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My experience


Watch a film of TSSA Organiser Ricky Jones talking about his experience of dyslexia:


"I knew in my heart, before I went for the assessment that I was dyslexic. But was terrified I would find out I wasn’t, that I was just stupid. The assessment was easy to find and the psychologist really put me at ease. She was lovely, and although I was nervous, I was feeling relieved. She told me, “to be honest, it’s really rare for anyone to get this far and for them not to have some degree of dyslexia”. That made me feel a bit better.

I did the tests as well as I possibly could and it really does show that I simply can’t do some of these things. My reading speed was low, my spelling was low, but I have a good understanding. It was a huge relief to find out I was dyslexic and I’ve got a really zig-zaggy profile.

I’m so much happier in myself knowing for sure why I have these difficulties and I’m getting on better just having that knowledge.”


“I was only diagnosed as dyslexic in my fifties. You realise there is something, as a child. Things such as, when at school being put at the back of the class with some bricks to play with because I could not keep up with what was going on. Last in class to read and write, of course in those days no recognition of the issues children like me were faced with.

Of course it’s not all doom and gloom. But it certainly held me back and made me feel very insecure at times, although you do develop coping techniques through experience, still do today. My confidence was enhanced as a direct result of becoming a rep in the workplace and the opportunities it afforded me.

I would say to people: it’s never too late. This initiative is an invaluable step into at times misunderstood area that has become known as dyslexia.”


"I did an assessment in July 2011 and was diagnosed with dyslexia, with various strengths and weaknesses highlighted. When I found out there was a sense of relief, understanding the days I just couldn’t spell something, understanding it was down to my dyslexia. And I suppose the key for me is knowing that there are various tools that I can use to support my specific assessment results. It isn’t a negative feeling, it was quite positive and reassuring. I’m more aware now because I’ve had an assessment, have an understanding. It ticks the boxes and answers the questions.

Since then I have gained support though Access to Work, and from HR with various tools and recommendations from Dyslexia Action, for example a Dictaphone and mind-mapping software. I also took it upon myself to do the eye test and I need yellow overlays.

Being dyslexic has enabled me to educate myself a bit more about it, but also to freely and openly educate others about it. To promote that it’s there and that it exists, and it exists for a lot of people. I’m a living proof that dyslexia doesn’t mean you can’t achieve anything. There are academics, teachers, surgeons – in every single profession there are people with dyslexia. So don’t suffer in silence."


“I received a call from our TSSA member who had a dyslexia screening at Dyslexia Action today. She said that it was such a great relief that, after 26 years, she has some understanding of why she has struggled with reading and broke down in tears at the office there. She is going to go for a full assessment, so that she can be diagnosed fully and helped. She feels today has made a very positive difference to her life.

Times like this make you feel proud to know that you've been able to help someone as part of the ULR role.The member has not let dyslexia hold her back in any way, and is extremely good at her job - which has been acknowledged and mentioned by her manager. Discovering she had dyslexia lifted the burden of 16 years, where she had struggled sometimes to read books or reports and had not understood why.”