Last week, in part 1 of this article, I discussed how people are being more open and honest about their dyslexia in the workplace, since LinkedIn added ‘dyslexic thinking’ as a skill on their skills portfolio in March 2022. Here is the second part of the article where I will look at a further 15 people who post information on LinkedIn. As always, I am more than happy to add to this list, so if you have any suggestions please let me know.
Sharon Hall – Dyslexia Advocate
Sharon Hall lives with her family in a small village in Aberdeenshire. She has spent most of her working life in the Royal Navy as an Air Traffic Control Officer but a family move to the Middle East bought with it a change in career and the start of an inspirational dyslexia journey.
Sharon’s son was identified as dyslexic at the age of four and, like many familiar stories, the more she learnt and understood about dyslexia the more she realised that she too is dyslexic; a true eureka moment!
Having gained her MA in Special Educational Needs at UEL Sharon felt it was time to share her personal experiences, so she embarked on what has become a lifelong ambition to change the way the world sees dyslexia. Sharon began supporting local families, schools, universities and businesses from a small office “shed” where Dyslexia Routes was born. Five years later Sharon has now gained international acclaim with her public speaking, reaching as far afield as Hong Kong.
Celebrating five years as the founder of Dyslexia Routes is a milestone achievement and the future looks bright; Sharon is excited to grow the company. Screenings, Irlen Screenings, consultations, bespoke workshops Dyslexia Routes is a one stop shop with a difference – Sharon brings passion, buckets of personal experience, and time; she always has time to listen, support, and advise wherever you are on your dyslexia journey.
Zoe-Jane Littlewood – | Sports Therapist | Proud Dyslexic | Neurodivergent | BDA Cultural Perspective Committee Member | Common Goal Youth Council & Congress Member |
My name is Zoe and I’m a 24 year old proud dyslexic on a mission to bring awareness to what dyslexia is and help to break down barriers. Fortunately for me, I was diagnosed with dyslexia around year 6, which was helpful because at least growing up I knew the reason as to why I really struggled with some things. However, no one actually taught me or educated me on dyslexia and how I could excel with my dyslexia and bring the strengths out. Like most, my full dyslexic assessment didn’t come until university which was helpful as I was then truly able to start putting the pieces together.
This led me to where I am today. I really wanted to create a platform and a space for people to feel comfortable talking about their dyslexia and to also share my stories about what I’ve struggled with what I do to make things a bit easier. If you’re looking for a page where I can talk about life experiences, share my thoughts, post helpful tips and more, this is the place to be. It’s a place where everyone is welcome to develop and grow together.”
Deborah Leveroy PhD – Neurodiversity & Inclusion Lead @ Dyslexia Box | Enabling Neurodiverse Performance in the Workplace | PhD in Dyslexia and Performance Practice
Dr. Deborah Leveroy is Neurodiversity and Inclusion lead at Dyslexia Box, a workplace adjustment provider, supporting disability and neurodiversity in the workplace. As part of her role, she works with HR and E, D & I teams to develop neuro-inclusion strategy and practice.
Her social media content is driven by a desire to:
Challenge the western privileging of working memory and literacy over other skills, intelligence, abilities, and ways of being
Enable people to make sense of their experiences and educational/work history through the lens of social disability theory, embodied cognition, and neurodiversity
Remove barriers in the workplace and education
Connect the dots between seemingly disparate sectors, industry, academic disciplines, and cultures
Previous roles include Disability Advisor for Remploy’s BBC workplace adjustment contract, Strategy Coach and Workplace Needs Assessor for PAM occupational health and Study Skills Tutor for several DSA providers.
Deborah has a Ph.D. in Dyslexia, inclusion and performance training from the University of Kent. Her research was published by Routledge in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections. Current research interests include Neuroinclusive return to work practises and remote working. She is a research partner on the Remote4All project at the Centre for Healthcare Research at Coventry University. The project aims to investigate the impact of remote e-working on people with neurodiversity and disabilities.
