Support for staff with dyslexia
According to British Dyslexia Association (BDA), dyslexia is thought to affect around 10% of the population. As a result, around 2.9 million workers are affected by this learning difficulty. The most common symptoms of dyslexia are finding it hard to formulate thoughts rapidly or mixing up letters within words and words within sentences. Sometimes it can manifest in struggling to schedule work or deadlines and having difficulty in recording the contents of meetings.
Here are some tips to support staff with dyslexia:
- Make sure that you use dyslexia-friendly type and content
Using easily readable fonts such as Arial or Comic Sans will help. Avoid italic as this can cause letters to appear more crowded. Use headings to create structure and avoid background patterns or pictures that distract from the text.
- Help managers communicate
Help managers to use visual forms of communication such as mind maps or flow charts. Remind them that everyone works in different ways.
- Training services
The British Dyslexic Association offer a range of services to help employers support anyone experiencing work based learning difficulties.
- Raise awareness
Consider dyslexia awareness for all staff to clarify misconceptions. Use a qualified and experienced dyslexia specialist who has experience training and tutoring in the work environment.
- Alternative workspace
Dyslexic workers can often find it hard to concentrate in a noisy and busy environment. Allow these employees to use an alternative workspace such as a meeting room to help them focus when they really need to.
Employers should create an open and honest environment to allow people to talk more freely about dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Employees are more likely to perform and be more productive when they have the right support.