Liam de la Bedoyere, a final year student on BA Product Design, has produced an extremely interesting dissertation in which he investigates the effects of dyslexia on graduate employment in the design industry.
The positive creative attributes associated with dyslexia are well-known amongst staff in the ALS unit. As Liam notes, differences in cognitive learning enable dyslexic students to ‘develop spatial, visual and reasoning styles that benefit generating novel solutions to problems’. However, despite moves in current research to emphasise these advantages, Liam argues that ‘there is a clear need for more information about the advantages of dyslexia amongst employers who lack knowledge and experience in this area’.
Innovation in design solutions and the ability to offer clear verbal communication are the foremost skills that his respondent employers in the design industry sought: exactly the skills that dyslexic students often excel in. In order to promote these positive features which could make a dyslexic design graduate more employable, Liam has also produced a resource for potential employers in the industry. His respondents found the content ‘interesting and useful’.
Liam is passionate about the potential for improving dyslexic graduate employment. He believes this will increase with wider dissemination of the positive attributes that dyslexic candidates can bring to the workplace. In particular, he encourages students to consider a positive approach when called for interview: ‘issues may be resolved by graduate job seekers being better prepared for the interview, knowing how to focus on their strengths e.g. discussing their designs and dyslexic advantage’.
We wish Liam well with his dissertation and with his own graduate employment.