you want to better
understand things. But my true
00:08:05.267 –> 00:08:09.680
passion really lies in helping
dyslexic people understand themselves
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better and understand what they
need better and to be able to feel
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comfortable to advocate for yourself,
discuss things for yourself,
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bring forward exactly what your
strengths are and what kind of things
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you need to really create
success. So I’m going to be trying to
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straddle the divide on that
one—so both talking directly to you
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if you’re dyslexic and you’re in
the workplace and you want to
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understand how to create success
for yourself, but also to try and
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help anyone who’s in the audience
trying to create wider change in
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their organisation or just for
their team. So that’s the kind of
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overview today. You’ll quickly
realise that the main theme is about
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how to understand the reality of
being different and how to kind of
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put that in place in a broad
theme. So yeah, let’s dive in anyway.
00:09:00.621 –> 00:09:04.618
So just a little bit about me
before we jump in. I’m Natalie. I’m
00:09:04.642 –> 00:09:08.280
the founder of Dyslexia in Adults.
I founded Dyslexia in Adults in
00:09:08.280 –> 00:09:11.296
the back end of
2019 so, terrifyingly,
00:09:11.308 –> 00:09:13.327
coming up to kind of four
00:09:13.351 –> 00:09:18.879
years of working on this problem.
The honest answer is that Dyslexia
00:09:18.879 –> 00:09:22.721
in Adults started for me. It
was something that I was really
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passionate about. I have known
I was dyslexic since I was seven.
00:09:26.979 –> 00:09:31.018
I was really lucky that I had great
parents who were really supportive
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and sent me to schools that really
helped me understand what I needed
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to do to educate myself. But
when it came to the workplace, I just
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felt scared, lost,
confused, frustrated,
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just unsure how to reach this
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potential I was kind of sure I had,
sometimes felt like I didn’t have
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and just really feel like I
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understood myself.
That was really the
00:09:56.580 –> 00:09:59.318
goal that I was trying to achieve.
I just felt like there was so
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little out there for adults, and
a lot of the content that was out
00:10:02.080 –> 00:10:05.868
there, I just didn’t feel I resonated
with. So that’s why a lot of
00:10:05.892 –> 00:10:09.680
the things that I talk about
today, hopefully, you might feel is
00:10:09.680 –> 00:10:12.187
presenting things in a different
way or discussing something that you
00:10:12.212 –> 00:10:17.580
maybe haven’t heard, said before.
Because that is something I’m really
00:10:17.580 –> 00:10:21.083
passionate about, trying to
find a way to speak to 2019
00:10:21.107 –> 00:10:24.479
Natalie and maybe the
people who feel like her too.
00:10:26.197 –> 00:10:29.895
So the advice that you’re going to
hear today and the experiences I’m
00:10:29.920 –> 00:10:34.780
going to share are—they started off
a lot from my own experience and my
00:10:34.780 –> 00:10:40.061
own challenges and ways of navigating
the workplace. I used to do
00:10:40.085 –> 00:10:45.780
sales and account management across
a number of large companies. But
00:10:45.780 –> 00:10:48.931
more and more, as I got deeper
and deeper into this business, what
00:10:48.956 –> 00:10:53.780
you’ll hear is a lot of experiences
from my clients, and one of the
00:10:53.780 –> 00:10:56.353
decisions I made early on in the
business is to go down the social
00:10:56.378 –> 00:11:00.879
media route. So I’m really lucky
that I now have a kind of global
00:11:00.879 –> 00:11:05.653
connection of about 100,000 dyslexic
adults. And through feedback of
00:11:05.678 –> 00:11:08.696
comments, meetings,
events, videos
00:11:08.708 –> 00:11:12.085
that have blown up,
ones that haven’t,
00:11:12.110 –> 00:11:17.718
that I really feel like I’m very
clear on the themes and challenges
00:11:17.742 –> 00:11:23.080
and experiences that dyslexic adults
face in our modern workplace. So
00:11:23.080 –> 00:11:27.267
that’s kind of a little about me,
a little about my credentials. And
00:11:27.292 –> 00:11:33.248
now, we are actually getting into the
main chunk of the presentation.
00:11:33.273 –> 00:11:37.468
So obviously, I put this presentation
together in mind with the fact
00:11:37.492 –> 00:11:41.080
that we have Dyslexia Awareness
Month knocking around the corner.
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It’s Dyslexia Awareness Week and
Dyslexia Awareness Month in October.
00:11:43.741 –> 00:11:48.379
So, loads of opportunities to really
talk about awareness and helping
00:11:48.379 –> 00:11:53.119
people better understand dyslexia.
Now, like I said, discussing
00:11:53.144 –> 00:11:57.479
dyslexia differently and thinking
about things in a different way is
00:11:57.479 –> 00:11:59.923
something I’m really passionate
00:11:59.935 –> 00:12:03.103
about. The way
that I feel that—often,
00:12:03.127 –> 00:12:08.180
if you have a kind of consciousness
of dyslexia, you kind of—
00:12:08.379 –> 00:12:10.743
you know it, but you don’t
really know anything about it.
00:12:10.768 –> 00:12:15.080
If you picture dyslexia, you’re
probably picturing a child who is
00:12:15.105 –> 00:12:19.184
stuttering with reading or struggling
with learning to spell. And
00:12:19.208 –> 00:12:23.479
although that is the experience of
many dyslexic people, it’s quite a
00:12:23.479 –> 00:12:27.078
narrow lens to look through dyslexia.
There are so many challenges
00:12:27.102 –> 00:12:30.479
that dyslexic people face and
obviously, as we know well, it
00:12:30.479 –> 00:12:34.337
follows you lifelong. So, when
we’re kind of just talking about
00:12:34.361 –> 00:12:38.780
children, that isn’t the entirety of
it and the experience of dyslexic
00:12:38.780 –> 00:12:42.920
people. And so to me, helping
people understand the reality of
00:12:42.945 –> 00:12:45.979
dyslexia and what we’re really
looking at, what we’re really
00:12:45.979 –> 00:12:52.529
experiencing—that the good and
the bad and how it hits us is really,
00:12:52.554 –> 00:12:58.280
really important for creating
change and helping people help us
00:12:58.280 –> 00:13:01.515
create success for ourselves. So
a little bit of this at the beginning
00:13:01.539 –> 00:13:04.680
is going to be talking about
understanding dyslexia because, in my
00:13:04.680 –> 00:13:08.418
personal opinion, if you understand
your brain, then you’re able to
00:13:08.442 –> 00:13:12.180
give yourself some kindness to
reduce the stress and anxiety that
00:13:12.180 –> 00:13:15.544
comes from dyslexia. You’re
able to think of better solutions and
00:13:15.568 –> 00:13:18.879
ways of managing dyslexia.
You’re also able to manage dyslexia
00:13:18.879 –> 00:13:22.563
through much more control.
Instead of going into a meeting,
00:13:22.587 –> 00:13:26.780
realising that you’re struggling,
feeling fearful, keeping quiet,
00:13:26.780 –> 00:13:30.468
you actually go in prepared and
in control and clear on what you
00:13:30.492 –> 00:13:34.180
might need. So much of managing
dyslexia is about managing it in
00:13:34.180 –> 00:13:36.927
advance. And if you don’t understand
that, then that can be really
00:13:36.952 –> 00:13:39.128
difficult. So that’s
why understanding
00:13:39.140 –> 00:13:40.879
dyslexia is something that I’m
00:13:40.879 –> 00:13:45.192
really passionate about. So,
first slide: what is dyslexia?
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I think the way that I like
to think about it is it’s a
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difference in how you process
information, and that difference,
00:13:51.978 –> 00:13:58.080
ultimately, has positive and
negatives. So, in terms of what we’re
00:13:58.080 –> 00:14:01.727
looking at here, the way that I
kind of—the reason why I wanted to
00:14:01.751 –> 00:14:05.680
say that is, like I said, we’re
looking at this really narrow lens of
00:14:05.680 –> 00:14:08.269
how we’re thinking about dyslexia.
We’re thinking about people
00:14:08.293 –> 00:14:11.180
struggling to read, and we’re
thinking about children. And when you
00:14:11.180 –> 00:14:12.856
think about the fact that it’s
00:14:12.868 –> 00:14:15.118
processing information,
it makes sense
00:14:15.142 –> 00:14:19.080
as to why it’s so much of our lives
that are impacted by dyslexia. It
00:14:19.080 –> 00:14:22.469
makes sense that it’s also
confidence challenges that come
00:14:22.493 –> 00:14:26.180
alongside dyslexia. It makes
sense there’s also strengths are
00:14:26.180 –> 00:14:29.771
associated with dyslexia because
if you’re like—OK, you’re struggling
00:14:29.795 –> 00:14:33.068
to read, but how does that have
strengths? Or like, OK, you can’t
00:14:33.093 –> 00:14:36.668
spell. Like, how does that have
an impact on you? I don’t get
00:14:36.692 –> 00:14:40.080
it. Like you’re saying you’re
struggling in a meeting, but I
00:14:40.080 –> 00:14:43.068
thought you couldn’t spell and
we have spellcheck. Like, what? So
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I think when you remember that
it’s a difference in how you process
00:14:47.280 –> 00:14:52.809
information, it can really help
to get a sense of why it’s so
00:14:52.834 –> 00:14:56.379
important to create change.
And what exactly the changes that
00:14:56.379 –> 00:14:58.902
we’re actually looking for
are. And you’ll see the theme
00:14:58.926 –> 00:15:01.680
of difference flowing throughout
this presentation as well.
00:15:03.832 –> 00:15:07.827
So I wanted to kind of start off by
talking about some of the common
00:15:07.851 –> 00:15:11.280
dyslexic challenges that both
dyslexic people themselves don’t
00:15:11.280 –> 00:15:15.268
understand and so many people
in the workplace, also, aren’t really
00:15:15.292 –> 00:15:19.280
aware of. And then we’ll kind of
go into what that looks like and
00:15:19.280 –> 00:15:20.280
what that feels like.
