Dyslexia Awareness in the Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Sectors

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October 4th to 10th was dyslexia awareness week and having a husband and a daughter with dyslexia, I felt prompted to write this article to raise awareness and celebrate the contribution that people with dyslexia make to our industry. This year’s theme is Invisible Dyslexia. Dyslexia itself isn’t visible and is all too often overlooked in the workplace and in education. As a result, people with dyslexia often feel unsupported, unwanted and invisible.

There are many benefits of dyslexia that are desirable to the geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering sector including spatial visualisation, lateral thinking, deciphering data and creativity. Being able to spatially visualise complex ground conditions is an invaluable skill. Each person’s experience of dyslexia will of course be different, but each will bring skills to your business. If you work with someone with dyslexia, please don’t focus on the miss spelt words -it’s easy for someone else in your team to proof read and spell check. Instead – focus on the technical content and the fact you have a much better report as a result

For anyone wanting to understand a little more about dyslexia or for anyone who need support and advice, I recommend visiting the British Dyslexia Association website.  British Dyslexia Association ( They have a number of services and resources available for people including a helpline and can provide workplace needs assessments. They have a powerpoint designed for a workplace presentation. Link:

Vivien Dent

AGS Chair Elect. Leader of the Business Practice Working Group