Saturday, July 05, 2003

It's always worth noting the un-noteworthy, if it doesn't happen very offten, and especially if it makes you happy.

Today, dyslexia played no part in my life. I spent the day with my wife and our 3 yr old daughter, Jessica. I'd did some gardening, some DIY and played football with the dog (Vince). At no point did the fact that I am dyslexic, make the slightest bit of difference to my day.

This is something I like to note. Like a good day at work, a really nice yet simple meal, or an actual bargin found in a bargin shop.

:¬ )

Friday, July 04, 2003

I'm thinking my rants on the JISC Mail forum will often be a source of my blog content. The forum is an excelent place to air and listen to points veiws.

Check the archives. They are crammed with info, opinions and snippets of everyday experiences.

Occasionally I get a little too involved on it, but someone has to. There are other fora for professionals such as Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) and Ed Psychs. to be stade and serious on. But, I believe the one linked above is more for and by dyslexic folk themselves. Which means I don't feel so bad going off on one now and again. My main problem being, that I'm also a professional. And as such certain things are expected of me. It's a tricky one to balance sometimes when you work for a cause you feel so strongly about. And I always have to be mindful of a 'them and us' mentality, which can creep in sometimes.

A recent thread has been about Language. I have always hated the overly political correctness that dwells in charitable and minority focussed fields of interest. It just seems silly to me. The effect is often to further alienate the minority at hand. Because the general population don't want to have to change their vocabulary every two weeks according to a focus group in London.

However! For the first time in my life I feel I may be joining the ranks of the political correctness brigade. Check the forum archives regarding this topic. This was my posting today:

May be the main thing we have to get to grips with is the "invisibility" of
dyslexia. And the every day meaning of the word disabled. Rightly or
wrongly, it is easier to say that someone who is visibly blind (never short
on irony this topic) is disabled (i.e. they are not able to see), but
someone who is dyslexic is 1) not as easily accepted by the public as
disabled 2) less inclined to believe this of themselves. Simply because you
can't point to the exact 'problem'.

What this might highlight, is whether we should call anyone disabled. As it
is no longer clear if we are referring to an inability or lesser ability to
walk, see, hear... OR to work, learn, teach... If this were more clear cut,
I would be more inclined to say I was disabled. I am, in as much as I do not
have the abilities associated with a good short term memory , nor eye
tracking (forgot the term, ability to scan smoothly), nor the speed of
processing information of the general population. But to say I'm unable to
write, read, spell is not true. And to imply that I should be "helped" into
work is a nonsense. Employers "help" all there employees to work. They give
them seats at their desks, and stairs to climb to higher floors. What they
should be doing is helping ALL their potential employees in to work.
Although I'm sure I have many benefits due to being dyslexic (my usual
quickie reason for not accepting I'm disabled), if disability meant abstract
physical and/or mental disability, I'd put my hand up. But it doesn't.

Disabled now means struggles with benefits, unemployment, stigma, sketchy

It shouldn't mean this for anyone.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Firstly download Read-e from www.artificialrelevance.com

Well - this is my first post, and now I'm not sure what I want to say. I'm sure that, or something like it, is the opening line of many blogs :)

I'm Phil, and I'm fairly intrenched in trying to make life more productive and comfortable for dyslexics. Dyslexia has effected me in so many ways, and many of those good. So I won't just be moaning. My spelling will be creative at times, and I sometimes get annoyed or excited about a topic, and my gramma goes out the window. My punctuation is always bad!! BUT I DONT CARE :) Because, I can now comunicate efficiently in this modern world. And it is this feeling that I want every dyslexic to feel. A few months ago I read a book in 4 hrs. This may seem fairly fast, but for someone who has never read a book in less than a month previously (and I am 28) this was nothing short of miraculous.

I hope that through reading (ironically) my words, you will be able to:
1) understand dyslexia a little more, and how it REALLY effects people
2) realise the benefits of employing dyslexics, in order to exploit there creative gifts (might sound flouncy, but I'm serious)
3) see the ups and downs of being cognitively different

I hope to:
1) be and express the self-important opinianated person I am
2) clarify my own veiws on many things (you offten learn best when you try to explain)
3) Offer the knowledge I have to anyone who wants to hear. Trying to cover a new topic each day, going over old grownd whenever I think I need to add something.

You see the world is becoming a more accomadating place for people with dyslexia. May be because we are becoming a more valuable human resourse. Or maybe simply because it can. Either way, I'm hoping dyslexics will play an ever increasing roll in the meaningful decision making of the world, and will forever be less likely to end up illeducated, unemployable and dissaffected.

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