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TIM will be a Dyslexia-friendly company by 2021

The “Dyslexia No Problem” project launches in SLD awareness week

10/06/2020 - 11:40 AM

The Italian and European week dedicated to raising awareness about SLDs (Specific Learning Disorders), a condition that, projecting some statistics, affects around 3 million Italians who are sometimes unaware of it, will run from 5 to 11 October.

For us at TIM, inclusion and valuing diversity is a solid commitment. This is why we have chosen to become a certified Dyslexia-Friendly Company by 2021, and this year during this recurring event we are launching the “Dyslexia No Problem” project for all our colleagues,  in collaboration with the Italian Dyslexia Association (AID). 

This course of action on the one hand includes a careful assessment of our company processes, to highlight those that could be critical for dyslexic colleagues, and on the other several awareness-raising and internal training activities to spread awareness about what SLDs are, what form they might take in the world of work, and how we can ensure the inclusion of dyslexic colleagues.

Everyone working at TIM will be able to take a voluntary screening test, created by Fondazione TIM with the Bambino Gesù Hospital, to gain potentially greater awareness about their condition. The aim is to improve the life and work of around 2000 TIM employees who, given the statistics, could be affected by an SLD.

What are Specific Learning Disorders (SLDs)?

They are disorders that affect reading, writing and calculation skills. They include Dyslexia, Dysorthography, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia.

SLDs are not caused by mental retardation, instead these conditions are caused by a different functioning of some brain areas involved in the processes of reading, writing and calculation. This different functioning of the intellect implies a different way of processing information: the brain, in fact, possesses an extraordinary capacity to reorganise itself and to create new routes to access and process the information and stimuli it receives from the external world.

Interview with Professor Enrico Ghidoni

Professor Ghidoni, how many people have Dyslexia and SLDs?

There is no simple answer. It is estimated that 5 to 10% of the population may have SLDs to different degrees. The prevalence is higher in English-speaking countries, in Italy it is between 3 to 5% at school level; in adults of working age conservative estimates are 3%, and this percentage would be found in any social context, including companies. For example, in a company with 200 employees, at least 6 people will have an SLD.

Can we debunk some beliefs and prejudices about SLDs?

SLDs are not very visible and are therefore hard to understand and often misunderstood, in particular they could be interpreted as sloppiness, apathy and low intelligence. But by definition, people with an SLD have normal intelligence. An SLD is not a language problem and it is not the result of impaired vision or hearing, or psychological trauma. It is a different way of functioning.

Why is it important to talk about Dyslexia?

In our society, in particular in schools and in the world of work, it is important to foster a better understanding of dyslexia and SLDs in order to debunk the myths and encourage an attitude that allows people to develop their potential, benefiting both people with SLDs and the social contexts in which they operate. A win-win goal is to understand and value diversity to improve the way each employee works, also for the benefit of the company.

How can a company create an inclusive work environment?

It requires a change in the culture and information within companies at all levels, providing information and training content and materials. It is also necessary to implement good practices to put in place inclusive personnel management processes.

What can people with an SLD like Dyslexia teach us?

How to look at the world from different perspectives, how to take unconventional paths, value intuition and creativity, communicate with images, and understand that there are many different ways of being in the world.

Biography

Professor Enrico Ghidoni is a neurologist and has worked for many years at the Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova hospital in Reggio Emilia where he was head of the Clinical Neuropsychology, Cognitive Disorders and Adult Dyslexia department (the first department in Italy to deal with the diagnosis of dyslexia in adults).

His extensive experience includes:

 - Professor of Neuroscience on degree courses in Logotherapy, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

- Clinical manager of the Expert Centre for Cognitive Disorders of Reggio Emilia.

- A founding partner of the Italian Dyslexia Association, he was Chairman of the association from 2001 to 2005, Vice-Chairman from 2007 to 2009, and a member of the Social Problems Committee from 2009 to 2012. He participated in the process for the implementation of Law 170 on SLDs and was responsible for several national training projects for the Italian Ministry of Education (MIUR).

- In 2012 he became a member of the BoD of the Italian Dyslexia Foundation and then of the SLD-work Committee of AID.

He is the author of numerous studies on dyslexia, and in particular on dyslexia in young adults, and on other neuropsychological topics. At present, he works at the Anemos Neurosciences Centre (Reggio Emilia), at the SOS-dyslexia diagnostic centres (Milan, Bologna, Modena) and at Fondazione San Sebastiano (Florence). He is also involved in a European project on dyslexia and work (dyslexia-at-work.eu).

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