Armelle McGeachie – Dyslexia isn’t my superpower 🦸 | Founder of Girls with Dyslexia + Freelance Marketer at Marelle Agency
Armelle is by trade a copywriter and marketer for the technology industry, which she’s resided in since leaving Loughborough University in 2018 with a BSc in International Business. She also runs Girls with Dyslexia, an account dedicated to supporting women and girls with dyslexia. She shares content on here to educate and inspire, while sharing her own lived experiences and advice on LinkedIn for those with dyslexia and other neurodiversities, and people who manage diverse teams.
She will be speaking at the Dyslexia Show on March 2023 about how embracing her neurodiverse brain has changed her view on what company culture should be like.
James Northbridge – Project Manager for Inclusive UCC | Accessibility and Digital Inclusion Expert | Researcher | Winner of Best Business IGNITE 2020
My name is James Northridge, and I have spent the last 9 years working with assistive technology to improve the experience of people with disabilities.
In my experience as a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, I played a significant role in researching AAC technology with a focus on developing a unique and robust technology selection model for non-verbal students. In addition, as a LEND fellow in Boston, I was granted the opportunity to explore the US health system and how disability law impacts all.
In 2013 I launched UrAbility – a company that specialises in providing Assistive Technology (AT) online training for parents, teachers and SNAs to empower students to reach their full potential.
UrAbility has been distinguished by its unique approach in offering online and face to face teacher training and guidance to schools committed to enabling education for all students. We believe everyone deserves to learn, and our approach is targeted towards our students’ success.
Following my education background, I attained a Master of Science in Rehabilitation & Disability Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Business Information System. I also earned a LEND Fellowship from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Kevin O’Leary – Chairman, O’Shares Investment Advisers
Born in Canada but gained Irish citizenship through his father being Irish, Shark Tank’s Mr Wonderful is a highly successful entrepreneur and investor. He spoke to entrepreneur.com saying “The way to look at dyslexia is as a unique power instead of an affliction. You have to put it in your own mind that this is not an affliction that will negatively impact your future. It shouldn’t in any way diminish your self-esteem or be considered something that is going to hurt your chances to be successful at work or in life. Never give up and never let dyslexia hold you back. It’s a gift”
Margaret Rooke – Author, Freelance Writer and Editor, Charity Professional
I’m the author of ‘Dyslexia Is My Superpower (Most of the Time) and ‘Creative, Successful, Dyslexic’. I’ve also written a book to inspire teenagers everywhere: ‘You Can Change the World!’. So often teenagers are underestimated and unacknowledged for the amazing talents they have and everything they achieve. Of course the same is true for children, teens and adults with dyslexia.
My books on dyslexia were written for my daughter who has dyslexia (she hasn’t read them!) and others like her. My message to them is that the way the education system is run may not suit them, but they can still push to achieve their dreams. Focus, hard work, support, and understanding their strengths will all help guide them there.
I’m writing my next book as you read this, as well as writing for some fantastic charities. For many years I worked as a journalist and still sometimes write articles for newspapers and magazines.
If you’d like to follow me, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are the best places to look. I’m @margsrooke on Twitter and Instagram and Margaret Rooke on LinkedIn. I’m always keen to hear about other’s experiences of changing their own lives and the wider world around them. We can all achieve so much if we seek out positive allies and play to our strengths.
Philip Ruddock – Founder at Our Dyslexic Connection. Member of APPG Dyslexia
I’m Phillip Ruddock. I’m severely dyslexic from the UK. I currently work as an English teacher in a FE College. I am training to become a dyslexia teacher and assessor at the moment.
I also run a website called : www.ourdyslexicconnection.co.uk The website’s aim is to create a global community of dyslexic stories. A place for connection, inspiration and empathy. A place for dyslexic individuals, their parents and professionals to share their experiences so no one feels alone.”
I share the preview videos of those that have shared their stories along with hints and insights from muon dyslexia.
Judy Singer – Neurodiversity Thought Leader & Elder | Originator of Concept | Consultant | Speaker | Advisor |
Based in Australia, Judy Singer is often called the unsung hero of the neurodiversity movement. Having been the first to use the term ‘neurodiversity’ as an umbrella term for a number of different conditions in the brain including Autism, AHDH, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia.
