Disability: A Barrier to My Future Career


By Dale Page, Graphic Designer

Currently, I work for a local play-scheme company in Corby, Northamptonshire (CSD Activity Camps) as a graphic designer. I am dyslexic and was diagnosed whilst in my first year at University. Therefore, always have this fear of thinking will this have an effect and be a barrier to my future career? Generally examining my disability, I sometimes reflect back on myself whilst at primary and secondary school. As I question myself did it have impact in my qualifications/learning; will employers take this into consideration?

One of my main obstacles is my literacy skills. Specifically, when emailing to potential employers/agency looking for work experience or have any design work available. Thus, emailing and professional etiquette I always give consideration since I want to give good first impressions. I will always write my email messages onto Microsoft Word. This is so I can read it over, as well as now and again get a someone to proof read what I have written. This is to double check my sentences, grammar and punctuation are used correctly. Typically, it is for reassurance, but I am also worried that I am going to be perceived as someone who is uneducated.

When given tasks I prefer them to be written down for me or sent in an email message. This allows me easily to refer back to. However, when given verbal instructions of more than five things to remember I find this difficult. This could give the impression as being someone who is forgetful. Consequently, I tend to make notes when told verbal jobs. Whilst my handwriting I regularly receive negative comments about it from people, when they attempt to read over what I have written.

Furthermore, since with the digital world my design work is out there for everyone to see, it is open to criticism. Hence, I receive regular feedback, some of which I take as positive and at other times take to heart if I read the comment as negative, and not being constructive.

Another big obstacle I face is miscommunication. For instance, the possibility of misinterpreting a brief and producing a piece of artwork that is not connected or does not match with what I was asked to do in the first place. Hence, potential employers and design agencies are able to see my style and how personally I decide what the client is asking. Fundamentally this has to match what their company ethos is all about, and particularly design work guidelines have to be followed.


For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

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