According to Dyslexia International, dyslexia affects 5%-10% of the worldwide population. That’s approximately 700 million people. If some of your employees are among them, does your work environment offer appropriate support?
Dyslexia awareness still isn’t at the level it should be, and many businesses are unsure how to support dyslexic employees. If you need help, this article will discuss some of the best tools you can adopt.
Helping those with dyslexia in the workplace
Learning difficulties like dyslexia and ADHD can cause people to struggle with everyday office tasks. These include note-taking, retaining information, and reading maps. Helping dyslexic people at your office will ensure compliance with the Equality Act and give your employees an opportunity to do their best work.
Workplaces can support those with learning disabilities in many ways, from implementing proper technology to offering training and education. By creating a distraction-free environment where employees can stay focused without pressure, you’ll let your dyslexic team members reach their full potential.
Let’s discuss how your business can support dyslexic employees.
Platforms like Read&Write and Speechify can significantly impact your employee’s experience and performance. Luckily, there’s no shortage of options to explore.
Take text to speech as an example. It’s an excellent way to ensure dyslexic people can complete their daily tasks more conveniently. Even built-in options like those in iPhones and iPads can help. The same goes for Microsoft Word’s Immersive Reader and Spell Checker. Your employees can listen to the content instead of reading it and minimize spelling mistakes in emails and reports.
Of course, to fully support dyslexic co-workers or employees, it’s best to invest in dedicated text to speech software. Pair it with speech-to-text solutions like Siri, Alexa, or Dictation, and your employees will be far more efficient.
Many workers with dyslexia have made Speechify an integral part of their working day. It converts any text into easily understandable, high-quality audio. It can scan digital and paper text, so employees can use it with both online and physical material.
Mind mapping software
Dyslexic people process information more visually than others. That’s why they can benefit greatly from tools allowing them to visualize data or plain text.
Mind mapping software provides dyslexia sufferers with a way of organizing information how it best suits them. It can greatly contribute to your workspace by making it more inclusive and ensuring that dyslexic employees sort and retain information more effectively.
Mind mapping is also helpful for dyslexic students who must keep lots of information neatly organized. If your business offers internships, you can also provide this technology to students.
There are many mind mapping platforms you can choose from, such as iMindMap for iOS devices and Miro for online mind mapping. Consult your employees and colleagues to determine what features would help them the most, and then choose the right platform for their needs.
To improve executive functionality, dyslexic people can equip their smartphones with comprehensive note-taking apps. They’ll help your team members with time management and ensure they have all the critical information available to them at all times.
It’s best to use apps that support speech recognition or recording functions like Evernote. It’s a highly useful app allowing people to manage their to-do lists, take written and voice notes, and scan handwritten text.
Another useful tool is Microsoft To Do. Employees can use it to manage several to-do lists without hassle. They can also dedicate voice notes to specific activities, which will help them execute tasks more efficiently.
To Do is available on iOS and Android devices alongside laptop and desktop computers. Your employees can sync data across multiple devices to stay organized on the go.
Highlighters, colored pens and Post-it notes
Scotopic sensitivity is a common symptom of dyslexia. Those experiencing it might struggle with assimilating information from white or highly bright backgrounds. The black/white contrast can also be a source of struggles, and it’s omnipresent in offices. From contracts to Word docs, black letters on a white background are standard.
Dyslexic people might have trouble using these traditional tools. That’s why your office should make reasonable adjustments to help them.
The good news is that you don’t have to make any massive changes; adding some color can be enough to ensure dyslexic employees can consume all information without issues.
Many document editing tools come with digital highlighters that your employees can use. In addition, you can buy physical markers and replace black pens with colored pens.
Post-it notes are another small tool that can make a big difference. Not only does their color help those with scotopic sensitivity, but your employees can organize important information more easily.
Dyslexia is not just about spelling or reading. It’s a language processing disorder, meaning that spoken language can be a source of struggle as well. Too much office chatter can overwhelm a dyslexic mind, making it even harder to concentrate and fulfill everyday tasks.
Educate your employees on how they’re talking affects those with dyslexia. Ask them to be empathetic and respectful, and to refrain from talking too loudly around dyslexic employees, especially when they’re doing important work.
You can also have dedicated quiet times for affected employees that will let them decompress and regain their focus. Quiet breaks can help everyone, but they’re especially beneficial to dyslexic people.
Finally, you can offer working at home as an option. That way, your employees will have full control over their surroundings and working conditions.
How do you accommodate dyslexia in the workplace?
The best way to accommodate dyslexia is to ensure a quiet workplace and implement the right assistive tools.
What are the best resources for dyslexia?
The best resources for dyslexia include Reading Rockets, Storyline Online, and Learning Ally.
What assistive technology is used for dyslexia?
The most common assistive technology is text to speech software. Other options are note-taking apps and mind mapping software.
What color screen is best for dyslexia?
Any dark screen can help people with dyslexia. The most common color combination is black and yellow.
What is the best way to manage dyslexia at work?
Take frequent breaks, use easy-to-read fonts, and implement the right software to minimize dyslexia symptoms.
What are the best ways to help dyslexia sufferers in the workplace?
Provide dyslexic team members with the right tools they need, don’t pressure them, and educate others in the workplace.
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects writing, reading, and spelling.
What are the symptoms of dyslexia?
Symptoms of dyslexia include delays in responding during conversations, trouble distinguishing between similar letters, and reversing sounds in words while talking.
What is the most common symptom of dyslexia?
The most common symptom of dyslexia is the inability to read at a faster pace or without errors.