A Beaconsfield-based fire service crew commander has lost a legal claim against his employers for disability discrimination after complaining they did not do enough to help him with his dyslexia.

John Roads complained that his wish to advance to the role of fire safety watch commander at Bucks Fire and Rescue was affected by the fire authority’s alleged failure to make adjustments for his disability.

Mr Roads’ hearing at Reading Employment Tribunal took place in March and August but tribunal judge Mr J Hill became ill during case and it did not finish.

There was a gap of seven months before the case was resumed. Mr Hill finally published his decision a few days ago in favour of the fire service.

The tribunal was told that Mr Roads’ dyslexia was fully appreciated in 2009 and an assessment carried out.

It was said that Mr Roads needed to take exams, attend a development centre and be interviewed if he wanted to be considered for the new role of fire safety watch commander.

But his advancement did not take place.

The fire service opposed Mr Roads’ disability discrimination claim and said they did what they could to help him – including providing the use of a scanner.

Paul Casey, watch commander for white watch at Beaconsfield, was among the witnesses.

Mr Hill said in his report that Mr Roads complained of unfair treatment by his employers for refusing to allow him to apply for the fire safety watch commander’s role.

“It was said the reason was disability,” said Mr Hill in his report. “This claim fails. The reason for the claimant not being put forward for this role is that he did not meet the basic eligibility.

“He had neither completed the exams or the development centre process.”

Mr Hill said the respondents told the tribunal they could not risk putting a person in a post who had not demonstrated their managerial ability and their academic knowledge.

“We  are satisfied that the evidence before us demonstrated that the claimant used his dyslexia as something to hide behind when he felt overwhelmed by the amount of work he was required to do for exams,” said Mr Hill.

As a result Mr Roads’ legal claim was dismissed.