Strategies In Training Dyslexic Employees

According to the Learning Disability Online website, It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia which is between 5 to 15% of Americans.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is also known as a language-based disability. It is defined as difficulties with accurate and word recognition and by poor spelling which can affect reading fluency, reading comprehension, recall, decoding, writing, spelling, and sometime speech. Signs of dyslexia in adults include:

  • Poor spelling
  • Avoids writing task
  • Gifted and creative
  • Difficulty in following oral and written instructions
  • Difficulty staying on task
  • High level of frustration
  • Difficulty in retaining information
  • Test-taking anxiety.
  • Highly curious
  • Insightful
  • Curiosity
  • Good communication of stories read to them

American Disabilities Act

Employees diagnosed with Dyslexia are protected under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination in all employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. It applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities.

Disability Definition

The American Disabilities Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communication and working.

Challenges in training employees with Dyslexia

recalling information

following instructions

May experience anxiety from test-taking

Reading takes longer

Training Strategies

People with dyslexia are visual learners. They learn best by seeing, watching, and observing. When training, use pictures, computers, PowerPoint and text.

Multisensory training helps the employee to use all senses when learning something new on thejob. Multisensory learning should include combining all senses including visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic.

Use demonstration when possible and give feedback whenever possible.

Accomodations

A diagnosis of dyslexia also qualifies under the American Disability Act (ADA).  While some may not want to disclose their diagnosis, It’s always a good idea to make sure each person is comfortable in the training. The following are some suggestions:

  • Asking a participant diagnosed with dyslexia to read out loud can be tricky and make them feel uncomfortable
  • If your organization gives, test, look for alternatives such as allowing time to complete the test longer or giving a test orally.
  • Too much information may be overwhelming. Make sure instructions are clear.