We all know that any post on social media is public – but how many people actually read our blogs? The answer is, that depends how many followers (and follower’s followers) you have and whether your blogs contain anything offensive, funny or illegal! Understandably, at least so far, my digital impact has been somewhat limited.
Perhaps this is all about to change. And, if it does, what are the implications for me?
This week, the Times Higher Education (THE) decided to publish a series of articles about Disability on Campus and ‘first up’ was: “I have decided to go public as the Dyslexic Professor“! Of course, THE has a far greater reach than I do. Proof of the pudding came pretty quickly …
My post on LinkedIn citing the article has already had over 1,500 views – compared to the normal less than 50. In addition, THE (@timeshighered) has 234K followers on Twitter and posted a tweet on 14th May.
Perhaps more meaningfully, at least for me, is the number of direct emails from colleagues in universities. They broadly fall into two camps …
- I’m also a dyslexic academic but have not felt able to declare this to my university and even less so declare it publicly.
- I’m an academic or professional and don’t have dyslexia but one of my children or siblings does.
I was expecting the former and feel gratified for going public. However, I hadn’t expected the latter. In all cases the personal stories are both moving and shocking. We really have designed an educational system that rewards fine detail thinking and doesn’t just ignore big picture thinking but tries to crush it! The personal trauma is life-long and painful memories are just below the surface.
So, what next?
- I will (increasingly with the help of my guest bloggers – please do feel free to join us) keep blogging with a target of reaching 52 post by 5th October – World dyslexia awareness day.
- Look for groups to support: Dyslexia Champions, Made by Dyslexia
- Consider bringing a small group together to arrange a gathering of academics and professionals in universities with dyslexia. Of course, this could provide a peer-support network but also agree some actions that could persuade the higher education sector that dyslexia is not a difficulty or even a difference but actually a superpower!