Shropshire Fire and Rescue – Dyslexia

Shropshire Fire and Rescue – Dyslexia

Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service are currently aware of 21 employees with dyslexia that we have given some support to.

When other colleagues found out that we were supporting employees it encouraged more people to come forward and started to increase awareness of the support that we give. Depending on the type of role that our employees undertake there are several types of adjustments that can be made, some examples are given below:

  • Large monitor screens
  • Changing the font size of text and colour of paper (from white)
  • How information is provided to them – in writing rather than verbal, broken down into smaller chunks, using bullet points.
  • Software for the computer to help with spelling, grammar etc and to help write long documents such as Texthelp Read & Write.
  • Changing the colour of the computer screen (to make it easier to read)
  • Tuition by a specialist dyslexia tutor to help with areas such as spelling, grammar, organisation skills, memory techniques (mind mapping) – we have found this one of the most beneficial
  • Electronic dictionaries
  • Dictaphone to help with memory and organisation skills
  • Highlighter pens to highlight important information for memory recall
  • Note books to write down key words
  • Providing documents in audio and headphones to listen to these
  • Coloured overlays to help with reading
  • Providing documents such as power point presentations in advance
  • Adapting learning styles to suit the employee
  • Extra time for written assessments/ tests when appropriate

The way that employees were identified as dyslexic was either by the individual at application stage, initial tests, training or employment (some after many years of employment with us).  Many of our training instructors are now aware of the signs further to having dyslexia awareness training and have initiated conversations with employees and referred them to the Equality and Diversity Officer.

The first stage that we go through is to send the individual a checklist to complete (from the BDA) and if it gives an indication of dyslexia then they are sent for a full psychologist’s assessment, which can take 3-5 hours to complete. An independent psychologist undertakes these assessments and provides us with a report to ascertain whether the individuals are classified as dyslexic and what support and equipment they may require.  We then ask the employee to contact Access to Work who undertake a workplace assessment and may provide us with funding for some of the recommendations.

The Equality and Diversity Officer and the Head of Development, Safety and Risk work closely with all operational employees with dyslexia.  When they have had the full dyslexia assessment they meet up with them to go through their report and discuss what assistance/equipment they may need in their role. The E&D Assistant maintains regular contact with employees to arrange tuition and order equipment that has been identified.

To find out more about Dyslexia click HERE

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