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Matt Hancock says ditching CVs for typos is ‘outdated’ as he campaigns to raise dyslexia awareness

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Matt Hancock said he felt ‘secret shame’ about his dyslexia diagnosis and hid it from colleagues (PA)

Rejecting a resume because of a typo is “outdated” and penalizes neurodiverse candidates, former health secretary Matt Hancock said.

Hancock, who has dyslexia, is pushing for a new government strategy to change the way learning disability is viewed and treated in Britain.

Speaking to an audience at the 2022 Dyslexia Show in Birmingham, he said bosses should look at “someone’s actual ability to do a job, not a representative for it”.

Mr. Hancock added: “People often use their straight line writing as an indicator of ability. Sure, there’s a category of jobs where that’s critical, but there are other jobs where you need a creative brain and the computer can do the spell checking.

“It’s out of date to throw a CV in the bin because of a typo.”

The former government minister said the failure to diagnose dyslexia was a “silent social scandal” and caused a “massive and unaffordable waste of the country’s economic potential.”

The British Dyslexia Association estimated in 2019 that 80 per cent of dyslexic children leave school undiagnosed. This was the case for Matt Hancock, who was only diagnosed with dyslexia when he got to college.

“I always knew there was a problem because it was hard for me to read,” he said. The daily telegraph. “The lyrics mixed up, and they still do, but I thought I wasn’t very good with the language.”

He said his math skills “got me to Oxford” and that it was a tutor at the university who noticed his writing wasn’t up to par. He was examined and “relearned to read” with the help of a specialist.

Matt Hancock joins pro-Ukraine activists protesting outside the Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in London (AP)

Matt Hancock joins pro-Ukraine activists protesting outside the Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in London (AP)

Hancock said he had tried to keep his tilt difficulty a secret for two decades, including during his time working for the Bank of England and as a junior minister. “Shame is the right word,” he said. “I had a practical concern that I wasn’t going to progress in my career and then I had an emotional barrier to talk about it, which was a shame.”

It was when his new private secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport told him that he, too, had dyslexia that Hancock realized he had a duty to speak publicly about it.

He said he wanted to show dyslexic children and adults that they could still “rise to the top.” She now calls for universal dyslexia screening in schools, better teacher training and a greater focus on reading in prisons.


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