00:15:22.580 –> 00:15:24.770
So the first one is verbal
00:15:24.782 –> 00:15:28.255
instructions. I think
this is a perfect
00:15:28.279 –> 00:15:34.479
example of how dyslexia is so much
more than the reading and spelling,
00:15:34.479 –> 00:15:38.736
and it has such a wide impact.
So this is connected to something
00:15:38.761 –> 00:15:41.979
called working memory, which some
of you may have heard of and some of
00:15:41.979 –> 00:15:45.063
you haven’t, but it’s basically
the section in your brain that deals
00:15:45.088 –> 00:15:49.979
with things coming in. And when
information comes in, your brain is
00:15:49.979 –> 00:15:53.751
scrambling to figure out what to
do with it. It’s like, do I store it?
00:15:53.775 –> 00:15:56.780
Do I answer a question on it?
What do I do? And dyslexic
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people just have a slightly
smaller capacity in that section.
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And so, when your boss shouts over
the desk and says, “Oh,
00:16:06.780 –> 00:16:07.522
Natalie, could you send the
00:16:07.547 –> 00:16:09.840
presentation to Lucy?
I need you to also
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send it to Mike, and I need it to
be sent on the 13th. And what’s
00:16:13.680 –> 00:16:17.079
really important is that you
include X, Y, and Z information.”
00:16:17.104 –> 00:16:20.099
And you’re sitting
there thinking, uh-oh.
00:16:20.123 –> 00:16:22.780
I remember
presentation, and it’s got to
00:16:22.780 –> 00:16:25.330
go to Lucy and someone else,
and there was a date that I said, and
00:16:25.354 –> 00:16:28.180
there was some information I needed
to send. And I think I have it all,
00:16:28.180 –> 00:16:31.343
but I’m not sure. And the natural
reaction because you’re like, the
00:16:31.368 –> 00:16:34.979
last thing I want them to think
is I’m careless is, you just go,
00:16:35.483 –> 00:16:37.671
“OK. I’ll just try and remember
everything. OK. I’ll just
00:16:37.696 –> 00:16:40.680
sit quietly and I hope that I
remember everything. I don’t
00:16:40.680 –> 00:16:43.348
want to highlight that I can’t
remember everything. It was only
00:16:43.373 –> 00:16:47.979
three pieces of information.
Oh no.” Or maybe you ask for it
00:16:47.979 –> 00:16:50.508
again; maybe you kind of pull up
the courage and you say, “Sorry,
00:16:50.532 –> 00:16:53.379
could you just repeat that?” But you
don’t have a pen and paper in your
00:16:53.379 –> 00:16:56.113
hand. You didn’t ask for it to be
emailed. Then you’re going to bed
00:16:56.137 –> 00:16:59.080
at night thinking, “Oh, my God, I
can’t—I hope I remembered everything
00:16:59.080 –> 00:17:01.780
that has to go in that presentation.
I’m not sure. I can’t remember.
00:17:01.805 –> 00:17:03.550
I’m sure it was
correct. Maybe I missed
00:17:03.575 –> 00:17:06.679
something.” You
get the gist. The
00:17:06.679 –> 00:17:08.992
other one is language difficulties.
Obviously, we talked about the
00:17:09.016 –> 00:17:10.144
fact that dyslexia is related to
00:17:10.156 –> 00:17:11.580
spelling, and I think
most people know
00:17:11.580 –> 00:17:15.966
that. But so common is the experience
of dyslexic people being told,
00:17:15.990 –> 00:17:20.179
“Oh, but we have spellcheck.
It’s fine.” And I think it’s about
00:17:20.204 –> 00:17:23.813
understanding that it’s so
much more than that. It’s so much
00:17:23.837 –> 00:17:27.679
more complicated than that, so
much more frustrating than that. I
00:17:27.679 –> 00:17:31.606
can’t tell you how many of my
clients have said to me over the
00:17:31.631 –> 00:17:36.679
years—if spelling was the problem
with dyslexia, if that was it,
00:17:36.704 –> 00:17:40.877
if this was all I was dealing
with, fine, great. I’ve got it.
00:17:40.902 –> 00:17:46.679
It’s OK. I can deal with it. But
it’s the ability to check your own
00:17:46.679 –> 00:17:50.017
work and notice your own mistakes,
despite the fact you’ve checked
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it 10, 15, 20 times. And one of
the things that haunts me still to
00:17:55.780 –> 00:17:59.132
this day as someone who’s
trying to help dyslexic people is the
00:17:59.156 –> 00:18:02.780
challenge of homophones. And
so that is words that look like other
00:18:02.780 –> 00:18:07.426
words or are very similar, we’re
thinking “dairy” and “diary”, “angel”
00:18:07.451 –> 00:18:10.713
and “angle”. The
one that, personally,
00:18:10.725 –> 00:18:13.080
was my nemesis is—like I said, I
00:18:13.080 –> 00:18:18.416
was an account manager for
about 10 years, and I used to write I
00:18:18.441 –> 00:18:23.379
was an account “manger” a lot.
And I can’t tell you how many times I
00:18:23.379 –> 00:18:25.968
got picked up on
that. I was like, “Yeah,
00:18:25.992 –> 00:18:28.580
it’s just spellcheck
doesn’t pick it up.”
00:18:32.219 –> 00:18:35.364
And then the other thing I wanted
to kind of touch on is with regards
00:18:35.389 –> 00:18:38.980
to reading. Obviously, again,
reading is a really common dyslexics’
00:18:38.980 –> 00:18:43.018
challenge, that we may know
about. But I think one of the things
00:18:43.042 –> 00:18:47.080
that’s better to understand
with dyslexia is it’s not just the
00:18:47.080 –> 00:18:51.620
challenge of reading: it’s the time
that it takes to read the information
00:18:51.644 –> 00:18:55.679
and the knock-on effect that
that has, or the fact that this is
00:18:55.679 –> 00:18:59.319
not our natural skill or
strength. And so, if we’re having to
00:18:59.343 –> 00:19:03.580
process a lot of information, it
can be hugely draining, hugely
00:19:03.580 –> 00:19:10.135
frustrating and can result in
feeling absolutely exhausted after
00:19:10.188 –> 00:19:14.580
doing one of these tasks that
really just don’t feel like where
00:19:14.580 –> 00:19:17.531
you’re supposed to be or how
your brain is supposed to work.
00:19:17.556 –> 00:19:21.679
It just feels like—often what
my clients say is it feels like it’s
00:19:21.704 –> 00:19:26.955
pushing a boulder uphill, and
it’s so frustrating. So we talked
00:19:26.980 –> 00:19:29.980
a little bit about the challenges
and what they may look like and
00:19:29.980 –> 00:19:34.038
examples of them, but what is the
reality of the dyslexic experiences
00:19:34.063 –> 00:19:38.379
behind that? And it will make sense
shortly as to why I’m touching on
00:19:38.379 –> 00:19:43.086
this and why I think this is so
important because this is what I’m
00:19:43.110 –> 00:19:48.179
seeing all day, every day. So this
may be you. Like I said, if you’re
00:19:48.179 –> 00:19:51.073
a person who’s struggling with
your own dyslexia or trying to
00:19:51.097 –> 00:19:54.379
create success with your dyslexia,
or this could be your team, this
00:19:54.379 –> 00:19:59.318
could be a large swathes of your
employees if you’re in—kind of in
00:19:59.342 –> 00:20:04.280
a managerial position, the reality
is so many dyslexic people fear
00:20:04.305 –> 00:20:08.768
being outside of their comfort zone.
And that might mean pushing back
00:20:08.792 –> 00:20:12.980
on a promotion. It might mean not
speaking up in a meeting: they’ve
00:20:12.980 –> 00:20:16.217
got an idea or a thought or something
that they think they want to say,
00:20:16.242 –> 00:20:20.179
but there’s this voice and their
head that says, “No, I’m definitely
00:20:20.179 –> 00:20:23.517
wrong. I can’t be right. Oh, I
don’t want to say anything. What if I
00:20:23.541 –> 00:20:26.879
say it wrong?” And you lose that
idea. You lose that thought. You lose
00:20:26.879 –> 00:20:29.565
that experience of that person
because they just are too afraid to
00:20:29.590 –> 00:20:33.879
speak up. Or maybe there’s a project
they would be amazing at running,
00:20:33.879 –> 00:20:36.668
but because they’ve never done
it before, and the fear of putting
00:20:36.692 –> 00:20:39.480
themselves in the spotlight means
that they’re not going to take it
00:20:39.480 –> 00:20:41.675
on, they’re going
to just sit quietly.
00:20:41.700 –> 00:20:43.966
Or the fear that maybe it will
00:20:44.042 –> 00:20:48.580
take on too much time and they won’t
be quick enough. And so the just—
00:20:48.605 –> 00:20:52.338
the natural desire is to just stay
in the background: Stay. Stay
00:20:52.363 –> 00:20:56.280
quiet, try and stay in their comfort
zone. That means that we miss
00:20:56.280 –> 00:21:00.250
out on ideas. It means we miss
out on experience. It means that we
00:21:00.275 –> 00:21:04.980
miss out on the opportunity to
progress ourselves. And I can’t tell
00:21:04.980 –> 00:21:08.168
you how common this is. I have a
client at the moment, who I’m in a
00:21:08.192 –> 00:21:11.379
full-on battle with. He’s determined
to request a demotion, and I’m
00:21:11.379 –> 00:21:14.574
determined that he shall not request
a demotion because every single
00:21:14.598 –> 00:21:16.065
day he’s living in fear of this
00:21:16.077 –> 00:21:18.080
particular meeting
he has to go to every
00:21:18.105 –> 00:21:22.646
week. And because of that, he
wants to ask for a demotion. This
00:21:22.671 –> 00:21:28.179
is the extent to which it impacts
and permeates our careers. The
00:21:28.179 –> 00:21:32.127
other one is the—I can’t tell you
how common it is. Again, if you’re
00:21:32.151 –> 00:21:35.980
a dyslexic person yourself, you
will know this. The making jokes
00:21:35.980 –> 00:21:39.168
about yourself. The putting
yourself out there first, the being
00:21:39.192 –> 00:21:42.379
like, “Oh, sorry, I’ve got a
brain like a sieve.” Or like, “I may
00:21:42.379 –> 00:21:46.617
not be a natural blonde, but I
sure well should be.” Or, “I couldn’t
00:21:46.641 –> 00:21:50.879
organise a piss-up in a brewery.”
