Discriminating 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:
- Changing the standard computer settings such as changing the colour background of Word documents to blue or yellow rather than white
- Using 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
- Installing a dyslexia-friendly font such as Dyslexie or Open-Dyslexic
- Providing extra support with note-taking – a digital recording device
- Ensuring 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 free tool to identify Reasonable Adjustments
AbilityNet has helped develop an online tool that can help managers identify the adjustments that will help their employees. Check it out now at www.cleartalentsondemand.com