Having spent time as a programmer, programme manager and PA, Judy first came to prominence as a writer for several different companies based in Sydney. However it is her in the field of neurodiversity in psychology that Judy is best known for. In 1999 Judy published a book called “Why Can’t You be Normal for Once in Your Life?” based on her thesis which was published in the UK in 1999. According to an interview she conducted with Spectrum suite mangazine Judy said Singer recognized that people with different kinds of minds were oppressed in the same ways women and gay people were, before they had their own movement, and that the neurologically diverse needed a movement of their own.”
As the movement has progressed Judy has written books, published peer-reviewed articles, and been invited to conferences around the world as a guest speaker and expert on the subject.
Arran Smith – Dyslexia Entrepreneur with Specialist in | Dyslexia| SEND | Microsoft | M365 | Digital Transformation| Strategy |
Arran is a dyslexic entrepreneur who was diagnosed with severe dyslexia at the age
of 9, along with other tendencies of neurodiverse conditions. For many years Arran
has used the metaphor that dyslexia was like going to the dentist, the feelings of
stress and anxiety was always there at that young age but with support from his
parents, the Leicestershire Dyslexia Association and several teachers, Arran
understood his dyslexia, both his difficulties and his strengths.
During Arran’s working life he has worked in many industries including youth work, retail business and the not-for-profit sector. Over the past 20 years Arran has
dedicated his career to the field of dyslexia and special education needs and
disability. Arran also previously worked at the British Dyslexia Association and is
currently chairman of the Leicestershire Dyslexia Association.
Arran’s career has continued in the field of dyslexia with now being the Managing
Director of SEND Group Ltd, Founder and Event Director of the Dyslexia Show
LTD along with several other Directorship and Non-Executive roles. Over the past five years Arran has and is currently working in the education sector supporting SEND with several consultancy roles in the sector including, St David’s’
college (independent school specialising in dyslexia) and more recently with
Microsoft as the UK’s Dyslexia and SEND Consultant. Arran has spoken at many schools, large conferences and events across the UK and at Dyslexia National conferences in India, Canada and the USA. With a special interest in technology, Arran uses Assistive Technology to support his dyslexia needs daily.
Theo Smith – 🦸🏻♀️ Whats Neurodiversity 🤷♀️ Invite me: speak & consult 🎤 Listen 2 my Podcast ‘Neurodiversity – Eliminating Kryptonite…’🗼 Order my award winning book: Neurodiversity @ Work 📕 Follow my Linkedin Newsletter
I reached out to Theo and he said “I’m a leading Neurodiversity advocate, founder of Neurodiversity at Work Ltd, Neurodiversity Evangelist at Dynamis Group, author of the award winning book ‘Neurodiversity at Work: Drive Innovation, Performance and Productivity with a Neurodiverse Workforce’ and podcast host of Neurodiversity – Eliminating Kryptonite & Enabling Superheroes!
Once upon a time I was a professional Actor, then a leading expert in the field of recruitment. I now use my thespian skills to entertain my daughter and son and to inspire organisations and the world to the idea that neurodiversity is the future of work and beyond.
I write about Neurodiversity in all its beauty including support for communications, the hiring process, for managers, for individuals and for parents and families.
I’m on a mission to:
- Remove the barriers to employment for over 1BN Neurodiverse talent,
- empowering innovation and transformation in business and the world.”
Elizabeth Takyi – Founder/CEO A2i Dyslexia CIC | Forbes Featured | Advisory Board of Neurodiversity in Business | Genius of the year 2021 Runner Up | WAW 100 Most Inspirational Women 2019 | British Dyslexia Association Smart Award 2019
According to her LinkedIn page: “Aspire2Inspire Dyslexia CIC is an award winning organisation helping and supporting Dyslexics unlock their full potential through Dyslexia Awareness, Dyslexia Assessments, Entrepreneurship programmes, Employability skills, 1-1 support, help and support for adults returning to education. We also work with BME Communities: Overcoming stigma & barriers, delivering numerous workshops and events including Dyslexia Inspirational talks, Dyslexic entrepreneurs, BAME: A conversation about Dyslexia and Building a career with Dyslexia. We also provide a range of children services.
