Last year, members of the ALS team were awarded funding to research the extent to which students with dyslexia and/or dyspraxia disclose their learning differences during work placements. On this page, we will report our findings and future actions.
The following video offers an insight into disclosure on the part of students.
This video gives the perspectives of Bournemouth University’s Careers & Employability Manager and one of our placement providers
An academic paper has also been written:
Keeping secrets: a case study of students’ disclosure of dyslexia and dyspraxia on application for a work placement
Anecdotal evidence suggests that undergraduates with dyslexia or dyspraxia fail to disclose these conditions when applying for a work placement. This research finds that students fear their employment opportunities will be compromised by negative perceptions of neurodiversity held by placement providers. Lack of disclosure means that reasonable adjustments are not made in the work place. Feedback from employers indicates that details of neurodiversity are not asked for at various stages of the application process. Often, this is because placement providers misunderstand equality legislation. They wrongly assume they will be seen as discriminatory if they raise notions of neurodiversity. Employers know very little about dyslexia or dyspraxia and have limited understanding of reasonable adjustments. This case study illustrates how and why a continuous cycle of non-disclosure exists which affects the placement experience for both students and employers. In turn, this impinges on subsequent decisions made when applying for graduate employment; it precludes opportunities for placement providers to utilise positive traits possessed by these applicants; it results in students failing to use their assistive technology in the work place and perpetuates negative assumptions about dyslexia and dyspraxia in wider society.
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