The subject that I am going to look at for my under-represented groups within the media is going to be dyslexic people.
Dyslexia comes from the Greek word meaning ‘difficulty with words’. It’s a symptom of a number of different information processing disorders in the brain. It is difficult to define Dyslexia because it affects people in different ways and there are many possible problems which can affect an individual. But in most cases it affects the individual’s ability to read, write, spell and process information. By scanning a dyslexic person’s brain while they are trying to process information scientists have concluded that their brain works differently to that of a non dyslexic person. This has nothing to do with intellect or teaching but is caused by a difference in the area of the brain that deals with language.
From talking to a person who supports students with dyslexia as well as from my own experiences as a person with dyslexia I have learned that people in the general world are not well educated about the condition of dyslexia. Most people think that dyslexic people just can’t read or write and may be a bit thick. This is completely wrong. Dyslexic people can have really good visual skills and can be hugely creative.
People who have dyslexia have often had negative experience of classroom environments and have awful stories to tell. Schools are getting better at helping people, especially in schools where pupils are from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In the workplace you are given a job and some people with dyslexia who struggle with writing can fail in a job without support. If I go into the workplace I now have lots of equipment and feel I can cope. However, if I am put on the spot with reading tasks and no time to prepare, I may struggle. I am worried about the older generation workers who may not have even heard of dyslexia – they may well be managing me. People with dyslexia appear to be under represented in Education and in the workplace as people tend to hide their problems. Their self image is poor and due to negative experiences they had when younger, they tend to hide their problems.
Having spoken to a Note taker who works for the University I was informed that before they had completed their note taker training, they entered the job with a very limited amount of knowledge about dyslexia. This is because dyslexia was rarely brought to their attention in their everyday life, including in the media, and it was only due to the needs of this specific career that they fully studied it.
One in ten people have dyslexia and it is shocking that this amount of people are dyslexic and it is still widely misunderstood. I found on twitter some dyslexic support groups which have lots of information aimed at helping dyslexic people, but ironically dyslexic people find it difficult to read this posted information, at least in the media the British dyslexic association are trying to spread more knowledge of dyslexia via the media but there is still a long way to go.