If you’re an employer and you’d like to do more to make your workplace dyslexia friendly, there are things that you can do.
One of the easiest ways to make your workplace dyslexia friendly is making changes to the work environment. As a person with dyslexia, who has also been in the workforce for many years, these are my favourites:
- Let your staff work from home if they need to have quiet time to write.
- Help your staff to manage their workloads with regular meetings to check in, and respectful supervision.
- Provide peer support and regular review of work opportunities.
- Offer mentoring and coaching.
- If an employee is in a senior role, provide them with an assistant to help them manage their routine work and scheduling.
- Make literacy support something that everyone in the workplace can access, not just staff who have been diagnosed with dyslexia.
- Many organisations now offer free and confidential access to a psychologist through the Employee Assistance Program. Dyslexia can come with mental health challenges and having a free and easy path to a psychologist is really useful.
- Focus on your employees’ strengths and seek opportunities that work best with their abilities.
- Check with your employees, ahead of time, whether they’re comfortable if there is a task needed that could be difficult or embarrassing. This includes reading text aloud, writing on boards in front of people, and giving presentations.
There are also steps that you can take in terms of the physical workplace:
- Create a work environment that minimises distractions.
- Provide coloured folders and dividers to help employees to organise documentation.
- Make whiteboards available in staff offices so your employees can map ideas and thoughts before writing up reports.
- If your workplace is open plan, create quiet rooms that staff are free to use when they need to do quiet work.
Benefits for employers
- Improved efficiency and a better service/organisation
- Utilising the particular strengths of your workforce
- Encouraging staff to access training, gain qualifications and apply for promotion
- Reducing stress, staff turnover and sick leave
- Improving motivation and loyalty
What is more, adjustments made for staff with dyslexia are often easily achieved and can benefit the whole organisation.