Friday, 9 March 2012

Dyslexia and Us

What do Ultimo lingerie brand Michelle Mone OBE, comedienne Elaine C. Smith, Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave, International rugby player Kenny Logan, ‘Just a Minute’ radio show host Nicholas Parsons, an 11 year old boy, a 78 year old retired construction worker, a job seeker, a parent, a prisoner and a vet have in common?
They are among the many people who have shared their personal stories about what dyslexia means to them. Not every contributor is dyslexic but they have all been sufficiently affected by dyslexia to write their story.
With a foreword by Formula 1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, this is a collection of over 100 moving, poignant, sad, shocking, funny, instructive and illuminating stories.
They describe the powerful impact of dyslexia on individuals, families, relationships, professionals and support staff. They give a fascinating insight into how dyslexic people are treated in a wide range of different day to day settings, including job centres, adult literacy classes, education and workplaces.
The book, published by Edinburgh City Libraries, is on sale at £7.99 Proceeds from the book will go to Dyslexia Scotland to help people with dyslexia.
The book can be ordered by following this link.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

First Learner of the Year Named for Scotland

Susan Manson, a cleaner at the Morrisons store in Airdrie, has been named as the 1st Learner of the Year by Scottish Union Learning, which is part of the Scottish TUC. The Learner of the Year Award was introduced by Scottish Union Learning in 2011 to recognise the range of learning journeys currently undertaken by lay learners in the workplace, supported by trade unions. Susan was nominated by her union, USDAW, because her story is a powerful example of how union learning is supporting those who never thought learning was for them.

At a recent union-supported “Check Out Learning” campaign day, Susan signed up for a Basic IT course. Susan said, “I always wanted to know more about computers, but I didn’t have the confidence to go to a college by myself. My USDAW Union Learning Reps organised this course in store, which was supported by the Learning Fund through Scottish Union Learning.”
Susan started the course but soon felt out of her depth. She also felt like she was struggling to keep up with the other learners, a feeling she remembered all too well from school. A ULR in the store spoke with Susan and helped her to gain the confidence to speak with the tutor regarding her dyslexia, something she had kept secret for many years.
Ann Seagriff, USDAW Union Learning Rep, said, “We were happy to support Susan to overcome her struggles to be successful in this course. It involved a lot of encouragement, and sometimes a wee bit of a push, and we’re so proud that she’s got there in the end.”
The course tutor helped Susan to access software which helped her overcome the problems dyslexia caused on the course. Susan later bought her own laptop, and the software which helped her so much during the course is now an integral part of her life.
Susan said, “For years, I had to rely on my husband or my son to read something for me. Now I just scan my mail into the computer and can deal with it myself. It’s so much nicer not to have to rely on anyone else – what I’ve learned with the support of my union has completely changed my life.”
She continued, “It was quite a shock to hear that I was going to be named as the Learner of the Year. I’m so pleased and just hope that other learners out there are encouraged to take a chance like I did – it’s worth it!”

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Continued Funding for Workplace Learning

The STUC welcomes an announcement from the Scottish Government that it has granted funding of £1.422m to the STUC for union-led learning initiatives until March 2013. The STUC will take forward this work through Scottish Union Learning.
This funding complements a two-year award of £895k from the European Social Fund until March 2013 for Lowlands and Uplands Scotland, and a three-year award of £415k until March 2014 for the Highlands and Islands.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, said,
“Through Scottish Union Learning, the STUC puts learners at the centre by delivering learning in the workplace, with highly successful results. The Scottish Government’s continued support for union-led learning demonstrates the value trade unions add to workplaces in Scotland.
“Unions are taking a proactive approach to help at-risk workers, particularly low-paid and non-traditional learners, to take action to protect themselves by increasing their skills.
“The STUC welcomes this funding and we look forward with immense confidence to the continued success of union learning in Scotland.”