Founder and CEO, Elizabeth Takyi has delivered a range of inspirational Dyslexia talks with prestigious institutions and companies such as Imperial College London, Roehampton University City University and City Hall London, and a range of schools, colleges, community groups.
Aspire2inspire Dyslexia has also worked in partnership with companies such as The British Dyslexia Association, Wandsworth Job Centre Plus, Battersea Power Station, Metro Bank, South Thames College Wandsworth and Merton College, NHS Talk Wandsworth, Start Up Croydon and many others.
Awards: Bronze BDA Smart Award, Wandsworth Business Awards – Highly Commended best new business 2017, Front Cover & BDA magazine article Sept 2019, South Thames College employers award: mentoring for social action – Highly Commended 2019, Womans Community worship award 2019, Nominee for National Diversity Awards 2017. Elizabeth was a part of the Black Excellence campaign at Greenwich University 2019 and is also a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on behalf of Dyslexics as well as being a qualified Lecturer, Dyslexic Screener, Featured in Forbes and also nominated for Genius of the year – Celebrating Neurodiversity Awards 2021. Oct 2021 – Founder of Dyslexia: Black Achievement Awards
Suzy Taylor – Dyslexic Blogger
As we move forward, we are focusing more on diversity. I find myself even asking what is diversity, according to the dictionary it says “equality and diversity should be supported for their own sake” I find myself thinking this sounds great, but what does it mean? As someone
who is dyslexic/dyspraxic I like to promote that everyone is different. As a neurodiverse person I am challenged in many ways, I promote that with the correct support people can build their confidence. They can go into the career of their choice and live comfortably because we have recognised, they are unique. Using social media, we can promote hard
to talk about subjects such as mental health. Mental health and neurodiversity work together as it is such a complex issue. Using social media, we can promote neurodiversity in a positive way. The world would be a very dull place if we did not have art, music, inventions,
different thoughts and ideas. We need to change people’s perceptions that people who are neurodiverse are not stupid, airy fairy and they definitely don’t live on a different planet. They just have a different way of processing information. Let’s celebrate hidden disabilities and all the wonderful things it has done in the world today.
Onyinye Udokporo – Taking Dyslexia from #PainToPower | CEO & Founder at Enrich Learning | Entrepreneur | Public Speaker | Author | Pioneer of Social Mobility | Top 50 Neurodivergent Woman | Neurominority Achiever of the Year 2022
A graduate of King’s College London with a Degree in Religion, Policy and Society and Masters in Education, Policy and Society, Onyinye began her career in politics and education becoming one of the most highly respected speakers and educators in her field. She then became the founder and CEO of Enrich Learning, which according to her LinkedIn Page is a “Enrich Learning is an online education platform and tuition centre. We provide affordable tuition for students and educate parents/carers/guardians by giving them the tools to optimise their child’s learning. We deliver the most affordable online tuition in the UK to date.
Having been a board member of several organisations, in 2020 she wrote a memoir where she details “She will recount her experience as a child, teen and adult at university. The book will also include Onyinye’s tips and coping mechanisms for dyslexics and other neurodivergent people. Above all, she hopes that this book will break the stigma associated with dyslexia as well as encourage Black and Minority Ethic communities to embrace the gift of neurodiversity.”
Jacqui Wallis – Proud Dyslexic Thinker, CEO at Genius Within, Community Interest Company, Inclusive Leader
As CEO of the company Genius Within Jacqui writes on their website, “Jacqui was diagnosed with dyslexia in her third year at university, when she was 23 years old. She then went on to spend the next 25 years hiding her dyslexia at work, developing complex masking techniques to avoid having to share her struggles as she believed that being open would damage her chances of promotion and success.
As Genius Within’s Chief Executive Officer, Jacqui serves on the Board and her role is to help businesses and organisations understand how they can remove the stigma of having a cognitive difference at work by sharing the amazing strengths that neuro-minorities bring to the companies they work for.
Jacqui has over 26 years of experience in senior leadership roles ranging from start-ups to large companies. She is experienced in delivering strategy and leadership across the teams that she works with.”