This dyslexic farming life

Around 25% of Scotland’s farmers are estimated to have dyslexia and RSABI has been offering farmers and crofters who may have dyslexia, but have never been assessed, a free professional assessment.

The assessments, which typically cost around £500, are being offered to farmers and crofters, and others working in Scottish agriculture, aged over 40 who should contact RSABI’s 24-hour freephone Helpline – 0808 1234 555 – to request an assessment.

RSABI also launched a powerful video interview with Fife farmer Pete Black about the impact of dyslexia on his life and farming career.

Pete, who farms at Newton of Collessie, spoke openly about having dyslexia when the Black family appeared in the “This Farming Life” series.

Pete says he didn’t realise he had dyslexia until he was an adult by which time he had developed a range of coping strategies.

“When I was at school in the 1990s dyslexia wasn’t spoken about very much, but I knew I was always last to finish my reading. The words would jumble in my head when I was looking at them and then they would jumble even more when I tried writing them down,” he said.

He said there are times, such as when he wants to clarify something on official websites which involve monochrome and block text, particularly with complex jargon, that can be very difficult to process.

“I am lucky to do a job I love but it was a great relief to me to discover that I had dyslexia and to know that the reason I was struggling wasn’t down to a lack of effort or not trying hard enough.

“My advice to any young person, and especially those in farming, is that dyslexia should not hold you back in any way.”

“We hope that by working with Dyslexia Scotland and offering the free assessments we can help improve understanding of dyslexia and the challenges these farmers can face.”

Cathy Magee, Chief Executive of Dyslexia Scotland, said: “It’s very encouraging to see the work being done by RSABI. We particularly welcome the offer of a free dyslexia assessment to farmers and crofters as the cost of an adult dyslexia assessment is so high, there are many who simply cannot afford to get assessed, which in turn means they can’t access the support they need.

“This is an excellent example of an organisation that is leading the way as a changemaker working towards a dyslexia-friendly Scotland.”  

Farmer Pete Black with a horse
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