How having a dyslexia diagnosis gave me hope for the future.

This week I am very pleased to introduce Barry Weldon to you as our new guest writer.

In his article, Barry writes about his experience of going back to college after a time working in retail and how he discovered that he had dyslexia.

Barry writes...

I struggled at school, especially with English and left aged 17, I had always dreamt of going to university but never gained any higher’s and left education to work in the retail sector.
Five years ago, I joined the rail industry, and returned to learning through my passion for equalities by undertaking a TUC (trade union congress) Diploma in equalities organised by the RMT union at City of Glasgow College.
I enjoyed the course but experienced difficulties due to the high volume of reading. I suspected I might have dyslexia, I never had the patience to read books, and I knew if I didn’t challenge my fears I would drop out of College. 
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I confided in my Union learning Representative who advised me to contact Scottish Union Learning, after initial discussions, I was referred to the Learner Support Co-ordinator at the College who organised a series of assessments and provided excellent support.
When I was identified as having dyslexia, I found this liberating as it gave me an understanding of my difficulties in life and education that had always been there, it also gave me hope for the future.
With the assistance of software technology and reasonable adjustments made by ScotRail, I have made real progress in undertaking the TUC Diploma and other courses facilitated by the RMT union.
I have ambitions to work within railway operations logistics, and in October 2015 I enrolled on the Institute of Rail Operatives Certificate at Glasgow Caledonian University, which leads to a qualification. I am finally realising my dream’s and have recently been promoted to Conductor on train at Queen Street Station.
Barry has been recognised for his commitment to learning.
I was chosen as the fifth annual Learner of the Year by Scottish Union Learning because of my commitment to learning. The presentation was made by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training and Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the STUC, at the Scottish Union Learning Conference 2015.

I can’t highlight how important adult learning is to uncover our fears and bring out our qualities in work and education, I feel like a new man and would encourage other employers to work closely with Trade union ‘s and organisations who support Dyslexics all of whom have been pivotal in realising my ambitions. Everyone deserves the chance to bring their entire self to work and this can only be done by working on our strengths at work and embracing and supporting individuality and respect for neurodiversity.

Barry Weldon
Travel Clerk