Dyslexia is a learning disability affecting reading skills. It is characterised by difficulty with phonemic awareness, word decoding, and word recognition. Many people with dyslexia also struggle with spelling, writing, and pronouncing words. While dyslexia can make it difficult to succeed in school and the workplace, it doesn’t have to be a barrier to success. Many successful people like Batista, Richard Branson, and Charles Schwab have dyslexia. With that said, here are four examples of reasonable accommodations that can help people with dyslexia succeed in the workplace.
Provide interview orally
Employers can use prints, which we shall cover later in the accommodation section. But, you can stick to oral questions to avoid potential reading difficulties. For example, you could conduct an interview over the phone or via video conference. This would allow the dyslexic job applicant to answer your questions without reading them from a piece of paper. Of course, the underlying problem here is that not all employers are willing to make this accommodation. But, for employers committed to diversity and inclusion, this is a way to level the playing field.
Provide large printed materials with good contrast
This is a pretty easy one. Employers can provide large printed materials with good contrast. For example, schools, hospitals, and other public places are already doing this by using font size 14 or above and high-contrast colours like black on white, yellow on blue, etc. But there’s no worry if an employer is not well versed with such technicalities; they can always run a google search for “dyslexia friendly style guide” That way, they can find some good recommendations and tips on how to make their printed materials more dyslexia-friendly.
Offer extended interview time
If you’ve ever observed dyslexia assessments, you’ll know that they often take longer than average to read through a text, and others may read some words mistakenly. This is where the employers can offer an extended interview time so that the applicant would not feel rushed and have more time to process their questions. It would give the dyslexic job applicant enough time to read the questions, think about their answers, and respond without feeling rushed. And any child psychologist will tell you it’s a good practice for any neurodiverse individual, not just those with dyslexia.
Waive the requirement to take a standardised test
Sometimes employers may not be able to assess the applicant’s ability to do the job without a standardised test. However, for some conditions, it may be possible to waive this requirement. For example, instead of requiring the applicant to take a standardised test, the employer could ask for a portfolio of the applicant’s previous work. This would allow the employer to better understand the applicant’s skills and abilities without putting them at a disadvantage.
So these are just some examples of accommodations that can be made for dyslexic job applicants. Of course, every individual with dyslexia is different, so it’s important to tailor the accommodations to the individual’s needs. But these are just a few ideas to get you started.