Stakeholders Encouraged to Take the Dyslexia Pledge

Organisations from the farming industry have this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to adopt good practice in communications.

NFU Scotland has created a Best Practice in Communications Guide, which sets out the measures it has taken to improve its communications for members on the back of its successful Farming with Dyslexia campaign.

Now others within the industry are being encouraged to get on board and review their practices to make their communications as accessible as possible.

At the first meeting of 2016 of the Farming With Dyslexia Working Group, seven stakeholders signed a Memorandum of Understanding to commit to review documents and other communications such as websites, telephone calls and meetings to ensure they are dyslexia-friendly. This includes: NFU Scotland, Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division, Forestry Commission, Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs, Crofting Commission, Scotland’s Rural College and RSABI.

Over the last 18 months NFU Scotland has reviewed its communications and house style following liaison with Dyslexia Scotland, and has delivered training for staff to make documents dyslexia-friendly and more accessible for all its members.

Andrew McCornick, NFU Scotland’s Vice President commented: “With agriculture and other land-based industries being characterised by form-filling and increasing amounts of paperwork, it was identified that there was a need to simplify written and verbal communications. It is important that documents and other aspects of working life, such as meetings, are made more accessible for dyslexic farmers, crofters, and rural workers.

“The Best Practice Guide in Communications fulfils two of the campaign’s three core aims, which are to ensure measures to recognise dyslexia among the farming community are in place, and to ensure systems of communication are more accessible for dyslexic farmers and crofters with a choice of delivery options.

“It is hoped that the Best Practice Guide in Communications will encourage wider stakeholder groups working in the agricultural and rural industries to adopt similar principles of good practice in communications with their respective members and associates. The Memorandum of Understanding reflects this aspiration.”

David Barnes, Chief Agricultural Officer, Scottish Government said: “We welcome the opportunity to formally sign NFU Scotland’s Memorandum of Understanding which demonstrates our continued commitment to making our communications accessible to all, including those with dyslexia.

 “We have already made good progress in developing our communications and identifying ways in which we can be more dyslexia-friendly, for example developing a style guide for written communications. We want to make our Rural Payments and Services website accessible to all.

 “We will provide dyslexia awareness training to our Rural Payments and Inspections Division staff later this year, and are working with Dyslexia Scotland and NFUS to improve our written documents and publications.  We have already produced information videos and visuals for staff and customers.

“We have also enhanced the customer support available in our local area offices. Our customers can schedule an appointment with a member of our staff and receive one-to-one help with using our online services.”

Notes to Editors

  • For a photograph of the organisations who have signed the pledge, please email
  • For any organisations who would like more information about the Farming With Dyslexia pledge, please contact


Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 119/16

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