What a Weird Year

What Year Is It?

Well, my year started off well. Truly, things were looking positive. Also, I had signed to help as a volunteer with FDAMH on mental health. Signed up with fair start Scotland to find a job. Passed my interview and started training to be part of the helpline team at Dyslexia Scotland. I was also part of a writing class to help improve my blog and write a book someday!

Then March came along! We were introduced to Covid 19. This virus was spreading all over the world and shutting it down! My holiday to Poland for my partners birthday was cancelled. Two days before we were supposed to board a flight. My training disappeared for everything I was doing. What is going to happen next? Sit tight in the house and hopefully be up and running soon?

A Year To Learn

Is this all I could do? No, I decided to challenge myself and learn new skills. I aided with a project at Dyslexia Scotland. Learned to transcribe from YouTube to Microsoft Word. Another project I have taken part in was about clean language coaching research. My journey through the strange world of dyslexia. I had taken up a course on equality and diversity NFCE level 2. I finished my application form for the Open University. This was accepted, and I am now an undergraduate studying for my Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. I also learned how to Zoom. This gave me fantastic opportunities to meet new people.

Zoom has allowed me to meet up with Darren Clark. An ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association. Darren has a project in Africa and Bali to aid dyslexia. He is also working with HSBC to, aid dyslexia training. I have, also met up with Martin Bloomfield. A PhD student who runs Dyslexia Bytes. I did not know what I was letting myself in for when being asked for a so-called 10-minute chat! Looking back on it, I would have asked for the questions beforehand. As a reasonable adjustment, I can then practice what I would say! However, I would answer questions differently now. The training I have had with Dyslexia Scotland has helped in this area. I have also gone along to more adult network meetings from Dyslexia Scotland thanks to Zoom.

Opportunities And Frustrations

I have also had a fantastic opportunity to work with the team at Claro software. I find this software helpful for my dyslexia. Some people might not like this there is a lot to it. I have gone back for many free websites on the software. This is due to my working memory issues. However, I am now awfully familiar with how to do an essay on coffee.

Then there is the frustrating and anxiety side. Thanks to Covid 19, everything has turned out to be more complicated. This is due to the restrictions which are in place. No one to one support. Everything I do now is by email or phone call.

Trying to

  • Find information is frustrating.
  • Fill out complicated application forms.
  • Get a repeat prescription now seems like mission impossible.

Phone currently at this point! By the time you remember the time it is past the deadline. Try again tomorrow.

Mentor

I must mention my wonderful mentor Sharon. She has been patient in aiding me on zoom to learn the ropes for the helpline. It has taught me a lot about the issues that many people still face with being dyslexic. I had a few difficult days and Sharon has aided me with sorting out difficult calls and emails. Also aiding me with where to find information in my pack provided. Sharon has also been incredibly supportive of my studies. We are both with the Open University and can talk about our frustrations. It gives us both a laugh when you read “write the essay in your own words”.

Focus On The Future

It has been an interesting year. It has been positive in many aspects. Another positive has been in aiding my recovery for anxiety. It has also been frustrating as you know where the support is but cannot seem to reach it. It will be interesting to see what next year will bring. OrCam has approached me about trying their product. It would be interesting if it happens. I will wait and see. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and will see you all next year!

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