A Shropshire woman who has helped thousands of people with dyslexia is preparing to celebrate her seventh anniversary in business.
Elizabeth Wilkinson set up her Telford-based company The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant to help thousands of people who miss out on being tested for dyslexia in the education system and then enter the world of work unaware they are dyslexic.
She has since gone on to provide vital support, advice and help to people of all ages.
Elizabeth, who shares the Specific Learning Difference with her parents, said: “I started my journey into dyslexia with my first course being the OCN dyslexia awareness course that I teach now for Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology.
“I have been tutoring since October 2000 and qualified as a teacher and specialist SpLD (Specific Learning Differences) teacher in 2004.
“In January 2007 I took a big step in my career by launching my own business, The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant and haven’t looked back since.”
She said: “The idea behind it was to raise the profile, understanding and general awareness of dyslexia. I was keen that I did this not only in education but also in the corporate world.
“Some people don’t discover they are dyslexic until after they leave school because they weren’t tested.
“I’ve heard every story possible from people being labelled ‘thick’ ‘slow’ ‘a poor listener’ or even ‘naughty’ which is devastating.
“I am delighted with the success that I have had with so many people which in turn has allowed me to grow the business to reach this seven year milestone.
“I now provide businesses, educational institutions and other organisations in Shropshire and further afield with training, specialist support, guidance and information to help them improve the way they serve and employ people with Specific Learning Differences (SpLD’s), such as, dyslexia.
“I help them to work out how they can provide an improved service to people with SpLDs both to help them to meet legislation including the DDA Disability Discrimination Act which covers dyslexia and also improve their workers’ lives.”
Elizabeth also has Asperger Syndrome and uses blue lenses which help with Meares-Irlen Syndrome, which leads to difficulties with fine vision tasks, such as reading.
She founded and organises the Dyslexia Information Day events sponsored by The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant.
Elizabeth said: “I know what it is like to be dyslexic and the heartbreak and stress that we can face whilst navigating and surviving the education system and then in adult life and in employment.
“It can hinder promotion prospects if the support isn’t there and more so if the employer lacks the knowledge they need to help them recognise the skills and positive aspects that dyslexic employees can bring to their company.
“I have faced and overcome many challenges due to my dyslexia but I think I have proven that anything is possible.
“My passion to make a difference and the changes I have made to people’s lives is what has kept me going and I am now looking to expand the company further over the next 12 months by working with more employers across the region.”
For more information about The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant go to www.theddc.org.uk , or Twitter via @EliTheDDC or by emailing email@example.com .