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People with dyslexia often have problems with reading and spelling. However, some adults with dyslexia are fluent readers but their dyslexia may show in their writing, short-term memory, organisational skills, maths abilities and the speed and way that they process information. All of these may impact on performance at work and the effect of dyslexia can worsen when an individual is experiencing stress.
Some people with dyslexia have strengths in particular areas such as creativity; awareness of these strengths may benefit your organisation. Dyslexia may prevent staff from gaining qualifications, accessing training or applying for promotions. Making your organisation dyslexia friendly could reduce stress, staff turnover and sick leave. Adjustments made for staff with dyslexia can improve motivation, loyalty and efficiency.
Your organisation should be able to demonstrate that it is making reasonable adjustments to meet the requirements of The Equality Act 2010. This disability legislation ensures that employees with a disability are able to perform effectively in the workplace. You're disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and 'long-term' negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.
Employers have a duty to recognise dyslexia under the Equality Act 2010,if it is assessed as being a disability. This means that employers should ensure that disabled people are not treated unfavourably and are offered reasonable adjustments or support.
The law states: 'A person (P) has a disability if -
(a) P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b) the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Not all people with dyslexia have impairments that have substantial or long term adverse effects and would not be seen as being disabled. This is often because they have compensated well and developed good coping strategies or are working in areas where their dyslexia may have little effect. It is important to remember that circumstances can change if demands of a job change or coping strategies break down for any reason.
Dyslexia Awareness sessions
Making your organisation dyslexia friendly could reduce stress, staff turnover and sick leave, as well as improve motivation, loyalty and efficiency. Your organisation should also be able to demonstrate that it is making reasonable adjustments, to meet the requirements of disability legislation, so it's important that you understand dyslexia. Our dyslexia awareness sessions offer an introduction to dyslexia and co-occurring difficulties and include practical exercises, with the aim of helping you to better support your employees.
What a session will cover:
• What dyslexia is
• What other hidden disabilities might co-exist with dyslexia
• How a dyslexic person may feel and the barriers they may face in the workplace
• The positive aspects of dyslexia
• Some guidance on how to identify difficulties and how to help an employee when dyslexia is causing a problem at work
• The Equality Act and how it relates to dyslexia.
We offer half and full day courses for up to 20 delegates. Bespoke awareness training, where we tailor the content to your organisation, is also available.
More information and booking
For further information, or to arrange an awareness session, please contact our Coventry Office.
We offer workplace consultancy service to help you and your staff with all the implications of dyslexia in the workplace.
Our focus during workplace consultancy is on identifying and developing strengths and the supportive management of weaknesses for each employee. We provide support to both employer and employee, including workplace coaching, which may involve help with organisation, report writing and presentations, alongside strategies for reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010.
What happens during a workplace consultation?
• First of all we put together a picture of personal strengths and weaknesses, to help explain why some aspects of a job role may be causing problems; this will then lead to a discussion of possible accommodations or adjustments. As much information as possible about the individual's dyslexia will inform the consultation along with the completion of workplace questionnaires by employers and employees and observations carried out in the workplace by one of our consultants.
• Findings will then be considered in the context of the job role, the organisation, culture and environment. Strategies and adjustments will then be advised alongside recommendations for supporting the individual employee, which will be communicated in a written report.
• Continued support and coping strategies training, coaching or awareness training for staff will be offered if deemed appropriate, or at the employer's request. Solutions are bespoke and will be varied due to the different skills needed for job roles and individual profiles of dyslexia. Very often, simple adjustments and strategies will be all that is needed to improve an employee's performance and confidence.