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SAT: Dyslexia and Social Entrepreneurship Open Digital Resource (Susan Eley Morris)

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Dr Susan Morris
6 January 2016

This OU Live multimedia presentation describes my research and development of the Dyslexia-Friendly Workplace Project.  This educational technology project is developing a behavioural intervention, aimed at Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of employing organisations, about the inclusion of adults with dyslexia in learning in the workplace.  Dyslexia-Friendly Workplace will be an open access, free, multimedia digital wall curated using Microsoft Sway.  The Project aspires to have transformative economic and social impact as a provision of open education about adults with dyslexia for all employees and volunteers.  The first intervention and iteration of the Wall will be personalised for CEOs of social enterprises operating in Scotland, on the grounds that twenty per cent of entrepreneurs in the UK have dyslexia (McCue 2015) and there are over 30,000 entrepreneurs with dyslexia working in Scotland (Gildener 2015). 

My presentation sets out the three areas of 1) evidence on dyslexia and entrepreneurship, 2) my agenda in universal design, accessibility and inclusion and 3) my actions in designing a digital wall of informal learning about dyslexia for social enterprises as workplaces. 

The four pillars of my agenda are The Social Model of Disability where difference is not considered a deficit (SAIF 2009); digital inclusion of all adults which requires mindfulness of the digital divide, the double digital divide, digital literacy, digital agility and accessibility (Seale, Draffan and Wald 2010; Seale 2014); universal design to ensure usability for all not accessibility for some and free open education in informal digital spaces. 

My presentation will reveal the first iteration of the Dyslexia-Friendly Workplace digital wall, introducing three of its artefacts.   Artefacts of the digital wall will be sent as missives to the targeted audience of CEOs of social enterprises in Scotland using a social media strategy.  The rationale for the social media strategy, indicators of traction and measures of economic and social impact will be described.

In the social economy practice with adults with disabilities may be at an advanced enlightened situation. I look through the Inclusion lens to Open Education towards some tangible missions of co-creating learning that will contribute to equality and prosperity.  Whoever we consider ourselves to be, we make sense of the world through our lens, as specialists and generalists depending on our passion for, interest in and accomplishment of a thing and co-production with others.


Gildener, J (2015) Dyslexia and Entrepreneurship. Social Enterprise Academy blog. http://www.socialenterpriseacademy/blog/ [online]. Last accessed 11 November 2015.

McCue, S (2015) Steven Unique Dyslexic McCue Blog.

Scottish Accessible Information Forum (2009) The Social Model of Disability Easy Read Version. Glasgow: SAIF

Seale, J., Draffan ,E.A., Wald, M (2010) Digital agility and digital decision-making: conceptualising digital inclusion in the content of disabled learners in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 445-461 DOI 10.1080/03075070903131628

Seale, J.K. (2014) E-learning and Disability in Higher Education. Accessibility Research and Practice. Custom Edition. Routledge

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Presenting the process and progress of Dyslexia Friendly Workplace digital wall

Presenting the process and progress of Dyslexia Friendly Workplace digital wall

Accessible Alternative
added by Dr Susan Morris


Dr Simon Ball
11:40am 14 February 2016

Hi Susan
Here is a summary of the questions/comments from your presentation - please respond as you wish:

  • 'How to describe yourself on LinkedIn' could be a course in itself...
  • I agreed - Let's get rid of the phrase 'learning difficulties' and change to 'learning differences'.
  • I found dyslexia disproportionately high when working with WBL project from Hairdressing: it's a creative skill with less significant written work.
    Really handy free font for working with dyslexic students here -
  • Can you link into already existing accounts on dyslexia?
  • we discovered a definite pattern of low numeracy skills with Health and Social Care work based learners. I wonder if difficulties with certain skills guides people into different professions.
  • There are so many dyslexic students in my classes. Probably because they are retaking GCSE English. They struggle so much.
  • Big issue with numeracy and medication doses etc as nursing / caring has high level of dyslexia and dyscalculia
  • We're currently looking into DISC personality profiling in different job roles.
  • There used to be a research database of ongoing work in assistive technology but its been cut - see
  • Sway looks really interesting - is it free?

  • Sway has an automatic accessibility feature.

  • Do employers know if an applicant is dyslexic before appointment?
  • I found Sway very intuitive and have used it to drive the design; you do need the resources ready to copy in although it doesn't keep a lot of the text formatting

Dr Susan Morris
11:09am 16 February 2016

How I describe myself on LinkedIn was evidence-based / Delphi circle approach. Seven participants on a face-to-face leadership programme (October 2015 to January 2016) who had not met me before 1 October 2015 were asked on January 14 2016 how would you describe me professionally? Enterprising public open scholar is what tumbled out.  Approachable was also included but I edited that out seeing approachable as part of 'open'.

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So i share my process and a product/service. There are lots of LinkedIn validated learning out there.  Thanks for the question,  best wishes, Susan 

Dr Susan Morris
11:16am 16 February 2016 - OpenDyslexic Font 3 was shared by another student in H810 which I studied at the same time as H818.  I spread myself very thin across the two modules and life but the creativity and innovation I enjoyed from doing both together continues to be awesome.  

Dr Susan Morris
11:23am 16 February 2016

  • "we discovered a definite pattern of low numeracy skills with Health and Social Care work based learners. I wonder if difficulties with certain skills guides people into different professions."

This is a very interesting one.  I worked at a face-to-face university who introduced Dyslexia/Dyspraxia/Dyscalculia (3D's) screening as part of their ACCESS articulation from 8 FE colleges with the university. At the time the ACCESS initiative was lead by a visionary guy - the type who is never renumerated or recognised for their impact during their working life.  To cut a longer story shorter and make it more interesting - the evening part-time programme closed down as students with one or more of the 3 D's no one wanted to do arts/ social sciences once they realised there were other options that they could be supported to learn.  Ditto /chime with the comment at my presentation about hairdressing.  Secondly as the 'service' (still 1 man and a folder) was rolled a high proportion (let's say a third) of the Nursing students took their credits to articulate into Veterninary Nursing, Dietetics, Physiotherapy degree courses elsewhere -  these health careers were seen as more prestigious and also needed more literacy and numeracy.

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