If someone in your team has dyslexia there are some simple changes you can make that can help them, and you, to do the best work possible. Added bonus? These changes can be helpful to the whole team, not just a team member with dyslexia, as well as improving staff retention and minimising sick leave.
Changes you can make to work behaviour:
- Allow staff to work from home when there’s writing to be done. The quiet, familiar space can be really helpful.
- Check in regularly with your staff to help with workload management and supervise them respectfully.
- Seek opportunities for peer support. Who else in the team are they comfortable with? Is there a peer support opportunity there?
- Offer mentoring and coaching.
- Executive assistants are brilliant help with routine work and scheduling. If your employee is in a senior role, this is a great way to help.
- Literacy support isn’t just useful for people who have dyslexia. There are great benefits for the whole team.
- Does your workplace offer the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)? People who have dyslexia often experience mental health challenges too, the free and confidential psychologist services of EAP can really help.
- Consider the pressure points. Be sensitive to things like reading aloud, giving presentations and writing on boards infront of a group – these are all common in workplaces but can be very stressful for people who have dyslexia. Check in with them whether they’re comfortable with what you have in mind.
- Focus on strengths. A lifetime of growing up with literacy and numeracy difficulties often means your employee with dyslexia will be creative and resourceful – tap into it!
Changes to the work environment:
- Try to minimise distractions – everyone’s going to benefit from a more courteous work space.
- Coloured folders and dividers can help to keep documents organised and easy to find.
- People who have dyslexia are often strong visually.
- Access to a whiteboard can help them to visually map their ideas and plans.
- Offer quiet rooms. All of your staff will be able to utillise a breakout space for doing focussed work.
Learn more about dyslexia and how you can help to provide a supportive environment at work and school in our other factsheets and at www.deardyslexic.com.
Download Employers – Supporting Employees with Dyslexia now.
SPELD Foundation (2014) What is Dyscalculia, Retrieved on 3 January 2017. Available from https://dsf.net.au/ what-is-dyscalculia/
British Dyslexic Association (2015) Dyscalculia, Retrieved on 25 January 2016. Available from http://www.bdadyslexia. org.uk/dyslexic/dyscalculia