An awareness campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of dyslexia is being supported by North Wales Police.
National Dyslexia Week, which runs from 2nd to 7th October aims to raise awareness of the condition whilst breaking down stigmas and providing resources to better support dyslexic individuals.
Research suggests that up to 10% of the population show some signs of dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a neurological condition which typically affects reading, writing, numeracy and spelling abilities. Just like other conditions such as dyspraxia, ADHD and autism, it falls under the neurodiversity umbrella and is rooted in neurological differences within the brain.
Earlier this year, North Wales Police were awarded the Disability Confident Leader (Level 3) Award – the highest level of accreditation for its work to build an organisation that is both equal and inclusive for all its employees.
Disability Confident is a voluntary Government scheme designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people.
Level 3 confirms that North Wales Police offers at least one action to get the right people for our business and at least one action to keep and develop our people.
The Force has a number of support mechanisms in place to help its officers, staff and volunteers.
Reasonable workplace adjustments very much depend on the person and there are no one-size-fits-all packages.
However, examples include:
• The force has a Disability Support Network and is also a member of the Disabled Police Association and Police National Dyslexia Association. • Officers in training are given reasonable adjustments such as coloured pocket notebooks, handouts before lessons in a variety of colours, the use of a Dictaphone and headphones plus reading and writing software to support them in the classroom. • The force offers disability-related leave and sickness absence • The force has a parents and carers support network • A full and comprehensive resource library with advice and guidance that is readily available on the Force Intranet for all staff, including line managers and supervisors. • A Health and Wellness Centre via the Occupational Health Unit.
Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “As a large organisation we are proud to create a learning culture where those with dyslexia are welcomed.
“It’s extremely important that we value individual differences - nurturing strengths, abilities and talents to enable individuals to flourish.
“We recognise the unique talents of existing dyslexic employees, but we are also encouraging recruitment from a wider talent pool which reflects the diverse range of people and communities that we serve.
“As a Disability Confident Level 3 employer, we are proud to be at the forefront of disability inclusion.
"As a major employer in the region, it’s important that we are seen as a career destination for all.
"We are committed to engaging with all of our communities and providing the appropriate support to all who need it. Only by working together can we truly build an organisation and society that’s inclusive for all.”
PC Kyle Young, who has recently joined North Wales Police and is currently in training, was previously diagnosed with dyslexia.
He said: “Having dyslexia gives me a different viewpoint to questions and problems that others may not always see as I process information differently.
“With 14 years of military experience I have, in the past, had help and support. However I’ve also had bad experiences because my spelling was somehow seen less than that of my peers.
“Those of us with dyslexia may not always work best in an old-fashioned school-style system, but when allowed to learn and develop in a way that plays to our strengths we are more than capable of producing high value work.
“I’m very much looking forward to my future with North Wales Police and I’m grateful for the ongoing support I receive.”