Top tips for supporting your employees with dyslexia

Dyslexia displayed as floating blocks - image copyright RiK57 Dreamstime.comDiscriminating against your employees with dyslexia has been against the law since the first disability discrimination legislation was introduced over 20 years ago. But it's in the news today as a result of Starbucks employee Meseret Kumulchew winning her disability discrimination case.

Starbucks did not make the workplace adjustments Ms Kumulchew needed in order for her to be able to do her job and now the coffee company may have to pay compensation. The ruling doesn’t set a new legal precedent, but it is an important reminder for all employers to check that you’re doing everything you can to support your employees with dyslexia.

The law says that you MUST make Reasonable Adjustments to ensure that you are not discriminating against people you employ. But what would be a reasonable way to accommodate someone with dyslexia in your workplace?  

Top tips for employees with dyslexia

According to the British Dyslexia Association around 1 in 10 people have dyslexia and require additional support with reading, writing and numbers. Fortunately there are a lot of simple, low-cost solutions that can be used to help your employees with dyslexia:

Originally published 09/02/16. Advice amended 14/12/21
  • Make sure employees are not restricted in being able to adjust text and background to a style or format that best suits them
  • Use text-to-speech software to have chunks of text read aloud
  • Add your top 50 or 100 most commonly misspelt words into Word’s autocorrect to instantly improve your writing
  • Provide extra support with note-taking – a digital recording device
  • Ensure important documents for meetings are distributed in advance and not just handed out in the meeting

More help from AbilityNet

Find out more about Reasonable Adjustments

Read our guide to Reasonable Adjustments for more information about how employers can meet their legal responsibilities.

Use our tool to identify Reasonable Adjustments

AbilityNet has worked with workplace diversity experts The Clear Company to create Clear Talents On Demand, a free online tool (for up to 10 employees and/or managers in any organisation) that creates a personalised report that identifies Reasonable Adjustments. 

Find out more about how technology can help people with dyslexia

Download our Dyslexia and Computing factsheet