Dyslexia in the Workplace
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects 10% of the population. It primarily affects reading and writing skills so is often picked up at school. However, it can be much more than this and many dyslexic people have issues with processing and remembering information and it can impact on other areas such as organisational skills.
There are many hugely successful people living with Dyslexia, including our very own CEO Derek Skelton. They are often very creative people with incredible problem-solving skills.
“People in authority, such as teachers and Business leaders need to stop looking at dyslexia as a problem and labelling dyslexic people as unintelligent or lazy. People with dyslexia have amazing attributes and talents and we should be promoting and celebrating these qualities. After all, where would the world be without dyslexic people such as Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs.”
Many people with Dyslexia struggle with the recruitment process, in 2018 a report by the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission (WAC) found that 43% of the people interviewed felt discouraged from applying. Another 52% claimed to have experienced discrimination during the interview or selection processes.
So if as an employer, you are not supporting people with dyslexia through your recruitment process, you could be missing out on a wealth of untapped potential and creativity. So what should employers be doing?
Identify it early
A person with dyslexia doesn’t have to disclose this information at any stage, however, it is best for both the candidate and the company if they do. The candidate will not only have a better experience, but they will be better protected legally if they disclose this to the employer as soon as possible. Dyslexia is recognised as a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010. As such employers are obliged to make “reasonable adjustments” to help individuals with dyslexia overcome any disadvantages caused by the condition.
There are many ways you can support a candidate with dyslexia through the recruitment process, firstly, make sure you raise awareness of dyslexia within your organisation and ensure that everyone involved in the process is fully briefed on the practical help you can offer, such as extra time on written assessments
and a quiet room to avoid distractions.
According to an article by the BBC, Hampshire Police, for example, are actively embracing assistive technologies and adjustments for workers with dyslexia as part of their working day.
These include coloured hard-backed exercise books to help officers track words on the page in interviews; coloured overlay screens to make reading easier on computers; smart pens for meetings, which can record audio and digitise notes; extra time for paperwork, exams and assessments; and a quiet room to avoid distractions.
Sources: BBC, BDADyslexia