From Challenges to Success: Supporting Dyslexic Talent at Work.

Dyslexia can feel like a major barrier in the workplace for those with the condition.

The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) says 10% of the UK population are dyslexic – which means that plenty of dyslexic people make up the working population. It’s estimated that actually around 15-20% of people may have symptoms of dyslexia (, so the impact could be more far reaching than first thought.

A bit about the condition:

Dyslexia is a language processing difficulty. Challenges include: literacy difficulties, information-processing, and maintaining focus. There are some strengths that are recognised amongst those with dyslexia, which include: pattern recognition, the ability to simplify complexity, dynamic problem solving, and verbal communication skills.

There’s a lot of stigma around the condition, so let’s look at some of the challenges that people with dyslexia face in the workplace that can affect their job performance and overall well-being. 

Reading difficulties: Dyslexia can make it challenging to read quickly and accurately, which may hinder tasks that involve reading emails, reports, or documents.

Spelling and writing issues: Dyslexic individuals may struggle with spelling and writing, leading to errors in written communication.

Time management: Organising tasks and managing time efficiently can be difficult, making it hard to meet deadlines and stay on top of workloads.

Memory problems: Short-term memory difficulties can affect the ability to remember instructions, information, or details from meetings and discussions.

Difficulty with instructions: Complex or lengthy instructions may be hard to comprehend and follow, potentially impacting job performance.

Stigma and discrimination: Some individuals with dyslexia may face stigma or discrimination from colleagues or supervisors who may not understand their condition.

Low self-esteem: Struggling with dyslexia can lead to lower self-confidence and self-esteem, which can affect job satisfaction and career advancement.

Misunderstandings in communication: Dyslexic individuals may misinterpret spoken or written information, leading to misunderstandings in team communication or project instructions.

Limited access to accommodations: Some workplaces may not provide the necessary accommodations or support, such as assistive technology or extra time for tasks, which can exacerbate the challenges faced by people with dyslexia.

It’s important for both employers and employees to be aware of these challenges and work together to create an inclusive and supportive work environment for individuals with dyslexia. Providing appropriate accommodations and fostering a culture of understanding can help mitigate these challenges and allow individuals with dyslexia to thrive in their careers.

In short – supporting employees with dyslexia is crucial for creating an inclusive and productive work environment.

Here are five ways employers can get started supporting their employees with dyslexia:

Providing assistive technology.

Offer access to assistive technologies such as text-to-speech software, speech recognition software, or dyslexia-friendly fonts. These tools can help individuals with dyslexia read and write more effectively. Grammarly is a great example of a free resource that can quickly check and correct spelling and grammar errors. If you’re unsure which assistive technology is best for your business and your employees, at NATTC we offer a full workplace needs assessment to match you up with the correct solutions. We also supply, install, set up and train staff on these technologies.

Flexible work arrangements.

Consider flexible work hours or remote work options, which can allow employees with dyslexia to manage their time more effectively and reduce the impact of distractions in the workplace.

Clear communication.

Encourage clear and concise communication within the organisation. For example, use plain language in written materials and provide visual aids, such as diagrams or charts, to supplement verbal information.

Offer training and awareness programs.

Conduct training sessions for employees and supervisors to raise awareness about dyslexia and its challenges. Educate staff on how to provide support and accommodations effectively. Inclusivity training is also something we offer at NATTC.

Individualised accommodations.

Everybody is different. Each individual will have different needs. Work with employees to identify their specific needs and provide tailored accommodations. This could include extra time for reading and writing tasks, breaking complex instructions into smaller steps, or assigning a mentor or coach for guidance and support. Again, we can offer support with this.

By implementing these strategies, employers can create a more inclusive workplace where employees with dyslexia can thrive and contribute their talents and skills effectively. It’s essential to maintain open communication with affected employees to ensure that the support provided meets their needs and helps them excel in their roles.

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