In addition to its usual long list you can add to your LinkedIn account , the networking platform has added ‘Dyslexic Thinking’ to the list of skills its users can add to that section of their account. The new skill went live on the site on 31 March. Dictionary.com have also stated that they will be adding the term ‘Dyslexic thinking’ to their list of official terms.
The skill has been added in an attempt to destigmatize dyslexia among employers and the wider public. Additionally, it allows professionals to create profiles that better reflect their work lives. Dyslexic thinking was added to the platform as part of a campaign created by charity group Made by Dyslexia. Virgin founder and prominent entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, who is a known dyslexic, also collaborated with LinkedIn on this endeavour.
As reported by the Evening Standard, Sir Richard stated that people with dyslexia think ‘creatively and more expansively’, and described the new initiative as a ‘breakthrough’ in acknowledging the positives of being dyslexic in the workplace.
Change of thinking required
The fact that such a prominent individual has stated his view on the move by LinkedIn will hopefully serve to raise the profile of dyslexia and the dyslexic thinking skill. Branson also added that he hopes companies will be actively seeking out dyslexic thinkers in the coming years. It would certainly be wonderful to see a change in attitudes towards dyslexia.
Dyslexic individuals posses a unique outlook on life due their disability and their skills set reflects this. Adding a skill option to LinkedIn that reflects this individuality and uniqueness is a huge step in the right direction for dyslexic individuals. It helps to validate that dyslexic individuals can contribute skills to the workplace, which will help massively in the stigma of employing individuals with dyslexia.
As someone with dyslexia, I personally see the move by LinkedIn as a huge positive. I have added ‘dyslexic thinking’ as a skill to my profile and would certainly encourage other individuals with dyslexia to do the same.
Employers are able to view the LinkedIn profiles of those they are considering employing, and stating dyslexia as a skill will result in companies viewing the disability as a positive rather than a negative. I am certainly hoping that this will help to turn around the popular opinion of dyslexia. I’ve been subject to negative stereotypical viewpoints on dyslexia, particularly while I was at school. Hopefully this step in the right direction will encourage others to stop the stereotypical views and give dyslexic people a fair chance.