This book is written for employers, psychologists, trainers, human resource personnel and all professional people who have an interest in, or a responsibility for, adult dyslexia in a work-related context. We decided to write this book because, as practitioners with substantial experience of both advising organisations on adult dyslexia issues and providing assessment, counselling and training services to adult dyslexics, we are very aware that the condition is widely misunderstood in the world of work.
Our background of working in commercial, industrial, educational and public service organisations, together with the special expertise we have developed in adult dyslexia, enables us to describe and explain the problems adult dyslexics face in workplaces and to identify possible solutions to those problems. We have seen many examples that confirm that dyslexics can be very successful in the right environment and that they can fail to realise their potential in the wrong environment. In this book we provide practical advice, for both individuals and employers, concerning what constitutes the right environment, how to create it and how organisations can make the psychological transition from a framework that perceives dyslexia as a problem to one that conceptualises it as a solution.
Although aimed at employers and professionals involved in supporting adult dyslexics in (and into) work, this book will also be of interest to adult dyslexics themselves. By improving personal understanding of how dyslexia manifests itself in workplaces, dyslexic people can encourage, work with and assist their colleagues and employers to understand that dyslexics have a wealth of talent to bring to the world of work. Increasing understanding is a key to the process of creating a more efficient and effective work environment, one which, in all probability, will benefit everyone who uses it.
In writing this book, we gratefully acknowledge the encouragement, help and support we have received from many colleagues and friends. We are particularly indebted to Vivienne Young, Dr Tessa Adams, John Emery, Sarah Douglas, Alison Little, Joseph Fitzgibbon and Vanessa Taylor-Brown, as well as the many adult dyslexic clients who agreed to allow us to describe their experiences to illustrate various points we wanted to make. However, it should be noted that throughout the book the names of the adults have been changed to preserve anonimity. Any resemblance to real persons is a co-incidence.
Gary Fitzgibbon and Brian O'Connor
Fitzgibbon Associates, 39–41 North Road, London, UK
Telephone: 020 7609 7809