Employers' guide to dyslexia
Dyslexia can be described as difficulties in learning to read, write and/or spell. These difficulties often don’t reflect an individual’s cognitive abilities and may not be typical of performance in other areas. It is often under diagnosed. Some famous people with dyslexia include Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and John Lennon.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty and with the right adjustments its effects can be minimised. It is not related to intellect and should not be connected to intellectual capacity in any way.
Impact of dyslexia
Symptoms of dyslexia may include:
- Literacy and/or numeracy difficulties
- Poor handwriting
- Difficulty with short term memory – they may only remember one or two things at a time
- Poor organisational skills
- Difficulty with map reading
- Poor spatial awareness and limited concentration.
Recruiting people with dyslexia
- Offer alternative solutions to written application forms.
- Ensure that any online or electronic assessment processes have adjustments built in.
- Make reasonable adjustments when using ability tests or psychometric profiling. When using assessment centres, make assessors aware of the individual’s dyslexia, if known, so that it can be taken into account.
- When interviewing, meet in an area where distractions are minimal.
- Seek advice from a specialist employment provider on simple adjustments available to support job applicants with dyslexia.
Supporting staff who have dyslexia
You can support your staff by:
- Giving them a diary to help them organise their day.
- Providing coloured overlays to aid reading, or coloured paper with accessible fonts.
- Giving them specialist computer software.
- Discussing which coping strategies they use.
- Providing memory aids, for example a dictaphone.
- Giving training material in advance to allow the employee to focus on the training rather than trying to take notes.
- Proving access to a sat nav if their work involves driving.
Useful information about dyslexia
You might need to make some adjustments to help your employees. These could include specialist equipment like chairs and IT equipment. Grants are available through Access to Work (external site) to help to cover the cost of items that are identified as necessary to support employees who are disabled or have a health condition.