You know? Whatever it is. It’s so
00:21:50.879 –> 00:21:54.545
common for dyslexic people to put
themselves down. And that means
00:21:54.569 –> 00:21:58.580
that our colleagues don’t believe
in us. That means that people think
00:21:58.580 –> 00:22:02.468
we’re not capable. They don’t listen
to our ideas, or maybe it’s just,
00:22:02.492 –> 00:22:04.677
if we constantly
are putting ourselves
00:22:04.689 –> 00:22:06.379
down, then that’s a statement
00:22:06.379 –> 00:22:10.418
on how we’re feeling about
ourselves. And it results in further
00:22:10.442 –> 00:22:14.480
pushing yourself down in almost
a self-fulfilling prophecy. You
00:22:14.480 –> 00:22:18.230
think you are useless, and so
therefore, it results in it being
00:22:18.255 –> 00:22:23.179
the case. Or maybe you don’t
make—you don’t ask for help or you
00:22:23.179 –> 00:22:25.933
feel uncomfortable putting
yourself in a position where maybe
00:22:25.957 –> 00:22:29.080
you’re talking about the fact
that you’re struggling, and it’s just
00:22:29.080 –> 00:22:33.360
easier to make little jokes
about yourself. I see it time after
00:22:33.384 –> 00:22:38.080
time after time and it’s something
that I am constantly advising my
00:22:38.080 –> 00:22:42.068
clients against. Like I said, these
the stories are going to come from a
00:22:42.092 –> 00:22:46.080
little bit from me and then a little
bit from my clients. I actually—to
00:22:46.080 –> 00:22:50.099
really hammer home this point,
when I was younger and I was working
00:22:50.123 –> 00:22:54.080
in this big tech company that I
guarantee you’ve all heard of, I
00:22:54.080 –> 00:22:57.950
worked the same—I started the same
time as this girl, and I subsequently
00:22:57.974 –> 00:23:01.679
found out she’s being paid £10,000
more than me. And I was a little
00:23:01.679 –> 00:23:05.328
disappointed, and I found
out that it was because I kind of
00:23:05.352 –> 00:23:09.379
lowballed myself in the interview
stage. I’d said that I wasn’t
00:23:09.379 –> 00:23:11.900
really that competent, and, you know,
they weren’t really sure whether
00:23:11.925 –> 00:23:15.379
or not they wanted to hire me.
And so they hired me at a much lower
00:23:15.379 –> 00:23:20.117
salary, which obviously sucks. But
then it gets worse. So then I’m on
00:23:20.141 –> 00:23:24.666
the cusp of a promotion and they
tell me that I have to take on this
00:23:24.691 –> 00:23:28.399
new account to be able to show
that I’m capable of this new amount
00:23:28.423 –> 00:23:31.780
of money, which is fine. And
I’m taking over this account and
00:23:31.780 –> 00:23:35.525
it’s going well, and my colleague
says to me, “You know, Natalie,
00:23:35.550 –> 00:23:40.179
you’re actually really good at
your job.” And I was like, “Yeah.” I
00:23:40.179 –> 00:23:43.941
didn’t think that was—I thought
that was a given. And she was like,
00:23:43.965 –> 00:23:48.080
“No, but you constantly talk about
how you’re not good enough.” And I
00:23:48.080 –> 00:23:49.405
was like, “Oh, well.
Yeah. But they’re
00:23:49.430 –> 00:23:52.318
just jokes.” She was like, “Well,
00:23:52.342 –> 00:23:54.308
why would I know
otherwise? If you
00:23:54.320 –> 00:23:56.580
think you’re bad,
then why would I take
00:23:56.580 –> 00:23:58.822
the time to realise
that you weren’t?”
00:23:58.834 –> 00:24:01.510
And she actually told me that
00:24:01.535 –> 00:24:04.580
when this account was being taken
off her and given to me, she had
00:24:04.580 –> 00:24:07.468
protested, and said that I wasn’t
good enough or wasn’t capable.
00:24:07.492 –> 00:24:10.379
And that was partly because of
the way that I used to speak about
00:24:10.379 –> 00:24:15.044
myself. So these are the realities
of how feeling different and
00:24:15.056 –> 00:24:19.879
feeling uncomfortable and feeling
frustrated in the workplace can
00:24:19.879 –> 00:24:23.394
result and have a huge impact on
both how your employees are able
00:24:23.406 –> 00:24:27.843
to show up for you or how you’re
able to show up for yourself in your career.
00:24:27.868 –> 00:24:28.988
You would think I would
00:24:29.013 –> 00:24:30.655
have heeded her
advice if I—so she said
00:24:30.680 –> 00:24:33.280
to me, “Like, you’ve got to stop with
this, like, seriously, you’ve got
00:24:33.280 –> 00:24:37.321
to—this is not fair.” And you’d
think I would have heeded her advice.
00:24:37.346 –> 00:24:42.179
Oh, no. I went on to another
company, another tech company
00:24:42.179 –> 00:24:49.163
that I guarantee you have heard of,
and you had to do a peer 360 feedback.
00:24:49.175 –> 00:24:55.980
And in the 360, they had 17 people—I
still remember counting it today—
00:24:55.980 –> 00:24:57.640
say, “Natalie should
speak more kindly
00:24:57.664 –> 00:24:59.551
about herself.”
“Natalie is awfully harsh
00:24:59.576 –> 00:25:03.480
on herself.” “Natalie really puts herself
down.” And reading it over and over
00:25:03.480 –> 00:25:07.948
again. I was like, it’s so deep,
the feeling sometimes that you
00:25:07.960 –> 00:25:12.580
don’t realise how it’s coming
out and how it’s showing itself. And
00:25:12.580 –> 00:25:15.853
then the final one that I see over
and over again is dyslexic
00:25:15.878 –> 00:25:21.080
people being too fearful to ask
for help or too nervous to suggest
00:25:21.080 –> 00:25:24.596
anything that might make their
load easier because they’re worried
00:25:24.621 –> 00:25:29.980
about how it would be perceived
or how it will go down or what kind
00:25:29.980 –> 00:25:34.778
of things people will think of
them. And so, usually, we struggle in
00:25:34.803 –> 00:25:40.679
silence. We just take on the extra
work quietly and happily, or maybe
00:25:40.679 –> 00:25:44.835
we refuse to say no to tasks
because we’re too fearful of showing
00:25:44.847 –> 00:25:49.080
that we’re slightly drowning and
struggling. Or maybe you’re just
00:25:49.080 –> 00:25:54.057
living every single day, coming home
from work, thinking I am absolutely
00:25:54.069 –> 00:25:58.580
exhausted because of how much
work and time I’ve put into things.
00:25:58.605 –> 00:26:01.231
So this is the reality of what
we’re thinking about with dyslexic
00:26:01.256 –> 00:26:05.480
challenges. Like yeah, it’s working
memory. Yeah, it’s challenges
00:26:05.480 –> 00:26:10.581
with spelling and reading. But in
reality, it’s so much deeper than
00:26:10.606 –> 00:26:14.980
that, and it’s so much more than
that. The other thing in terms of
00:26:14.980 –> 00:26:17.403
understanding dyslexia that I’m
always really passionate about
00:26:17.428 –> 00:26:24.379
talking about is how dyslexia
co-occurs and has so many different
00:26:24.379 –> 00:26:28.236
areas that it comes in with. I
like to think of neurodiversity
00:26:28.248 –> 00:26:32.179
as a mojito. Everyone’s had a
mojito, but—everyone knows what a
00:26:32.179 –> 00:26:35.072
mojito is and kind of understands
the general themes of it. But
00:26:35.084 –> 00:26:38.080
how many times have we had three
different mojitos and they taste
00:26:38.080 –> 00:26:41.318
completely different? And that’s
the importance of understanding
00:26:41.330 –> 00:26:44.080
the co-occurrences that
come with your neurodiversity.
00:26:46.234 –> 00:26:50.088
So getting onto supporting dyslexics—I
was terrified that I was going
00:26:50.113 –> 00:26:55.080
to be running under time; I’m now
running over time as per ush. So
00:26:55.245 –> 00:26:59.411
supporting dyslexics and trying to
create success in the workplace—So
00:26:59.436 –> 00:27:03.679
I think I’ve made a pretty good
job of explaining that dyslexic
00:27:03.679 –> 00:27:08.385
people feel different and that
sometimes is awkward and weird. So one
00:27:08.397 –> 00:27:12.980
of the things I wanted to talk
about in terms of a broad theme that
00:27:13.005 –> 00:27:16.255
both when you’re thinking about
what you’re looking for from an
00:27:16.280 –> 00:27:20.080
employer and yourself as an employer.
What are the things that every
00:27:20.080 –> 00:27:23.460
workplace can do, every workplace
can initiate? Whether or not
00:27:23.472 –> 00:27:27.080
you have a white-collar job or
you do something different or maybe
00:27:27.080 –> 00:27:31.594
you’re kind of like—any range
of employers that I thought, this
00:27:31.619 –> 00:27:35.480
would be the—I really like these
two pillars that I think everyone
00:27:35.480 –> 00:27:39.060
can implement. And obviously
we’ve talked about the importance
00:27:39.072 –> 00:27:42.379
of assistive technology and
how it absolutely changes the
00:27:42.379 –> 00:27:45.520
game for dyslexic people. But
the two things that I think we need
00:27:45.532 –> 00:27:48.780
on top of that that often we maybe
don’t think about or are unaware
00:27:48.780 –> 00:27:54.713
of is flexibility and kindness
because that can really create so much
00:27:54.725 –> 00:28:01.179
change for people. So what is flexibility
and kindness? What on Earth am I
00:28:01.179 –> 00:28:02.780
rabbiting on about? Well,
00:28:04.988 –> 00:28:07.652
again, we’ve talked about the
fact that dyslexic minds think
00:28:07.677 –> 00:28:10.679
differently, and we have different
challenges and different strengths.
