Learning to Thrive: Learning Disabilities in the Workplace

Elisa Blasi is a Senior Technical Training Specialist at Intelex, and has learned that sometimes, standing out in the crowd is a good thing.

At a very young age I was diagnosed with a learning disability, which would impact the way I read, write, and understand numbers for the rest of my life. From that point on, I lived in constant fear of being outed as the student who was different and who was perceived as stupid.

As a child, I would have given anything to fit in. I wanted to blend in with all the other students who could take notes from the board and read aloud to the enter classroom.

Today, I am a Senior Technical Training Specialist at Intelex. I travel around the world and train large groups of subject matter experts on environmental, health, safety, and quality applications. I develop training roll-out strategies and customize learning content to fit training needs. My unique way of viewing a successful learning environment allows me to stand out as an Intelex trainer.

How does someone go from doing everything they can to blend in to standing out in a competitive field?

The key ingredient is working in an environment that is hungry to embrace and provide support to different styles of thinking and learning. 

My Intelex Experience

I came to Intelex with a strong understanding of how to navigate my learning disability. After years of using assistive technology to help bridge the gap, I was not concerned about my ability to produce great work as a new Intelex employee.   

But I also came to Intelex with the lifelong understanding that if I disclosed to another employee that I had a learning disability, I potentially would no longer be taken seriously.  

I did not anticipate a work environment that asks each of their employees to stand out; a work environment that encourages you to use your strengths as a tool to come up with new ideas. As someone who struggled with the normative learning structures her whole life, I had a lot of ideas for my training team on how we could support different learning styles in our client sessions. When expressing these ideas, I was asked to run with them. I was asked to stand out.

This perspective on learning is directly attributed to talking about the thing I have tried to hide much of my life. If it was not for my learning disability, I would have not been exposed to thinking about learning outside of the normal classroom experience. Intelex asked me to take my unique perspectives and apply it to my team.

Being at Intelex for three years now, I openly talk about my learning disability. I do not hesitate to apply my own experiences on learning styles to the way I teach our users when interacting with Intelex.

I am truly proud to work for a company that asks you to stand out.

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About Elisa Blasi

Elisa Blasi is a Senior Technical Training Specialist at Intelex. In the three years she has worked with the company, she has traveled around the world supporting clients as they learn how to best use Intelex software. Elisa specializes in developing training methods that support and encourage all types of learners in both her online and onsite training sessions. In her personal life, Elisa works as the ambassador of the Learning Disability Association of York Region. Her goal is to ensure that she continues to build environments that inspire people to keep learning.

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