Supporting Dyslexia In The Workplace

Posted By Kelly Hone on 2018-06-05 13:28

Dyslexia means you have difficulty with words that can cause problems when reading, writing or spelling. While it can certainly influence how we learn, and those who suffer may require additional help at school or in work, it is not related to intelligence as some people think.

Did you know that dyslexia effects as much as 10% of the population to varying degrees and no one person’s experience is the same as another’s.
Being dyslexic does not mean you can’t be successful either- with the correct support, many people have found ways to thrive and prosper. There have been notable dyslexics over the years, including Director Steven Spielberg, artist Pablo Picasso, and entrepreneur Richard Branson!

Dyslexia usually becomes apparent early on in development in younger years and symptoms can include:

- Poor spelling that doesn’t get better with practice.
- Putting certain letters the wrong way round, for example confusing b with d.
- Having trouble with instructions that are written down as opposed to those that are given verbally.

This can often put children at a disadvantage at school when they are trying to learn but this is something that is thankfully beginning to change along with better awareness and support. Those with dyslexia can also have strengths in other areas, despite their disability, including in problem solving and creative thinking. Dyslexia is not an illness and there is no ‘cure’. With the right support, however, individuals can cope with the hurdles they need to overcome and play a significant and beneficial part in any workplace.

Dyslexia doesn’t care about gender, age, ethnicity or level of intelligence.

Making sure you undertake reasonable adjustments for any employee who has dyslexia can unleash a huge amount of potential, something that is obviously beneficial not only for the individual but the business too.

- A dyslexia friendly workplace ensures that your employees work more efficiently which can ultimately benefit your customers and clients.
- It gives you the chance to understand what your workforce strengths are and how things can be improved to be more inclusive.
- Staff with dyslexia who are actively encouraged to train and progress are more likely to be engaged and have a better sense of wellbeing.

Making the necessary adjustments is not as difficult as many businesses think and can help cut stress, improve sickness and absence levels and promote greater efficiency.

Not everyone with dyslexia struggles at work but, when it does happen, a few simple changes here and there can make a significant difference.
Most employers don’t know how to properly diagnose a condition such as dyslexia, nor have an idea of how to deal with it in the workplace. Putting in the reasonable adjustments which are not only required by law but also to release all the potential an individual may well have is key.

In the past there was often a culture that worked against someone with dyslexia – they were viewed as performing poorly or not being as intelligent as the rest of the workforce. This largely came, from a lack of understanding, something which can have an impact on the individual but also damage the business itself. Finding out more about dyslexia helps enormously and encouraging a culture of acceptance among all staff should be a major part of any reasonable adjustments nowadays.

Not every person who suffers from dyslexia is going to be the next Richard Branson but finding ways to release all that potential will certainly benefit the individual as well as any business!

 

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