Dyslexia Awareness Week – Scotland
Today Scottish Rugby is marking Dyslexia Awareness Week and its theme this year of Unlocking Potential.
We recognise the strengths that dyslexics bring to our rugby community in Scotland and, here, we share the personal stories of two from our community.
Firstly, what is Dyslexia?
Put simply, it is a neurological difference, which means the dyslexic mind sees the world differently. This enables dyslexics to think creatively and literally and so often they can solve problems, where others struggle to see a solution.
Some examples of dyslexic minds – Einstein, Edison, The Wright Brothers and Alexander Graham Bell.
Catriona Fett, Scottish Rugby’s recruitment and development manager, said: “Just as everyone is unique, so too is everyone’s experience of dyslexia. One in ten people are dyslexic and often it is something that is hidden, and, mainly in the past, was perceived as something to be ashamed of. It is time to recognise the strengths that dyslexics bring to our world.”
Kenny Logan, the 70-times capped Scotland winger, who began his rugby career at Stirling County and starred for Wasps and Glasgow Warriors, hid his dyslexia for many years.
He told Scottish Rugby:
“I wish I had been more honest and open from the start. There wasn’t that environment of openness when I was younger, and I only spoke about it when I was thirty years old."
“It’s not good to hold something that is quite painful inside like that, I regularly had a knot in my stomach and fear that I would be ‘found out’.”
At Scottish Rugby, we recognise the strengths that dyslexia can bring to any team. We work to encourage a place where everyone brings their strengths, as, in a team, struggles and strengths are counterbalanced. We encourage people to be open, to share and build on the strengths they have and ask for help when they need it.
Richard Wood, Medical Services Manager, has worked at Scottish Rugby for seven years. His role has grown over the years as he has embraced the opportunities that came his way. Richard’s dyslexic challenges might mean that it takes him longer to read and absorb new written material, however the strengths he brings to the role are so much more.
Woody, as he is known to everyone, has a strength in looking at the bigger picture and identifying better ways of working that make processes more streamlined and efficient. He sees connections and this enables the medical team to work more collaboratively through the great communication skills that he brings to the team.
Kenny Logan identifies with similar strengths. “I think I have always been good at seeing things differently and solving problems and I notice that with other dyslexic people. We can solve problems but haven’t always been able to express our solutions on paper or in the orthodox way.”
Where dyslexics do have challenges in the workplace, there are many supportive tools available. Whether they are online, from spell checker to the Immersive Reader function, or tangible like a coloured overlay.
What’s the best advise from Kenny and Woody to other dyslexics? To be open. Ask for the extra time needed to read and digest or ask for the tools you need to enable you to unlock your potential. Also, make sure you have an ally, someone who understands the challenges.
For those supporting dyslexics, whether at home, at work or in your rugby club, ask them what they need. Recognise the strengths they bring to the team. The more people who understand the neurodiversity we have in our world and play to those strengths, just think what we can achieve.
Find more information on Dyslexia Awareness Week Scotland HERE.