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Support helps our employee Ross break down barriers

5 July 2018 

Being open about his learning difficulties has helped Ross McColl, a HR administrator with us overcome barriers in his personal and work life. 

Medical professionals diagnosed dyslexia and dyspraxia when Ross was young.

“Dyslexia meant I struggled with reading, spelling common words and remembering things,” says Ross.

“And dyspraxia meant I had problems co-ordinating movements – like swimming, writing, typing, drawing and grasping small objects. I also struggled to deal with my emotions.”

He received support throughout school and university.

Ross and his manager at BT 

“Fast forward to the beginning of 2017 when I joined BT. Just like school, I struggled with spelling, and remembering and applying the processes that I was taught,” says Ross.

His line manager introduced him to the BT Passport, a simple document which can be completed by any BT employee who feels their circumstances could have an impact on their ability to work due to health, disability or caring responsibilities. It provided the support he needed to overcome any difficulties.

A workplace assessment by Ability Net advised that speech recognition software would be helpful for Ross, and Genius Within provided sessions to help improve Ross’s memory, organisation, time and stress management skills.

His manager supported him throughout – including devising a training plan for him.

“By asking for help and being honest about the difficulties I was experiencing, I was able to access brilliant support,” he says. “I’ve gone from struggling at work to achieving results and enjoying my job.”

One year on, his skills continue to grow. It’s seen him receive a nomination for employee of the month. And he regularly receives excellent feedback for his customer service.

Checklists and software help him remember everything he’s learned. And he’s built the confidence to take on new tasks.

“The important thing in life is not to let any barriers get in your way, whether it’s learning difficulties or disabilities,” says Ross. “Overcome those barriers, and don’t let them stop you achieving your best.”

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