00:28:10.704 –> 00:28:14.939
And, creating flexibility in like,
does things have to be done that
00:28:14.951 –> 00:28:18.780
way? Could we look at something
differently? Could we take on board
00:28:18.780 –> 00:28:23.282
this new approach? Or could we look
at how we can figure the team can
00:28:23.294 –> 00:28:27.679
be critical for creating success,
and to try and help people really
00:28:27.679 –> 00:28:32.038
feel comfortable and successful
and looking at the makeup of a team
00:28:32.050 –> 00:28:36.679
and tasks and processes to really
think about things that could be done
00:28:36.679 –> 00:28:42.432
differently. So, one of the things
I’ve noticed about dyslexic people
00:28:42.444 –> 00:28:47.879
that are able to create success,
is when we create the process,
00:28:47.879 –> 00:28:52.452
when we are the one who has full
control of things, when we are the
00:28:52.477 –> 00:28:58.580
one who does things from end to
end, often we are so successful. So
00:28:58.580 –> 00:29:02.040
if you’re thinking to yourself
or just feeling like this isn’t
00:29:02.052 –> 00:29:05.580
working. This is just feeling
really like—oh, I’m frustrated or
00:29:05.580 –> 00:29:09.664
like, doesn’t feel like it’s clicking.
Ask yourself how much autonomy
00:29:09.676 –> 00:29:13.480
do I have over that process?
Did I create this process? Would it
00:29:13.480 –> 00:29:17.407
be useful if I kind of re-engineered
things? Dyslexic people are amazing
00:29:17.419 –> 00:29:20.980
at simplifying things. So looking
at a process and thinking, well
00:29:20.980 –> 00:29:24.776
that’s wonky. What if we did it
just bam, bam, bam, and maybe it’s
00:29:24.801 –> 00:29:29.480
simpler and easier? And so often I
speak to dyslexic people who have
00:29:29.567 –> 00:29:33.288
jiggled around companies’ systems
and approaches and once people
00:29:33.300 –> 00:29:36.879
have noticed it, or maybe they’re
privately doing it their way, and
00:29:36.879 –> 00:29:39.728
then everyone’s like, “Oh, that looks
great. Why don’t we initiate that?”
00:29:39.740 –> 00:29:42.679
And you’re like, “Oh, well, I just
didn’t want to say anything,” or “I just
00:29:42.679 –> 00:29:46.629
didn’t want to cause a fuss.” So
often changing a process or a system
00:29:46.654 –> 00:29:52.179
to find things your way can be
really helpful. The other thing is
00:29:52.204 –> 00:29:55.313
flexibility on how we’re explaining
things or how we’re approaching
00:29:55.325 –> 00:29:58.379
things. How many times have you sat
in a meeting and thought to yourself,
00:29:58.379 –> 00:30:02.580
“I do not understand what they’re
saying and I’m going to smile and
00:30:02.592 –> 00:30:06.679
I’m going to nod and hopefully
it will be fine.” Often one of the
00:30:06.679 –> 00:30:10.193
things that dyslexic people say
to me, is they say, “I just kind of
00:30:10.205 –> 00:30:13.679
don’t really understand, and I
don’t really understand why I don’t
00:30:13.679 –> 00:30:18.236
understand.” And one of the things
I consistently say to people to
00:30:18.261 –> 00:30:24.080
try and help create success and
to think about things differently is
00:30:24.105 –> 00:30:28.676
try and ask for the context of things.
Dyslexic people love to know why.
00:30:28.688 –> 00:30:32.780
We have this brain that likes to
see the top level of things, likes to
00:30:32.780 –> 00:30:36.062
see the interconnections of
things. So when you’re explaining
00:30:36.074 –> 00:30:39.580
something to a dyslexic person,
examples of how that might be the
00:30:39.580 –> 00:30:43.113
case or providing them context
on why they’re in this meeting or
00:30:43.125 –> 00:30:46.780
what is going on—ideally, providing
that information in advance so
00:30:46.780 –> 00:30:50.550
that they can start getting that
processing speed going and starting
00:30:50.562 –> 00:30:54.072
putting the thoughts together.
So explaining information in a way
00:30:54.097 –> 00:30:59.287
that is new or different and being
flexible and that ability to maybe
00:30:59.312 –> 00:31:02.580
answer some questions that don’t
instantly feel like they make sense,
00:31:02.580 –> 00:31:06.089
but might help click something
for someone. That’s a tip I give to
00:31:06.101 –> 00:31:09.780
all my clients, and they really
love it. So the context of things, if
00:31:09.780 –> 00:31:14.028
you’re struggling, is a really big
one to go for. And the other thing
00:31:14.040 –> 00:31:18.179
is, I’m working with someone at
the moment. The reality is, there’s
00:31:18.179 –> 00:31:22.058
some tasks and elements of a
role that is just really tricky for
00:31:22.070 –> 00:31:26.379
dyslexic people. And we’ll go onto
that in a little bit of what kind of
00:31:26.379 –> 00:31:29.914
tasks they may look like. And I’m
working with someone at the moment
00:31:29.926 –> 00:31:33.679
who’s really struggling with—she has
to check this form and then she has
00:31:33.679 –> 00:31:37.118
to send it off. And she’s an
auditor, so this form matters; it’s
00:31:37.130 –> 00:31:40.580
really important. And she’s
consistently making mistakes for the
00:31:40.580 –> 00:31:42.662
last few months, and she’s feeling
really at the end of her tether.
00:31:42.687 –> 00:31:46.379
And we came up with a load of ways
of thinking about it and loads of
00:31:46.379 –> 00:31:50.172
different things, and she was still
finding it just a really anxious
00:31:50.184 –> 00:31:53.879
and stressful process. Even though
she wasn’t making any mistakes,
00:31:53.912 –> 00:31:58.418
the mental load it was putting on
her was really having an impact. And
00:31:58.430 –> 00:32:02.580
I said to her, “Listen, would it be
considered a reasonable adjustment
00:32:02.580 –> 00:32:06.287
to take away this element of your
tasks and to maybe look at someone
00:32:06.299 –> 00:32:10.179
else doing this, who wouldn’t find
it so stressful?” And we went to her
00:32:10.179 –> 00:32:13.152
employer; we explained the situation;
we put it together, put her
00:32:13.177 –> 00:32:18.080
email together, together. Put her
email together, together—strange
00:32:18.080 –> 00:32:24.704
sentence. And they were able to
look at the way that the team was
00:32:24.729 –> 00:32:27.780
structured and have flexibility
on what exactly her tasks were.
00:32:27.805 –> 00:32:31.418
Because her value lay elsewhere,
what she was good at and what she
00:32:31.430 –> 00:32:34.980
was able to be freed up to do was so
much more substantive and so much
00:32:34.980 –> 00:32:39.400
more important than making sure
this form was correct. So that’s some
00:32:39.412 –> 00:32:43.780
areas of what flexibility may look
like. The second one is kindness.
00:32:44.624 –> 00:32:48.452
So we’ve talked a lot about stress
and anxiety and how that’s a huge
00:32:48.477 –> 00:32:52.280
blocker for dyslexic people.
There’s also research that cortisol,
00:32:52.280 –> 00:32:56.518
obviously, the hormone related
to stress and anxiety, actually,
00:32:56.530 –> 00:33:00.904
impacts dyslexic challenges,
particularly working memory. So, not
00:33:00.929 –> 00:33:04.708
only does it feel like it makes
things worse, it might actually
00:33:04.733 –> 00:33:10.980
make things worse as well. One
of the things that I often say to
00:33:10.980 –> 00:33:13.404
clients when they come to me,
and we’re trying to work out what’s
00:33:13.429 –> 00:33:16.179
the best thing for them, what’s
going to be the most useful, is I say
00:33:16.179 –> 00:33:19.198
to them, “Well, can you tell me a
time when you’ve done a similar
00:33:19.210 –> 00:33:22.379
task and it’s felt like it’s gone
better? And maybe we can pull some
00:33:22.379 –> 00:33:25.277
themes of what worked there
across and figure it out.” This is a
00:33:25.289 –> 00:33:28.379
great question to ask yourself if
you’re ever struggling by the way,
00:33:28.497 –> 00:33:31.789
“Have I ever done this before, and
what did I do well?” Because often,
00:33:31.801 –> 00:33:34.780
we kind of know what we need but
we just feel unsure about whether or
00:33:34.780 –> 00:33:37.796
not it’s going to work. Or if I
could click my fingers and ask
00:33:37.808 –> 00:33:40.980
for anything, what would it be?
That’s another nice question that
00:33:41.220 –> 00:33:46.554
always helps get the juices flowing
and what you might find useful.
