A psychology graduate faced discrimination while applying for jobs due to his learning difficulty. 

Michael Sheldon, 37, faced continual setbacks when applying for assistant psychology roles when the vacancies were vanishing before he’d completed his application. 

The Stirling University psychology masters graduate, who is dyslexic, was giving up hope of ever entering the profession he trained for.

Michael said: “After completing my applications, even several days before the closing date, I was shocked to discover that I wouldn’t be able to apply. The adverts had been withdrawn because enough people had sent their applications in before me. I felt like I was never going to get a chance at a job.” 

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Application forms are tricky for people with dyslexia, even for graduates like Michael who are skilled in writing academic essays. It takes time for a dyslexic person to read and process a job pack, plan and compose a written application to the best standard, then to proof-read and check before hitting ‘send’. 

For Michael, a skilled and qualified graduate, and thousands of others like him, applying for jobs presents many barriers. A vacancy closing early can put dyslexic jobseekers at a real disadvantage. 

Michael eventually appealed to Dyslexia Scotland to help address the issue. Since sharing his story and getting support with applications, Michael has been successful in getting a job as an assistant psychologist in Glasgow. 

However, he isn’t ignoring the hurdles that he’s experienced so far: “Even though I managed to get into the role, I’ll keep challenging unfair recruitment practices so other dyslexic people don't have the same struggle I did," he said.

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An estimated ten percent of the population is dyslexic which equates to around 60,000 Glaswegians. 

In time for Dyslexia Awareness Week Scotland, which runs from 1-7 November 2021, Michael and Dyslexia Scotland are appealing to employers to make routes into employment more inclusive of dyslexic applicants. 

Dyslexia Scotland Chief Executive Cathy Magee said: “Dyslexic people bring great talent to a diverse workplace. We hope that employers consider ways to make recruitment more dyslexia friendly so that skilled graduates like Michael can enter a positive destination after their studies. We encourage all Scottish organisations to show their support this Dyslexia Awareness Week and make your workplace more inclusive.”