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My Dyslexia story by Matt Downes

Category: testimonial, Testimonials, Dyslexia, Careers in sport, Regulation, Government, Jobs in Government, sport, Sports, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, Dyslexia Awareness Week 2019


Dyslexia Awareness Week – 7-13 October 2019

Matthew Downes, Major Events Co-ordinator – Technical Officials

When were you diagnosed with Dyslexia?

I was diagnosed at University in my first year after being encouraged to take a ‘test’ by family and friends.

What support do you receive from UKA?

Provided me with claroread, which changes the colour of my computer screen to help me read clearly. Rocketbook, note taking software where you handwrite notes and take a pictures on an app and will make it text on the screen as a document. This has been very useful for notetaking and writing up minutes. All of this with the help and support from my line manager and equality diversity and inclusion lead.

How important is it for people to disclose they have dyslexia in the workplace?

Very as if you don't say it, it can add unnecessary pressure. It comes in all forms not just reading but from, colours, speaking and numbers. If you are able to disclose it then you can seek the appropriate support improving your time at work.

What advice would you give to a colleague who may have dyslexia and keeps it to themselves?

Any additional support will benefit your personal work and the work of those around you. If they are not confident disclosing to your line manager and should seek appropriate peer support. No one is going to say no dismiss any additional support you may need.

What could organisations do more of to support employees with dyslexia?

More awareness, workshops presentations, practical examples. In my opinion what is happening at UKA is great and beneficial. It gives better support than friends and family’s work places and previous employment haven’t been given. By raising people's awareness, it has allowed me to feel confident that I can do my job to the best of my ability.


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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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