00:33:47.198 –> 00:33:50.480
And the thing that my clients
say to me over and over again,
00:33:51.026 –> 00:33:55.103
“Well, I’ve just recently changed
bosses and the one I had before
00:33:55.128 –> 00:33:57.511
was just really understanding,
and it just made me feel really
00:33:57.536 –> 00:34:00.636
comfortable and capable. And
now, I just feel really awkward about
00:34:00.675 –> 00:34:03.480
the fact that I’m struggling and
I feel really embarrassed and
00:34:03.480 –> 00:34:08.609
it’s just making it 10x
worse.” So often, this is where
00:34:08.621 –> 00:34:14.679
awareness comes into the picture
because the perceived feeling of
00:34:14.679 –> 00:34:18.934
dyslexic people is these challenges
that we have that maybe are
00:34:18.946 –> 00:34:23.279
a little bit more unique to
us—oh, like, it’s not. We worry that
00:34:23.279 –> 00:34:28.162
people perceive us as stupid
or a problem or less than in some
00:34:28.174 –> 00:34:33.380
way. And so when you have that
understanding and that kindness and
00:34:33.380 –> 00:34:37.527
that acceptance of the reality of
what this difference feels like, it
00:34:37.539 –> 00:34:41.580
can go such a long way to feeling
like you’re able to thrive and to be
00:34:41.580 –> 00:34:42.590
00:34:44.875 –> 00:34:48.544
So what is some of the value of
kindness? What are some of the
00:34:48.569 –> 00:34:54.980
things we’re thinking about? So
one of the things that I often say to
00:34:54.980 –> 00:35:00.575
people is the concept of bearing
with. So one of the things I say to
00:35:00.600 –> 00:35:03.679
dyslexic people, and we’re going to
talk about the strengths in a bit—is
00:35:03.856 –> 00:35:08.551
with dyslexia, we’re often looking
at trying to help you just help
00:35:08.576 –> 00:35:12.080
your team bear with you through
some of these challenges because
00:35:12.080 –> 00:35:14.524
you’re going to offer something
in return. So there’s some things
00:35:14.536 –> 00:35:16.880
that you’re going to find
difficult that’s going to take you a
00:35:16.880 –> 00:35:19.299
little bit longer that maybe you
need some help with, maybe you need
00:35:19.324 –> 00:35:22.279
some flexibility on, maybe you
need some kindness on. And you just
00:35:22.279 –> 00:35:25.142
need people to bear with you on
that because you’re going to offer
00:35:25.167 –> 00:35:28.931
something in return. And so the
way to think about this kindness
00:35:28.956 –> 00:35:33.945
is you just really want someone
to bear with you. So kindness
00:35:33.970 –> 00:35:37.480
is being OK with taking a
little bit of extra time to explain
00:35:37.480 –> 00:35:40.766
something. Maybe someone else
will pick it up in 15 minutes, but
00:35:40.778 –> 00:35:44.279
you’re going to take 30 minutes,
and that’s OK because they’re going
00:35:44.279 –> 00:35:48.272
to be with you because it’s
the kindness of that little bit of
00:35:48.284 –> 00:35:52.276
flexibility. You take 30 minutes
to explain something? OK, great.
00:35:52.301 –> 00:35:55.918
But in return—I don’t know if
there’s any dyslexic people in the
00:35:55.930 –> 00:35:59.279
audience that might resonate
with this—often dyslexic people say
00:35:59.279 –> 00:36:02.198
to me, “I just struggle to understand
things. I’m so frustrated. Things
00:36:02.223 –> 00:36:05.679
take me longer.” But what we often
don’t realise is that once things
00:36:05.679 –> 00:36:09.068
are through the door, once things
make sense to us, the things we’re
00:36:09.080 –> 00:36:12.480
able to do with them, the way we’re
able to put things in place, the
00:36:12.480 –> 00:36:15.751
changes of systems we’re able
to do, the problems we’re able
00:36:15.776 –> 00:36:19.580
to create, the creativity we can
have with those problems is so
00:36:19.580 –> 00:36:23.773
exciting. So yes, you take 15 minutes
extra to explain things because
00:36:23.798 –> 00:36:26.080
you want context, because you
want examples, because you’ve got to
00:36:26.080 –> 00:36:30.203
take screenshots because you
need to have it recorded, but you’re
00:36:30.228 –> 00:36:33.279
worth bearing with because
when the information is in the door,
00:36:33.304 –> 00:36:37.852
you’re going to be successful
with it. Maybe it’s the kindness
00:36:37.864 –> 00:36:42.080
of someone else helping to
check your work. You know that one
00:36:42.080 –> 00:36:46.437
in ten documents really matter and
they really need to be checked and
00:36:46.449 –> 00:36:50.880
so therefore, you are going to ask,
maybe a junior member of your team
00:36:50.905 –> 00:36:54.155
or maybe another friend in your
team who’s going to check over your
00:36:54.180 –> 00:36:56.980
work and because it’s just one in
every ten documents, they’re not going
00:36:56.980 –> 00:36:59.641
to make a fuss about it. They’re not
going to make you feel bad. They’re
00:36:59.653 –> 00:37:02.179
going to remind you it’s one in
every ten documents, and it’s really
00:37:02.179 –> 00:37:06.710
not the end of the world. And we’re
going to touch on this in a little bit.
00:37:06.735 –> 00:37:10.580
I’m going to explain this in a little
bit more detail, but, again, we’ve
00:37:10.580 –> 00:37:14.706
talked about difference when it
comes to dyslexia and that’s what can
00:37:14.718 –> 00:37:18.679
be really frustrating, understanding
that dyslexic challenges look
00:37:18.679 –> 00:37:22.092
different, and that’s OK. The
list of things that you’re struggling
00:37:22.104 –> 00:37:25.580
with are just a list of things that
you’re struggling with. Everyone
00:37:25.580 –> 00:37:29.822
is struggling with something,
these just happen to be yours.
00:37:29.847 –> 00:37:34.179
I’m going to say it again, loudly, for
the people in the back that are
00:37:34.179 –> 00:37:39.434
listening to me but ignoring this
point. Everyone has challenges.
00:37:39.459 –> 00:37:44.080
These just happen to be yours. Because,
I don’t know about you, but when I
00:37:44.080 –> 00:37:47.151
used to sit in my annual review
and year, after year, after year,
00:37:47.163 –> 00:37:50.480
after year, my bosses would say to
them—and there were many. I mean, I
00:37:50.480 –> 00:37:54.718
think I had 25 bosses.
Honestly, they would just rotate
00:37:54.730 –> 00:37:58.980
every 18 months. They would
say to me, “Oh, yeah. Great
00:37:58.980 –> 00:38:00.545
job, Natalie, this
year. Really pleased
00:38:00.569 –> 00:38:02.297
with everything,
blah, blah, blah, blah.
00:38:02.322 –> 00:38:05.480
Could you just double-check your
work though? Just do make sure that you
00:38:05.480 –> 00:38:07.316
double-check your work.”
And you’re like [chuckles]
00:38:07.341 –> 00:38:11.007
double-check my work.
If only I’d thought of that.
00:38:13.856 –> 00:38:18.548
But the reality is that it took me
so long to understand is someone
00:38:18.560 –> 00:38:22.779
else’s coming into that meeting
room after me and they’re going to
00:38:22.779 –> 00:38:25.692
have a meeting about their annual
review, and they’re not going to be
00:38:25.717 –> 00:38:29.480
told to double-check their work,
but maybe they’re going to be told
00:38:29.480 –> 00:38:33.468
that it’s really important that this
is a kind of an area where we’re
00:38:33.480 –> 00:38:37.480
moving the company forward and we’re
moving the team forward and they
00:38:37.480 –> 00:38:40.468
really need to contribute ideas,
or maybe they’re going to be
00:38:40.480 –> 00:38:43.480
taught about their management
style and the fact that they’re
00:38:43.480 –> 00:38:46.223
struggling a little bit with empathy,
and it’s really important that
00:38:46.248 –> 00:38:50.051
they manage that process better.
Everyone has challenges.
00:38:50.076 –> 00:38:51.580
These just happen to be yours.
00:38:53.840 –> 00:38:57.526
The other thing that I wanted
to kind of—I really like to offer
00:38:57.551 –> 00:39:01.779
my clients and people that I’m
speaking to ways of thinking about
00:39:01.779 –> 00:39:05.338
dyslexia differently. And
this is one of my favourites.
00:39:05.363 –> 00:39:10.580
I used to be the type of person who I said at
the beginning, who was the keeping
00:39:10.580 –> 00:39:13.912
themselves in the shadows
keeping themselves quiet, feeling
00:39:13.937 –> 00:39:17.615
concerned and nervous about
putting myself out there too much
00:39:17.640 –> 00:39:20.076
because I thought the spotlight
would shine on me and everyone would
00:39:20.101 –> 00:39:22.635
realise I wasn’t good enough or I
wasn’t capable or I wasn’t meant to
00:39:22.660 –> 00:39:26.918
be here. Imposter syndrome
was raging. And I used to have this
00:39:26.930 –> 00:39:30.880
quiet, subtle, private—you would
never hear me say, “I can’t do
00:39:30.880 –> 00:39:35.348
this. I’m dyslexic.” I just would
quietly feel it. I would just kind
00:39:35.360 –> 00:39:39.580
of amend myself. I would just
keep my world small. So, I like to
00:39:39.580 –> 00:39:43.726
say it’s not, “I can’t do that
because I’m dyslexic.” It’s, “I need
00:39:43.738 –> 00:39:48.080
to do that differently because I’m
dyslexic.” And maybe differently is
00:39:48.080 –> 00:39:51.651
accepting that it might take you a
little bit longer. Maybe differently is
00:39:51.676 –> 00:39:56.080
looking at the process differently or
asking for a different set of roles or
00:39:56.080 –> 00:40:00.450
tasks or someone to help you with
something that seems obvious and
00:40:00.475 –> 00:40:06.179
easy to other people but isn’t for
you. So it’s not, “I can’t do that
00:40:06.179 –> 00:40:07.710
because I’m
dyslexic.” It’s, “I need to
00:40:07.722 –> 00:40:09.380
do that differently
because I’m dyslexic.”
00:40:12.013 –> 00:40:16.193
OK. This is the last piece on the
00:40:17.950 –> 00:40:20.509
different approaches. And then we’re
going to jump into the strengths.
00:40:20.521 –> 00:40:23.380
I’m going to try and go quickly.
I’m so sorry. I’m over running over
00:40:23.380 –> 00:40:28.501
time. So what different may look
like, here’s just a few examples
00:40:28.526 –> 00:40:31.779
that I wanted to give to
people who are looking for really
00:40:31.779 –> 00:40:36.445
specific takeaways and things
that they can implement today. The
00:40:36.457 –> 00:40:41.279
first one is visual-led systems:
anything that helps you feel like
00:40:41.279 –> 00:40:45.870
your brain is out on the page.
You’re able to see what is going on.
00:40:45.895 –> 00:40:50.880
If you’re able to feel in control
of everything, that visual-led
00:40:50.880 –> 00:40:53.682
system can make such a difference.
If you struggle with remembering
00:40:53.707 –> 00:40:57.589
things, how is your reminder
system going to be as visual as
00:40:57.614 –> 00:41:01.494
possible? If you feel like you’re
getting behind on all your tasks,
00:41:01.506 –> 00:41:05.179
how can your overview of what
you need to be doing be as visual as
00:41:05.179 –> 00:41:08.437
possible so you can see red is there;
amber is there; green is there?
