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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Lyn found that her new working environment had particular expectations, which sometimes needed to be challenged.

And I think though none of my colleagues would say so directly, and nobody ever has, but one of the things I first experienced when I came to Oxford is people have a penchant for pedantry. And that is a nightmare when you're a dyslexic. As - and I've seen people throw out applications because people haven't put a comma in the right place. And I understand that if you're looking for detail, that might be really important - especially if you're a coder, though I know dyslexic coders and they function perfectly well, they have all kinds of strategies for coping. But that's what I mean about kind of revealing that you're a dyslexic. It's like in an atmosphere or an environment where precision and academic prowess, and the ability to string a coherent sentence together to win your argument, is - is tricky to compete with. You know? And I think I should not be in this environment, sometimes. And then I think but I'm just as capable and bright as everybody else around me, I just look a bit different in terms of the way I process things. I haven't got an answer.

Sometimes I feel a degree of discomfort, that it's uncomfortable. But it's not directly aimed at me, it's the environment in which we are. And I think sometimes that Oxford is trying to become more diverse and attract more diverse students, rightly so. But I wonder how successful we'll be at doing that, all the time we're focused on particular measures of what being bright looks like. And so this is a close area to my heart, is kind of - we judge academic achievement in a particular way, and relate that to being smart.