Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Dyslexia and Policing: Understanding the Impact that Dyslexia has in the Police Service in England and Wales

Macdonald, Stephen J and Cosgrove, Faye (2019) Dyslexia and Policing: Understanding the Impact that Dyslexia has in the Police Service in England and Wales. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 38 (6). pp. 634-651. ISSN 2040-7149

Item Type: Article


This article explores the experiences of officers/civilians with dyslexia serving in the police service in England and Wales. Although there has been a growing body of research which has analysed the experiences of offenders and victims with dyslexia, there have been few studies focusing on the experiences of police officers/civilians with this condition. This study employs the social model of disability to conceptualise the experiences of these police officers/civilians from a disability rights perspective.
This applies a quantitative methodology to analyse data on disabling environments experienced by officers/civilians serving in a police service situated in the North of England. The paper collected data from 56 police employees previously diagnosed with dyslexia.
The findings reveal that a significant number of officers were reluctant to disclose that they had dyslexia to their police service. The choice to disclose was a key concern for officers/civilians, as this was directly linked to their experiences of stigmatisation, as well as the risk of their competences being questioned at work. The analysis presents evidence that, although officers/civilians have legal protections under the Equality Act (2010) in the United Kingdom, very few had experienced any form of ‘reasonable adjustment’ in the workplace.
Drawing on the social model of disability, the article concludes that the police service must improve access to reasonable adjustment, for example, through the use of assistive technologies, to create a more inclusive and supportive working environment for their employees.

Dyslexia in the police force reviewed AAM (1).pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (242kB) | Preview

More Information

Depositing User: Klaire Purvis-Shepherd


Item ID: 10593
Identification Number:
ISSN: 2040-7149
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Stephen J Macdonald: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 11:19
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2021 02:38


Author: Stephen J Macdonald ORCID iD
Author: Faye Cosgrove

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences

Actions (login required)

View Item (Repository Staff Only) View Item (Repository Staff Only)