Below are some reasonable adjustments that could be put in place to help current or future employees with Dyslexia.
Job Application Process:
- Application Forms should be sent by email or discs if possible so it is easier for the individual to spell check & revise what they have written. If you have to send the form as a hard copy try and avoid using white paper as this could cause visual stress. Pastel colour paper is recommended.
- Interviews – always try to provide a copy of questions either before or during the interview. Some applicants may be slower in formulating answers to questions if they are Dyslexic, try to be aware that the individual’s coping strategies may break down under the pressure of an interview. If you can see an applicant getting distressed or anxious allow them to have a short break.
- Tests – read instructions out loud to applicants or provide on a CD. If possible allow the applicant to give their answers orally and allow more time for the test to be completed.
Dyslexia Awareness for Employers:
- Dyslexic employees will find written work & organisation much harder than most. They will need to apply extra effort in certain areas; this may make them fatigued regularly.
- Encourage staff to talk to management & others about workplace difficulties. Allow time out of work for specific training for Dyslexia
- Try to give clear instructions & take time to explain fully. You may need to repeat things & check that the employee has understood. If possible give written instructions as well as oral ones.
- When giving a Dyslexic employee written instructions make sure it is in a clear format. Where possible provide information on audio format as well as writing & allow extra time for reading tasks.
- When giving writing tasks allow extra time and provide speech-to-text software where possible. Dyslexic employees will not be able to take note or dictation at speed.
- Where possible give notice of tasks in advance rather than sudden deadlines. Offer support with new or difficult tasks & offer help on planning/prioritising the workload. If possible provide a wall planner that shows appointments & deadlines.
- It’s advisable to not interrupt employee’s mid-task or put pressure on them by showing impatience or irritation. If possible arrange specific times where the employee can work free from interruptions & provide a quiet workplace to decrease distraction. Encourage employee to take regular breaks throughout the day.
- Dyslexic employees may be reluctant to apply for training or promotions. Ensure that training courses have a Good Practice policy in relation to Dyslexia trainees.