Dyslexia reasonable adjustments

Dyslexia is a life-long condition.

In almost all cases, dyslexia has a "more than minor! impact on a person’s ability to carry out such day-to-day activities as reading and writing and following a series of oral instructions.

Which barriers are you likely to face at work?

The Union’s casework experience suggests that school/college staff with dyslexia find paperwork (which has been on the increase for many years) the most challenging and stressful aspect of work.

People with dyslexia sometimes experience barriers in:

  • Writing, reading and spelling correctly;
  • Adding numbers;
  • Listening to verbal directions;
  • Organising;
  • Sustaining concentration;
  • Expressing ideas;
  • Presenting thoughts succinctly;
  • Keeping track of appointments;
  • Remembering phone numbers;
  • Reading maps;
  • Completing forms;
  • Finding their way around strange places;
  • Remembering where things have been placed;
  • Reading time-tables;
  • Reading recipes;
  • Writing letters or cheques;
  • Remembering messages.

What kind of adjustments may be considered?

The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) recommends the following adjustments for employees with dyslexia:

Written communication

  • Give verbal rather than written instructions;
  • Highlight salient points in documents;
  • Supply screen reading software and scanner;
  • Provide a Reading Pen for unfamiliar words;
  • Provide information on pastel coloured paper;
  • Allow plenty of time for tasks which require reading;
  • Discuss written material with the employee;
  • Provide speech to text software e.g. Dragon.

Verbal communication

  • Give instructions one at a time;
  • Communicate instructions slowly and clearly in a quiet location;
  • Encourage the person to take notes and then check them;
  • Ask for instructions to be repeated back;
  • Back-up multiple instructions in writing or with diagrams.

Specialist one to one dyslexia skills training

The BDA also encourages employers to invest in dyslexia skills training, which is "designed to help the employee work more effectively and overcome common dyslexic problems such as work planning and time management."

Further information:

British Dyslexia Association

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments are primarily concerned with enabling disabled workers to remain in or return to work.

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Disability equality toolkit

Useful tools for reps to help them support disabled members.

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