Today, it is virtually impossible for a person to find a job that does not require some level of reading, writing, remembering, or computer use. Dyslexic adults often struggle with organisation and time management at work, which can be an obvious problem for employers. Many dyslexic workers can find themselves overwhelmed by the workload and they become stressed.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that primarily affects reading and writing, but it can also affect memory and the ability to stay organised. The disorder affects about 10% of the British population, so employers should be aware of the problem and do what they can to prepare.
A combination of tools and techniques are available to help professionals with dyslexia overcome the challenges they face at work every day. Here are some ways to offer support to employees suffering from dyslexia.
Provide adequate and specialised training
It is essential that initial job training take into account the specialised needs that dyslexic employees might have. This means that employers must offer a certain amount of flexibility in training, alternative formats, and multi-sensory learning techniques to help move things along. Dyslexic trainees may also require more time and repetition than those without the disability in some cases. Remember, those with mild dyslexia may not have disclosed it until a later time, so employers should plan accordingly.
Setting a daily plan and following it
Many dyslexics find it hard to stay organised and to meet deadlines. This can be overcome by planning and mapping the daily tasks that one is expected to accomplish. In the long run, this can help save time when it comes to execution of the day’s work. Employers and dyslexic employees can work together to methodically map out tasks according to priority and a schedule that allows workers to accomplish goals, maintain focus, and reduce overall stress.
Use an umbrella company
An umbrella company can be a great help to those companies that have dyslexic individuals on their office administration team. Partnering with an umbrella company allows those workers a little relief in knowing that they aren’t running the risk of making serious errors on major administrative tasks such as the taxes, payroll, or human resource entries. Umbrella companies can provide a wide range of office admin support services beyond payroll, HR, and tax preparation, depending on the company’s needs.
Use literacy software
Since reading and writing is a challenge for dyslexic individuals, why not invest in some good text-to-speech software? Voice recognition programmes are also a good choice. These programmes allow one to type out messages and have the computer read it back for proofing and editing purposes, or to simply speak what he or she wishes to communicate.
Change the background colour
Small things can make a big difference to those with dyslexia. Simply changing the colour of the background of the computer screen can completely change one’s ability to complete tasks – colour actually affects dyslexics strongly. There are a number of literacy software programs that can add subtle tints to active screens, which can prevent headaches, tired eyes, and stress.
Pick the right font
Not all fonts are created equal. The font can actually affect one’s ability to read and understand the written word. ‘Open dyslexic’ is a free specialist font that actually makes letters and numbers appear thicker at the bottom, thus adding gravity to the written characters making it easier for dyslexics to read and understand. However, other fonts may also be effective, so try changing things up.
An individual with dyslexia can be an excellent and highly productive member of staff, it is just a case of providing any extra help that he or she needs to perform certain tasks.
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