Dyslexia in the Workplace

Approximately 10% of the population is affected by dyslexia and this will include a significant number of your colleagues who are struggling to read or write reports, meet deadlines or remember important information. Individuals with dyslexia bring their own unique strengths to an organisation. They are creative, can think outside the box and will often take risks in trying new things which can provide a more effective solution to problems. Making your organisation dyslexia friendly could reduce stress, staff turnover and sick leave. Adjustments made for staff with dyslexia and other associated learning difficulties can improve motivation, loyalty and efficiency.

The Law

Employers must be able to demonstrate that they are making reasonable adjustments to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. This legislation ensures that employees with a disability are able to perform effectively in the workplace. You are disabled under the Equality Act if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term negative effect on your ability to do normal day to day activities. Adjustments need not be expensive and can benefit the whole organisation.

Assessment

For a definitive diagnosis, an assessment will identify the difficulty and the employee’s strengths and challenges. The report, which takes up to three hours, will contain a list of recommendations specifically written for the employee along with advice on the most appropriate way forward.

Workplace Consultation

A workplace consultation involves a specialist consultant visiting the workplace and spending time observing the individual in situ in order to obtain first-hand information on the duties expected and the challenges faced. The visit includes a meeting with the line manager and also HR, if appropriate, so that the consultant has a balanced view of the strengths and difficulties experienced by the employee. We work to support both the employer and the employee. A workplace consultation usually takes three hours.

Awareness Sessions

Awareness Sessions offer advice on dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. Typically, the presentation includes;

• What is dyslexia and other co-occurring specific learning difficulties?

• What are the signs?

• How to support individuals

• Information on useful tools, software and apps

• Where to go for further advice

If you want something else included, it is possible to adapt presentations to suit your needs.

Training and Coaching

Once you have identified which areas an employee needs support with, they may benefit from some one-to-one or group coaching or tuition. A short course of coaching can help you understand the impact that dyslexia has on an individual. We will identify the employee’s strengths and recommend strategies to help him or her work more productively in the workplace.

Sarah Meredith, Dyslexia Specialist Teacher and Assessor.

National Dyslexia Network 2017