00:41:08.462 –> 00:41:12.679
What is it that you’re doing to be
able to give you that snapshot that
00:41:12.679 –> 00:41:16.835
your brain loves so much? The
other thing we talked a little bit
00:41:16.860 –> 00:41:20.179
about is the practical ways of
working. So, when someone is explaining
00:41:20.179 –> 00:41:23.437
something, running through it
sitting there with you, rather than
00:41:23.462 –> 00:41:27.455
explaining it and you just kind of
process the information like, “Yeah,
00:41:27.480 –> 00:41:30.939
yeah, I understand [nervous laugh].”
So sitting step-by-step and running
00:41:30.951 –> 00:41:34.101
through something, providing examples
of something, giving context to
00:41:34.126 –> 00:41:39.843
something, anything that can
start utilising that multi-sensory
00:41:39.868 –> 00:41:42.980
learning can be really, really
useful. So someone explains something,
00:41:42.980 –> 00:41:46.093
and you write it down at the same
time. These kind of things are so,
00:41:46.118 –> 00:41:50.179
so useful to jump into different
parts of our brain and be able to
00:41:50.179 –> 00:41:53.145
create multiple hooks. That’s
the way I think about it, is the
00:41:53.170 –> 00:41:57.779
information is just swimming
past and your job is to have as
00:41:57.779 –> 00:42:01.647
many fish hooks as you can to
just grab that information and take
00:42:01.659 –> 00:42:05.480
it into your brain. And then we
talked a little bit about the getting
00:42:05.480 –> 00:42:08.198
context and background information
because that is one that honestly
00:42:08.223 –> 00:42:14.980
helps so many people. So that’s just
me reiterating that. OK. Dyslexia
00:42:14.980 –> 00:42:18.722
as a strength. So we talked
a little bit about the concept
00:42:18.734 –> 00:42:22.679
of bearing with. So you are
doing things differently, you are
00:42:22.679 –> 00:42:25.373
processing things differently,
and it’s frustrating. And you’re
00:42:25.385 –> 00:42:28.179
thinking to yourself it’s got
challenges, and I’m finding that
00:42:28.179 –> 00:42:31.270
really tough, and I’m really frustrated,
and I don’t want to be a burden
00:42:31.295 –> 00:42:34.380
to my team, and I don’t want to
be frustrating, and I don’t want to
00:42:34.405 –> 00:42:38.918
feel embarrassed about this
reality that I’m dealing with.
00:42:38.930 –> 00:42:42.935
Well, this is where we talk about the
opportunities and the value that
00:42:42.960 –> 00:42:46.958
comes from the dyslexic strengths
because you are worth bearing with.
00:42:47.154 –> 00:42:52.583
So the concept of this for dyslexic
people is often we feel like we’re not
00:42:52.608 –> 00:42:55.669
good enough or a burden, and
that can impact the stress; it can
00:42:55.694 –> 00:43:01.279
make things worse. It often—confidence
is the number one skill for
00:43:01.279 –> 00:43:04.846
navigating dyslexic challenges.
Just one example of this I was
00:43:04.858 –> 00:43:08.107
talking about on my LinkedIn
this morning is so many dyslexic
00:43:08.132 –> 00:43:12.029
people are super nervous
and frustrated and worried about
00:43:12.041 –> 00:43:15.842
public speaking because they
worry about the challenge of the word
00:43:15.867 –> 00:43:19.748
recall—words coming—they come into
your head, and you think to yourself,
00:43:19.773 –> 00:43:21.915
Oh, my God. What’s
that word? I know it.
00:43:21.939 –> 00:43:24.080
Oh no, it’s not
there.” And they worry
00:43:24.080 –> 00:43:27.347
about that fear of that spotlight
and it coming to them or losing their
00:43:27.359 –> 00:43:30.529
train of thought. You may not have
noticed, but it’s happened about five
00:43:30.554 –> 00:43:33.537
times to me during this presentation.
But because I have confidence
00:43:33.562 –> 00:43:37.014
in my ability to just skip over that
moment, move on—I know the word
00:43:37.039 –> 00:43:40.412
will come to me. I know I will
remember my train of thought. I know
00:43:40.437 –> 00:43:44.880
I’m a good public speaker, that
it’s OK. I’m not stressed about it.
00:43:44.880 –> 00:43:48.778
I have confidence in my ability
to do public speaking. And so
00:43:48.803 –> 00:43:51.679
I focus on the things I’m good
at, which is telling stories and
00:43:51.679 –> 00:43:55.873
connecting with people, rather
than worrying about the challenges
00:43:55.898 –> 00:44:00.679
of the word recall. And then,
again, if you’re a manager and you’re
00:44:00.679 –> 00:44:05.458
thinking, yeah, well, I—this sounds
like a lot of work. The reality
00:44:05.483 –> 00:44:09.279
is dyslexic challenges through
assistive technology are more and
00:44:09.279 –> 00:44:12.768
more being taken away, and they’re
leaving us with the key strengths
00:44:12.780 –> 00:44:16.179
of the 21st century in our workforce.
There’s been so many amazing
00:44:16.179 –> 00:44:19.623
studies and work done that identifies
the exact things that we’re
00:44:19.648 –> 00:44:23.779
looking for in a 21st century
work force—is exactly what dyslexic
00:44:23.779 –> 00:44:28.181
strengths have in buckets. So
supporting dyslexic employees will both
00:44:28.193 –> 00:44:32.480
help through identifying their
strengths and helping them feel like
00:44:32.480 –> 00:44:36.700
they are worth bearing with
will really help—not only help them
00:44:36.712 –> 00:44:42.741
better navigate their challenges
but will also unlock their opportunities
00:44:43.600 –> 00:44:46.413
OK. This is one of my favourite
things to talk about. I’ve kind of
00:44:46.438 –> 00:44:51.140
hinted at it a little bit throughout
the presentation. The general
00:44:51.179 –> 00:44:56.113
theory is dyslexic people are
really bad at low-value tasks but
00:44:56.125 –> 00:45:01.139
really great at high-value tasks.
That’s what I really encourage my
00:45:01.164 –> 00:45:05.060
clients and for you to think about
with some dyslexic strengths. The
00:45:05.085 –> 00:45:08.779
thing that you should know about
me is I just—I’m not a fan of the
00:45:08.779 –> 00:45:12.116
superpower term. It just doesn’t
resonate with me. It doesn’t
00:45:12.141 –> 00:45:17.980
feel like it fits with me as a
31-year-old woman. I just, I don’t
00:45:17.980 –> 00:45:21.789
personally like it. If you love
it, you want to use it, great. It’s
00:45:21.801 –> 00:45:25.679
not for me, and it’s not for a lot
of my clients. So many people say
00:45:25.679 –> 00:45:28.710
to me, “I’ve wanted to work with you
because you said dyslexia is not a
00:45:28.735 –> 00:45:32.580
superpower.” And I was like, “Not if
you don’t want to call it.” But we do
00:45:32.580 –> 00:45:36.513
have to know what the strengths
are. And I’m going to talk a little
00:45:36.525 –> 00:45:40.179
bit about superpower in a minute
as well. So when we’re trying
00:45:40.179 –> 00:45:42.910
to think about dyslexic strengths,
if you’re dyslexic yourself,
00:45:42.922 –> 00:45:45.880
you’ll probably get this. You’ve
been mired in the challenges for, I
00:45:45.880 –> 00:45:49.418
don’t even know how long and you
are focused on how frustrated they
00:45:49.430 –> 00:45:52.980
are. And you’re thinking to yourself,
I don’t really—I don’t really
00:45:52.980 –> 00:45:55.390
have any dyslexic strengths.
That’s for other people, that’s
00:45:55.415 –> 00:45:58.580
for entrepreneurs, that’s for
actors, that’s for people who have
00:45:58.580 –> 00:46:01.640
gazillions of money. That’s
not for me, not if I’m a nurse
00:46:01.665 –> 00:46:05.580
or a teacher or in marketing.
I don’t really know what these
00:46:05.580 –> 00:46:08.749
dyslexic strengths are or—I cannot
tell you how many dyslexic project
00:46:08.774 –> 00:46:11.874
managers I know. There are so
many; there are so many strengths
00:46:11.899 –> 00:46:15.351
associated with it. Whatever
the job, I promise you dyslexic
00:46:15.376 –> 00:46:19.765
strengths are there. So dyslexic
people are good at labour: good at
00:46:19.790 –> 00:46:22.382
high-value tasks and good at low-value
tasks. What the hell does that mean
00:46:22.407 –> 00:46:26.640
and how can it help you
understand strengths better? So like
00:46:26.665 –> 00:46:30.429
I said, the thing is, is I see
dyslexic people quite obsessed by
00:46:30.454 –> 00:46:33.945
their challenges. And so that
stops our ability to really see and
00:46:33.970 –> 00:46:38.124
understand our strengths. And so
the way I like to explain it to my
00:46:38.149 –> 00:46:43.184
clients and think about it is,
ultimately, the things that we struggle
00:46:43.209 –> 00:46:46.233
with, they do have to be done,
they are important and if they don’t
00:46:46.245 –> 00:46:49.279
get done properly, it is really
frustrating. It’s embarrassing when you
00:46:49.279 –> 00:46:51.898
spell something wrong. It’s
embarrassing if you attach the wrong
00:46:51.910 –> 00:46:54.380
email. It’s embarrassing if
it takes you a little bit longer
00:46:54.380 –> 00:46:58.083
to process something, or maybe you
forget your train of thought. But,
00:46:58.108 –> 00:47:03.980
ultimately, hello value. It doesn’t
change a business. It doesn’t help
00:47:03.980 –> 00:47:07.373
someone understand something.
It doesn’t build a connection with
00:47:07.385 –> 00:47:10.580
something. It doesn’t solve a
problem when there’s something
00:47:10.580 –> 00:47:14.203
going wrong in the new system
you’re implementing or whatever.
