The lack of cultural diversity in higher education is recognised by policy objectives and a current focus on the development of widening participation for a range of students, including those with disabilities. Amongst this group are those with dyslexia who might previously have been disenfranchised from formal education and under‐represented within it. This paper explores the personal narratives and learner histories of six postgraduates and academics with dyslexia from their earliest memories of learning to their present experiences. It examines how literacy, as a dominant form of discourse, has defined concepts of academic ability resulting in the early exclusion of these learners from formal education. It is argued that this dominant discourse can be challenged by non‐authorised, informal learning resulting in stories of resistance.