Martin Bloomfield is a trainer, teacher and facilitator in international communication skills, and the creator of the Dyslexia Bytes website.
Bloomfield grew up in York. Initially, the family was comfortably off; Martin and his brothers were expected to do well at school. He attended York Minster Song School, before going to a state grammar school that became a comprehensive during his time there. He hated school; although he worked very hard, he remembers his teachers thinking him lazy. He found that he did not comprehend what teachers wanted him to do, in the way they wanted him to do it. Twice he was held back a year. He struggled to get the qualifications he needed for university entrance, and had to take an extra A-level at evening classes.
Bloomfield was twenty-two when he became an undergraduate student at St David’s University College to study philosophy. Lampeter’s small size meant that Bloomfield was instantly recognizable as ‘the guy in the black and white shoes,’ aka ‘Dodgy Shoes’. He was also active in the Fencing Society. Despite the remoteness of the situation, he learned there was a wide world accessible to him. He remembers mingling with international students a great deal. By the end of his time at Lampeter, he refused to leave, staying there right through the holidays. Academically, he thrived on project and dissertation work that was continuously assessed. However, he still struggled with exams, getting thirds instead of firsts. However, he did well enough to be able to stay on at Lampeter to do an MA. Towards the end of his time as a student, he was diagnosed as dyslexic.
After he graduated, he spent some time as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. Working as a Business English teacher in Germany, he noticed that many of the students he dealt with were intelligent. Yet they still did badly in their studies. Bloomfield recognized his own dyslexia signs in them and taught them in the way he would have liked to be taught himself. Their results improved and the school asked him to give some dyslexia awareness workshops to the other teachers. This was the start of Bloomfield’s deeper engagement with the study of dyslexia.
Bloomfield worked for some years around Zürich, where his work included providing training in dyslexia awareness and also communicative business skills, as well as in Peru and Australia. On his return to Britain, he worked as an instructor for SLS, giving Business English training to clients from across Europe. Alongside this, he was a teacher/trainer for Executive Communication Services for two years, offering communication skills training for international business clients.
Bloomfield joined York Associates as a trainer in November 2009. York Associates is a long- established organization, providing training in the field of professional English and international communication training. Bloomfield’s specialities include dyslexia awareness, special educational needs (SEN), and intercultural awareness of dyslexia and special educational needs. Since 2019, he has also lectured at Leeds City College teaching about international and intercultural perspectives on special educational needs.
Bloomfield is the founder of Dyslexia Bytes; he describes this as an ‘online “one-stop shop” to show an international, intercultural perspective on what dyslexia is.’ Dyslexia Bytes began as a means of connecting people from around Europe who had joined his SEN workshops, focusing on autism and ADHD, as well as dyslexia. When they got back to their normal work, attendees would still be able to share their experiences. However, Dyslexia Bytes quickly grew into a major dyslexia awareness resource website. It includes facts and statistics about dyslexics and helps people understand what executive function difficulties dyslexic people have. It also demonstrates what benefits dyslexic thinking has been shown to have, and it indicates how dyslexia can be understood from a variety of perspectives. Among the famous dyslexics listed are Henry Ford, Bill Gates and George Washington. In the British Council ELTons Awards for 2020, Dyslexia Bytes was one of the winners of the Judges’ Commendation for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. It was also one of the finalists for the Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources.
Bloomfield has addressed the British Government, various international Chambers of Commerce, departments of international trade and international conferences worldwide. He holds visiting lecturer positions at universities in Britain, Germany, France, Russia and Switzerland. He initiated and presented the UK’s annual Dyslexia in Business award. He is a member of various international advisory committees for inclusion and neurodiversity. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of York. In his spare time, he has volunteered for the Churches Conservation Trust and as a general care assistant for All Saints Community Care Project.
York Associates. (2021). Martin Bloomfield. Retrieved March 5 2021 from https://york-associates.co.uk/team/martin-bloomfield-associate-trainer/
Bloomfield, M. (2021). Martin Bloomfield, Relentless optimist. [LinkedIn page]. LinkedIn. Retrieved March 5 2021 from https://www.linkedin.com/in/martin-bloomfield-41370515/
Millin, S. (2020, August 3). Dyslexia bites – Q&A with Martin Bloomfield [Blog post]. Retrieved March 5 2021 from https://sandymillin.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/dyslexia-bytes-qa-with-martin-bloomfield/
Deacy, C. (Interviewer). (2019, October 13). Martin Bloomfield. Retrieved March 5 2021 from https://audioboom.com/posts/7394582-martin-bloomfield
Teaching Students with Dyslexia. (2020, August 25). Discussion with Martin Bloomfield “When Learning is Trauma.” [Facebook post]. Retrieved March 5 2021 from https://www.facebook.com/TeachingStudentsWithDyslexia/videos/2649390662015247/