LinkedIn made it possible for users to add “dyslexic thinking” as a skill on their profiles after Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, and global charity Made By Dyslexia launched a campaign called #DyslexicThinking. The aim was to help recognize the creative and problem-solving skills that people with dyslexia bring to their work.
People with dyslexia are primarily visual or image-based thinkers. Branson himself added dyslexic thinking into his set of skills, and encourages others to do so.
“I’m thrilled LinkedIn has added dyslexic thinking to their recognized skills list,” he said. “It’s significant because it recognizes this unique way of thinking as a positive trait.”
The campaign is relevant to marketers because it demonstrates how cherishing people's differences can help a brand align itself with the idea of inclusivity. In turn, the brand can make a relatively easy and positive PR splash and gain lots of earned media mentions. The story was picked up by a slew of prominent media outlets in early April, including Adweek, Bloomberg, and others.
The #DyslexicThinking movement aims to help the world better understand and value dyslexia. Dyslexia influences as many as one in five people and is a genetic difference in an individual’s ability to learn and process information.
Many employers are missing out because they aren’t aware of the strengths people with dyslexia have to offer, said the charity in its latest report.
The tasks dyslexics typically find more challenging, such as spelling, reading, and memorizing facts, are increasingly being done by machines. Meanwhile, soft skills are the very skills that people with dyslexia are strong at, the charity explained.
Along with LinkedIn, Dictionary.com said that it is in the process of adding “dyslexic thinking” as an official term.
“LinkedIn and Dictionary.com’s recognition of dyslexic thinking will have a huge impact on the way in which dyslexic individuals view their own unique way of thinking, and the value this brings to the world of work,” said Kate Griggs, founder of Made By Dyslexia, who is also dyslexic herself.