00:47:14.215 –> 00:47:18.080
They’re just things that have to
be done that are ultimately low00:47:18.080 –> 00:47:23.261
value, but what dyslexic
strengths are is high-value tasks:
00:47:23.286 –> 00:47:26.679
they’re being able to persuade someone
of something because of the way you
00:47:26.679 –> 00:47:31.332
explained it; they’re being able
to identify a problem or a solution
00:47:31.357 –> 00:47:37.387
that people haven’t thought of
before; it’s being able to synthesise
00:47:37.412 –> 00:47:42.281
and explain something simply
and easily; it’s being able to see
00:47:42.293 –> 00:47:46.723
every stage of a process because
you’re able to utilise that big
00:47:46.748 –> 00:47:50.596
picture thinking and realise, like,
“OK. We’re working on stage 2,
00:47:50.621 –> 00:47:54.223
but actually, we need to do stage
6 first. It makes no sense, but this
00:47:54.248 –> 00:47:56.489
is where we’ve got to start, and then
we’ll work back and then we go to
00:47:56.514 –> 00:47:59.379
4 and then we go 2.” It makes total
sense in my brain because you can
00:47:59.404 –> 00:48:04.496
see that overarching thing. So the
thing with dyslexic strengths is
00:48:04.521 –> 00:48:08.154
they’re the high-value tasks. They’re the
things that create change. They’re the
00:48:08.179 –> 00:48:12.194
things that build innovation. They’re
the things that help you sign a new
00:48:12.206 –> 00:48:15.980
client, change the marketing strategy,
help someone understand something
00:48:15.980 –> 00:48:20.880
for the first time. That is the
idea of how to think about dyslexia.
00:48:22.372 –> 00:48:26.060
So when we’re thinking about
understanding dyslexic strengths, what
00:48:26.085 –> 00:48:29.980
are some of the general buckets that
we want to think about? Well, it’s
00:48:29.980 –> 00:48:32.949
being image-centric, which both
comes from how to navigate the
00:48:32.961 –> 00:48:36.021
challenges but also the opportunities
and the strength, which means
00:48:36.046 –> 00:48:40.818
that we are strong communicators
or we are able to have the ability
00:48:40.830 –> 00:48:45.480
to be highly creative and think
about things or put things together
00:48:45.480 –> 00:48:48.944
in our mind or that 3D thinking of
being able to move things around
00:48:48.956 –> 00:48:52.279
and twist things around, which
makes just I think people amazing
00:48:52.304 –> 00:48:56.629
engineers. And then the
thing that I kind of banged on
00:48:56.654 –> 00:48:59.279
a lot about today, which is the
thing I’m really passionate about,
00:48:59.544 –> 00:49:04.236
it’s the unique thinking. It’s
that big picture and being able to
00:49:04.248 –> 00:49:08.880
have an overview of everything or
be able to notice patterns as well.
00:49:08.880 –> 00:49:11.634
That one’s my favourite. So you might
have a conversation with someone
00:49:11.646 –> 00:49:14.179
over there and a conversation
with someone over there and then a
00:49:14.179 –> 00:49:18.138
conversation at home and you’re
like, “Oh, my God. It’s just dropped
00:49:18.163 –> 00:49:22.480
into my brain. It’s just fallen
out of the universe.” It’s like
00:49:22.480 –> 00:49:26.942
this, I just—the interconnections
make so much sense.
00:49:26.954 –> 00:49:32.966
It’s that ability to think differently
or see things differently.
00:49:33.615 –> 00:49:37.599
So I could sit here and explain all of
that to many dyslexic people and they
00:49:37.624 –> 00:49:41.700
would go, “No, no, no, no, no. I don’t
have any dyslexic strengths. I only
00:49:41.725 –> 00:49:45.090
have challenges.” Or maybe you’re
sitting there thinking, “Oh, I’m trying
00:49:45.102 –> 00:49:48.380
to think about how this might be the
case for my employee, and it’s not
00:49:48.380 –> 00:49:51.546
quite clicking. So some of the
things I like to talk about is the
00:49:51.558 –> 00:49:54.880
compliments that you will often
hear if you’re dyslexic or maybe you
00:49:54.880 –> 00:49:58.829
will think about with your employee
that will highlight where the
00:49:58.841 –> 00:50:02.980
dyslexic strengths might be showing
up specifically. So we’re talking
00:50:02.980 –> 00:50:07.387
about unique thinking, right? So that
might be, “Oh, I never would have
00:50:07.412 –> 00:50:12.679
thought of it like that.” Or, “Now you
say that, that makes so much sense.”
00:50:12.704 –> 00:50:15.786
Or, when we’re thinking about that big
picture piece and being able to see
00:50:15.811 –> 00:50:20.080
all the elements of something, “My
God, great spot. I didn’t see that.
00:50:20.080 –> 00:50:24.285
You’re so right.” Or the fact that
we talked about the lived experience
00:50:24.297 –> 00:50:28.279
of dyslexic—dyslexia and the fact
that we’re super hard-working and
00:50:28.279 –> 00:50:32.217
really resilient and really, really
care about doing a good job.
00:50:32.229 –> 00:50:36.179
And you’re always so over-prepared;
you’ve always prepped things
00:50:36.179 –> 00:50:39.965
so much. You really are the one
that comes into the meeting, who
00:50:39.990 –> 00:50:43.880
knows everything because once
it’s inside, once we understand
00:50:43.880 –> 00:50:47.558
things, the things were able to
do are so impressive. So these are
00:50:47.570 –> 00:50:51.480
some of the compliments that—or
comments—you might hear if you’re both
00:50:51.480 –> 00:50:54.480
managing a dyslexic person
or if you’re dyslexic yourself.
00:50:57.004 –> 00:50:59.655
So also just touching
on the superpower
00:50:59.679 –> 00:51:02.668
thing. Like I said,
not my favourite topic.
00:51:03.644 –> 00:51:06.480
Sometimes I feel like it can
be quite an alienating term,
00:51:06.580 –> 00:51:09.269
particularly if you’re struggling
or feeling frustrated because the
00:51:09.294 –> 00:51:13.480
problem with superpower is that
we put the bar right up here. It’s
00:51:13.480 –> 00:51:16.881
like, “Oh it’s a superpower. It’s a
gift.” It’s like, “Oh, my God, it’s so
00:51:16.893 –> 00:51:20.580
amazing. It’s right, right, right up
here.” And maybe you’re struggling but also
00:51:20.580 –> 00:51:25.447
maybe you’re just a person
going about their normal day. You
00:51:25.459 –> 00:51:30.179
aren’t an entrepreneur or you
haven’t brought out this new
00:51:30.179 –> 00:51:33.762
product that’s changed the world.
You’re just living your life and
00:51:33.787 –> 00:51:39.080
maybe struggle to see how these
superpowers connect with that. And
00:51:39.080 –> 00:51:43.503
one of the examples I like to give
with that with is regards to problem-solving.
00:51:43.528 –> 00:51:46.731
And so what that means
is so, often, dyslexic people
00:51:46.756 –> 00:51:49.622
think of problem-solving when
we talk about that as a strength and
00:51:49.647 –> 00:51:54.279
they don’t really see it in themselves.
And they think to themselves,
00:51:54.279 –> 00:51:56.614
“Oh, no. I am not really good at
problem-solving, I don’t really
00:51:56.639 –> 00:51:59.880
know what you mean.” And the
problem with it is that they think
00:51:59.880 –> 00:52:04.387
that problem-solving as a dyslexic
strength means that they have
00:52:04.412 –> 00:52:09.580
these gold-plated ideas, that
they are genius with everything.
00:52:09.605 –> 00:52:14.426
And the way that I like to kind
of break down that myth is if the
00:52:14.438 –> 00:52:19.480
dyslexic people had gold-plated
problem-solving, if we were able to come
00:52:19.480 –> 00:52:24.147
up with the best ideas, life-changing,
there would be world peace. There
00:52:24.172 –> 00:52:28.380
would be no world hunger; there
would be no climate change because we
00:52:28.380 –> 00:52:31.433
would have solved it all
because there’s 10—what, at a
00:52:31.445 –> 00:52:34.914
conservative estimate, 10% of
people, maybe even 20% of people are
00:52:34.939 –> 00:52:38.923
dyslexic. So, we would have solved
every problem ever. It’s not really
00:52:38.935 –> 00:52:42.480
like that. It’s not quite what
we’re looking for, when we think of
00:52:42.480 –> 00:52:47.109
dyslexic strengths. What we’re
actually helping dyslexic people
00:52:47.121 –> 00:52:51.980
think of is, when someone comes
to you and they say, “Oh, we’ve got
00:52:51.980 –> 00:52:54.172
this problem or this thing has
happened.” And you’re like, “Oh, OK.
00:52:54.197 –> 00:52:57.472
interesting. Well, I guess we
could do this or, actually, maybe we
00:52:57.497 –> 00:53:01.928
could do that or what could work
really well is that. Thinking about
00:53:01.940 –> 00:53:05.980
it, option A doesn’t quite make
sense because the client said they
00:53:05.980 –> 00:53:09.011
want this, this, and this, or option
B could work, but we have to also
00:53:09.023 –> 00:53:11.980
think—do this as well because that
might have a problem. Option
00:53:11.980 –> 00:53:14.333
C makes sense but I think it’d
be too slow or complicated. I think
00:53:14.358 –> 00:53:19.529
we should go for option B.” It’s
the ability you find of coming up
00:53:19.554 –> 00:53:24.029
with five ideas on the spot quickly,
easily and then the ability to
00:53:24.041 –> 00:53:27.927
assess them and think about all
the ramifications that could come
00:53:27.952 –> 00:53:32.536
with that. That’s the reality of what
dyslexic problem-solving looks like
00:53:32.561 –> 00:53:37.301
It’s the ease of which we
do it, not necessarily always this
00:53:37.380 –> 00:53:42.268
bar of having gold-plated ideas.
And the reason why I wanted to talk
00:53:42.280 –> 00:53:47.179
about that and how I like that is,
sometimes, as dyslexic people, we
00:53:47.179 –> 00:53:50.390
feel fearful of speaking up or
saying things or connecting with
00:53:50.415 –> 00:53:54.580
these strengths because the bar
is too high. And if we don’t better
00:53:54.580 –> 00:53:58.124
understand what is going on in
our brain, then we can’t feel like
00:53:58.149 –> 00:54:02.030
we’re worth bearing with or we can’t
focus on the right tasks and take
00:54:02.055 –> 00:54:05.743
on the right opportunities because
they’re so busy struggling and frustrated.
