Dyslexia in the Workplace
Dyslexia is common
It is estimated that dyslexia affects 1 in 10 people in the UK workforce and probably about half of these will not have felt able to tell their employer that they have dyslexia or to explain what this means to them, what this has helped them to achieve or about their own individual strengths and talents.
Under the Equality Act 2010, dyslexia is recognised as a disability. This is a positive thing as it means employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to make sure all employees are able to work to their potential.
There are many well known examples of successful, talented and creative individuals who have dyslexia: Alan Sugar, Steve Job, Richard Branson, John Lennon, Pablo Picasso. People with dyslexia can bring talents and strengths to a team.
So what can be done to make your business dyslexia friendly?
Research has shown that by making your work environment dyslexia friendly everyone will benefit, not just employees with dyslexia. There are some easy things that can be put in place.
If team leaders and managers have an understanding of dyslexia they will be able to identify the signs and will feel comfortable to talk to their team members. Providing training for staff can help them to understand and communicate more effectively with clients or colleagues
If you have dyslexia and are able to talk to your manager openly about what this means to you this will help you to do your job well.
There are many simple changes that can be made that could make a big difference. Remember every person with dyslexia is different and will have their own ideas of what will work- so it is best to ask them.
A ‘reasonable adjustment’ is really about being open to explore different ways of working. These will vary but some ideas might be:
• Providing materials and slides well in advance of meetings
• Giving verbal instructions as well as written
• Using a different font for emails
• Providing a digital recorder or some software
How can we help?
Dyslexia Herts works with employers to raise awareness of dyslexia. We are also on hand to offer advice to adults with dyslexia in the workplace who may be thinking about talking to their employer and offer a range of services.
If you would like to know more, then contact us for an informal chat.