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Tips for Accommodating Employees with Dyslexia in the Workplace

By October 31, 2022March 6th, 2024No Comments
Dyslexia in the Workplace

Many businesses are striving to diversify their workforce based on background and race. But there is also a need to include neuro-divergent employees in your team because of the unique talent they offer. Neurodiversity means viewing disabilities like dyslexia as a human variation, not a deficiency. This is a concept that the modern world is embracing.

Employees with dyslexia and other neuro-divergent conditions may need extra support and tools to maximize their abilities. As a manager or HR professional, you should be equipped to help them overcome any obstacles to efficient productivity.

What Is Dyslexia? How Does Workplace Dyslexia Affect An Employee?

Dyslexia is a genetic disorder caused by differences in the way the brain functions. Many people label patients as illiterate or unintelligent, but that is not the case. Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence, emotional problems, or physical issues. People with dyslexia often struggle with reading, spelling, writing, or math, although they may be intelligent.

According to Dyslexia International, dyslexia affects about one in ten people globally. So there are chances that at least one of your employees falls along the dyslexia spectrum. Employees with dyslexia may struggle to read text-heavy emails and keep making the same spelling mistakes. Some may also need help understanding your company’s acronyms.

What Problems Can A Worker With Dyslexia Have In The Workplace?

Employees with dyslexia may experience several difficulties in the workplace. They may feel overwhelmed by new tasks and information. They may also find it challenging to communicate well with others through speech or writing.

Dyslexia in the workplace will often result in the following problems:

  • Poor self-organization when having a lot of tasks.
  • Poor time management results in falling behind schedule most of the time. 
  • Difficulties with communication within the team. This is because of problems organizing their thoughts into words.
  • Low self-esteem because of their struggles with speech, reading, or writing.
  • Burnout after trying so hard to read, write, or comprehend. they may also feel overwhelmed when under pressure to complete a task within a short time.

Due to the constant struggles with literacy, some employers and coworkers may overlook those with dyslexia. This is because of the assumption that they are less skilled. You can help end discrimination against people with dyslexia in the workplace. Consider their strengths and make reasonable adjustments.

How to Help an Employee with Dyslexia in the Workplace?

Employers and managers can help mitigate, accommodate, and even capitalize on dyslexia in the workplace. Dyslexic workers are more comfortable with adequate tools and resources. And managers get the best professional performance out of them when offering special workplace accommodations for dyslexia.

Here are some ways you can help an employee with dyslexia:

Individual Support

Work with the dyslexic employees to make any necessary accommodations. Inquire about the types of tasks they are confident in completing and those that may need extended deadlines.

You can also find out the types of fonts they are comfortable with. Some fonts are easier to read than others. For employees with dyslexia, easy-to-read fonts make their work easier.

Training For Emotional Release and Self-Confidence

Dyslexia interferes with specific brain processes. So, literacy training may not benefit the workplace. Instead, professional psychological help can assist employees in dealing with their unique workplace challenges.

Relaxation training can assist them in approaching complex tasks calmly. At the same time, assertiveness training can help them develop the confidence they need to seek help when necessary.

Quiet Working Environment

Proper accommodations for dyslexia in the workplace include a quiet working environment for dyslexic employees. A breakout room can help such employees concentrate, especially when under pressure. If a breakout room is unavailable, consider having noise-cancelling headphones nearby to help.

Accommodating Employees with Dyslexia

Dyslexia Software for the Workplace

Digital tools can be helpful for dyslexic employees. Instant spelling and grammar checkers can help individuals concentrate on writing. Their thoughts rather than worrying about the spelling. Screen readers can assist with essential documents and emails. At the same time, speech-to-text tools can help them keep track of their documents.

Mind-mapping software allows dyslexic employees to organize information. You can also offer to record important meetings to rely on something other than written notes or memory.

Enough Time to Work

Distributing meeting materials well in advance gives employees with dyslexia enough time to process the contents without feeling overwhelmed. Also, give these employees enough time to complete tasks by assigning them before the deadlines.

Multisensory Learning during the Internship or On the Job

Individuals with dyslexia benefit the most from multisensory learning because of the difficulty with literacy. Since most of them capture images better, consider using visuals and audio as learning tools in addition to written materials.

How Accommodating Dyslectic Employees Can Improve Your Team?

Many people with dyslexia excel at holistic thinking, although they struggle with reading and writing. They may be innovative, creative, or aware of associations and links that more analytical or linear thinkers may miss.

Dyslexia’s strengths in the workplace and their unique talents make them valuable assets in any workplace because of the perspective they bring to problem-solving. Richard Branson built his Virgin Empire using the condition’s dynamic and creative mindset.

Managing dyslexia in the workplace and supporting them requires effort from all team members, but it is possible! You can modify your team’s communication style to include visuals and other support mechanisms.

Assure your employees that your workplace is supportive and safe by inquiring about their unique needs. Discussing options with your employees is the most effective way to support them. After all, it is those who truly know what they need.

Assure your employees that your workplace is supportive and safe by inquiring about their unique needs. Discussing options with your employees is the most effective way to support them. After all, it is those who truly know what they need.

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