00:54:05.755 –> 00:54:09.179
So helping you thrive is
helping you understand your
00:54:09.179 –> 00:54:12.791
strengths because successful
dyslexics—and trust me, I’ve spoken to
00:54:12.803 –> 00:54:16.480
a lot of them, they overlap what
they’re good at with what a company
00:54:16.480 –> 00:54:21.518
is looking for. And when you can
create that overlap, your challenges
00:54:21.543 –> 00:54:26.948
just disappear, and they start to
feel so small and so minor and so
00:54:26.973 –> 00:54:30.435
inconsequential because
you’re focused on your high-value
00:54:30.447 –> 00:54:33.779
task, what you can do over
here, what you’re really good at.
00:54:35.425 –> 00:54:40.624
OK. End scene. I’m done. So the
key takeaways I wanted you to have
00:54:40.636 –> 00:54:44.878
today is that dyslexia is about
understanding and accepting the
00:54:44.903 –> 00:54:49.448
reality of your difference and that
means focusing on the difference
00:54:49.473 –> 00:54:54.580
when it comes to both your
challenges and your strengths. So I’m
00:54:54.580 –> 00:54:57.241
Natalie and I’m the founder of Dyslexia
in Adults. And if you found this
00:54:57.253 –> 00:54:59.779
interesting, and you want to learn
more about what I think and how I
00:54:59.779 –> 00:55:03.544
approach things, I’m everywhere.
You can find me anywhere: Instagram,
00:55:03.569 –> 00:55:07.567
TikTok and LinkedIn. I also
have a podcast and we also send
00:55:07.592 –> 00:55:10.895
out a weekly email, and pretty
much everything is under Dyslexia in
00:55:10.907 –> 00:55:13.817
Adults, so nice and easy to find.
I didn’t put a lot of thought into
00:55:13.842 –> 00:55:18.731
my marketing name, but it’s worked
out for me. OK, Rich. I am done, feel
00:55:18.743 –> 00:55:23.279
free to jump into the Q&A although—not
that I left a lot of time. That
00:55:23.279 –> 00:55:27.060
was amazing. Thank you very
much, so much. How good was that
00:55:27.072 –> 00:55:30.679
everyone? That was fantastic.
And yeah, I mean, you’ll be
00:55:30.679 –> 00:55:33.793
able to have a scroll through
the chat and you’ll see how many
00:55:33.805 –> 00:55:37.179
people—how what you said resonated
with so many people. And I think
00:55:37.179 –> 00:55:39.150
that’s been the nicest thing
about these events is people
00:55:39.175 –> 00:55:42.980
saying, “Oh, yeah, that is my
experience and such a good
00:55:42.980 –> 00:55:46.759
way of thinking about it.” So,
yeah. It certainly resonated a lot
00:55:46.771 –> 00:55:50.679
with me. We don’t have too
long for questions. If anybody has
00:55:50.679 –> 00:55:54.162
any questions, throw them into
the Q&A section, and we’ll try and
00:55:54.174 –> 00:55:57.880
pick them up. And we can always—if
we haven’t got time, we can always
00:55:57.880 –> 00:56:00.478
get back to them afterwards.
We did this last time. We had lots
00:56:00.503 –> 00:56:05.791
and lots of questions and we answered
them—some of them afterwards as well.
00:56:05.869 –> 00:56:11.078
So Danny’s asked, “For
working with a remote workforce,
00:56:11.103 –> 00:56:14.463
what tools do you recommend
to support a more visual way
00:56:14.488 –> 00:56:18.270
of communicating? Summarising with
written actions and minutes coupled
00:56:18.282 –> 00:56:21.586
with dictation software helps. But
if you need to bring something to
00:56:21.611 –> 00:56:26.490
life, visually, in conversation,
I figure some more clever tech
00:56:26.515 –> 00:56:31.287
could assist. Yes—do you want
to go, Richard? Fire away, fire away.
00:56:31.312 –> 00:56:35.102
Also, I also run a membership
and one of the amazing things is
00:56:35.127 –> 00:56:38.179
I learn so much from my membership,
and we were actually talking
00:56:38.179 –> 00:56:41.873
about this exact topic last week.
And one of the things, I haven’t
00:56:41.898 –> 00:56:45.380
personally used it myself, but the
membership were raving about it, is
00:56:45.380 –> 00:56:48.752
Miro, which is like a kind of
whiteboard where you can share
00:56:48.764 –> 00:56:52.480
ideas and put things in a much
more of a visual state. But there’s
00:56:52.505 –> 00:56:57.204
also loads of amazing tech in
terms of like keeping on top of
00:56:57.216 –> 00:57:01.679
tasks and things like that that
my employee and I rave about
00:57:01.679 –> 00:57:05.948
as well. So that would probably
be my first answer. And yeah,
00:57:05.960 –> 00:57:10.380
and we use Miro as well. It’s
fantastic. Oh, good. [Crosstalk].
00:57:10.380 –> 00:57:13.540
Before that, it used to be big
A1 sheets on the wall and drawing
00:57:13.565 –> 00:57:16.980
all over. And it’s yeah, it’s
so—it’s great. Absolutely. And
00:57:16.980 –> 00:57:19.750
yeah, I think Ellie, from our
team, is also messaging because
00:57:19.762 –> 00:57:22.679
we—we’re in the assistive tech
field, so we can certainly point
00:57:22.679 –> 00:57:26.171
out different tools to you. And,
yeah. Danny, you’ve got the link
00:57:26.183 –> 00:57:29.580
there because some people were
asking about how we spell it and
00:57:29.580 –> 00:57:32.518
things, so it’s—yeah. Miro.
Miro, the link to it is there.
00:57:32.530 –> 00:57:35.880
There’s a question here, “Do you
provide any sort of support group
00:57:35.880 –> 00:57:39.293
for dyslexic adults? Yes. So I have a
membership that people can join
00:57:39.305 –> 00:57:42.679
if they want advice and support
on navigating the challenges. But
00:57:42.679 –> 00:57:45.618
also to connect with like-minded
dyslexic people, so you realise you
00:57:45.630 –> 00:57:48.580
aren’t alone. You aren’t weird.
You’re just different and it’s cool.
00:57:49.492 –> 00:57:54.181
Fantastic, brilliant. Keep
the questions coming as you
00:57:54.193 –> 00:57:58.679
can. I’m just going to—yeah.
Just before people take off, I
00:57:58.679 –> 00:58:01.328
just want to say a massive
thank you to Natalie
00:58:01.353 –> 00:58:07.279
for that brilliant talk.
As I said, so much great
00:58:07.279 –> 00:58:09.976
feedback coming in. That’s
fantastic—and for all the great
00:58:09.988 –> 00:58:12.880
work that you’re doing. And
thank you as well, we don’t say it
00:58:12.880 –> 00:58:16.444
enough to Lucy, Laura, and Claire,
who are on the line, who help to
00:58:16.456 –> 00:58:19.980
arrange these events every month
and even the in-person events and
00:58:20.117 –> 00:58:22.748
yeah, hopefully—I can see that
lots of people are getting great
00:58:22.773 –> 00:58:25.880
value from them. So yeah,
thank you for all your hard work
00:58:25.980 –> 00:58:30.168
arranging these. Definitely
thank you to Lucy and Laura.
00:58:30.180 –> 00:58:34.380
I know, right? It’s like such
a well-oiled machine. It’s
00:58:34.380 –> 00:58:38.369
amazing. And, yeah. And so,
yeah. Lots and lots of hard work’s
00:58:38.394 –> 00:58:43.179
gone into this. So yeah, well
done, guys. And there’s a survey
00:58:43.179 –> 00:58:46.385
link that’s going to be
sent out for you, so please
00:58:46.397 –> 00:58:49.462
fill it out because these are
kind of free events that we put
00:58:49.487 –> 00:58:53.544
on to try and nurture this community
and basically share information.
00:58:53.556 –> 00:58:57.279
And so if you find it valuable, tell
us what you want to hear about.
00:58:57.279 –> 00:58:59.931
Tell us what you want to talk
about, different speakers you might
00:58:59.956 –> 00:59:03.679
want us to ask to come along—different
topics. Just feed back because
00:59:03.679 –> 00:59:06.728
it’s really, really valuable,
and it allows us to hone this into
00:59:06.753 –> 00:59:12.179
the most useful thing it can be.
Lots and lots of questions about
00:59:12.179 –> 00:59:15.566
recordings. We are going to send
them out very soon, so you’ll be
00:59:15.578 –> 00:59:19.080
getting a recording and a transcript
within the next day. So if you
00:59:19.080 –> 00:59:22.345
missed anything or want to go through
it or share it, then please do.
00:59:22.370 –> 00:59:26.580
And then, just a
reminder, next month’s webinar is
00:59:26.580 –> 00:59:30.431
the first Thursday of the
month, and we’re going to be
00:59:30.456 –> 00:59:35.480
joined by Nuerobox, who are
an amazing company that support
00:59:35.505 –> 00:59:38.087
lots and lots of people across
the country. And they’re going to be
00:59:38.112 –> 00:59:41.279
joining us on the 7th of November
at—no, they’re not. They’re
00:59:41.279 –> 00:59:44.220
going to be joining us for our
next online event. And then we also
00:59:44.245 –> 00:59:48.679
have an in-person event on the
7th of November, which is based in
00:59:48.679 –> 00:59:53.125
London and that one is going
to be focused on ADHD. But we’ll
00:59:53.137 –> 00:59:57.380
get you all these details out
via email. So you don’t need
00:59:57.380 –> 01:00:04.225
to remember too much. But we’re
bang on time at 2 o’clock. So, yes.
01:00:04.718 –> 01:00:09.480
Thank you everybody for coming and,
yeah, hopefully, we’ll see you at the
01:00:09.480 –> 01:00:13.546
next one. Again, big thank
you to Natalie for everything
01:00:13.558 –> 01:00:18.273
you do and for that amazing talk,
and yeah. Thanks so much everybody.
01:00:18.298 –> 01:00:21.679
Thank you, bye