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Work can be challenging for people with dyslexia. Find out about how dyslexia can affect people at work, if there are any advantages or benefits of dyslexic employees, if they experience workplace bias or discrimination, how dyslexia bias and discrimination can be avoided, and how employers can better support their dyslexic staff.
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Employees with dyslexia have problems with reading, writing, and spelling. They may struggle to read text-dense e-mails or make the same spelling mistakes. Employees with dyslexia may also find it difficult to decode their company’s acronyms or abbreviations.
Besides trouble with reading, writing, and spelling, employees with dyslexia can also find it difficult to retain instructions, copy information accurately, and know the difference between left and right.
Some people with dyslexia might not know that it could be impacting all aspects of their professional lives.
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Dyslexic employees can display the following advantages and benefits:
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Unfortunately, people with dyslexia can experience unconscious bias or discrimination at work.
Dyslexia-related discrimination at work can either de direct or indirect.
An example of direct discrimination is when an employer makes assumptions about a dyslexic candidate’s abilities when they apply for an internal promotion and offers the position to an under-qualified colleague who has significantly less experience.
An example of indirect discrimination is when the employer announces an exciting internal opportunity in the afternoon and expects the employee to hand them a handwritten personal statement the following morning.
Employees with dyslexia can also experience harassment, such as the employer commenting on the extra time they take to read or process something, or victimisation. An example of this is when a Starbucks employee was being wrongly accused of falsifying documents when they recorded the incorrect fridge temperature.
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Employers can ensure dyslexic staff do not experience bias or discrimination by doing the following:
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Besides providing assistive options, employers can support their dyslexic employees by:
If you have dyslexia, you can visit our website for more information on workplace needs assessments and support for employees with dyslexia.