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Hire Dyslexics and Reap the Rewards…

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Covert co-founder Toby Wheeler explains how he doesn't let having dyslexia hold him back

Hire Dyslexics and Reap the Rewards…

Toby Wheeler, co-founder of Covert, talks about how he hasn't let dyslexia stop him and why companies shouldn't be too quick to write off any candidates that mention the D word - they might be the one bringing the secret sauce to the table. 

In a recent study it was found that “students with dyslexia had a statistically significantly higher propensity for unusual combinations of ideas”. Yes, whilst this challenging neurodiverse condition comes with the tell-tell sign of bad spelling, it’s also brilliant.

Dyslexia impacts a person's phonological processing and memory. Research shows that dyslexia is not a disease (a common misperception) or an impairment, but different brain wiring. Several studies have shown people with dyslexic thinking have:

different activity in the broca area in the frontal lobe which affects their ability to verbalise words they read on the page

less activity in the second area between the temporal and parietal lobes which facilitates phonetic decoding of letter sounds

less activity in the occipital lobe which affects a person's ability to recognise whole words

Whilst having dyslexia may have affected Toby’s ability to sound out and spell words, it has forced him to think about problems in a different way. ‘We literally see words and copy as an evolving process and have spent our entire lives thinking of creative solutions to problems.’ 

In the last decade, there has been a huge progression in views of dyslexia and disability. In April 2022, Virgin partnered with Made by Dyslexia, LinkedIn, and Dictionary.com to shift focus to the term ‘Dyslexic Thinking’ – a phrase that highlights all the positive skills people with dyslexia possess. To raise awareness, LinkedIn changed its platform to feature Dyslexic Thinking as an official skill available for their users to add to their profiles. But as is the case with any inclusivity developments, more can still be done.  

Toby knows first-hand how a person with dyslexia can play to their strengths, and their ability to problem solve means they can thrive in places where others may not - an ability to think outside the box, think unconventionally, can arguably be what enhances their creative ability.  We only have to look at some of the incredibly successful creators, inventors, business people and actors who all have dyslexia – people such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, Agatha Christie and Sir Richard Branson - to know dyslexia should be seen as a skill.

This is why for team Covert, we will always see dyslexia or any disability as the superpower they are. Just imagine ‘the wealth of talent out there that just wouldn’t be in the creative industries without their “disability”’. 

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We Are Covert, Thu, 08 Dec 2022 12:54:09 GMT