Employment Advice & Info

Understanding your own dyslexia

Being conscious of our own actions is important in understanding the tropes of Dyslexia in order to work with it and become a step closer to seeing what you do and why.

An understanding your own Dyslexia can offer valuable self insight and how you approach thinking and doing processes.

This understanding is a little like holding a mirror up to yourself and acknowledging what you're doing as you're doing it. You may be in a position where you understand the attributes of your own Dyslexia and, perhaps unknowingly, may have developed coping strategies enabling you to continue with everyday life or in your work.

If there is an element of your working pattern that you are finding difficult, we may be able to help you develop self-awareness, pin-pointing your strength, enabling you to further develop your understanding of how you learn and do best.

Understanding your Dyslexia could help you unravel why it is you're struggling with a particular task. We offer an employment screening in the workplace that examines your daily routine and offers suggestions and recommendation to help you.

This site reflects the aims of the organisation whose goal it is to get to the bare bones of an individual's Dyslexia and aid them appropriately.

Do you think you have Dyslexia?

Some common characteristics of Dyslexia are:

  • Difficulty with reading.
  • Difficulty remembering and following verbal instructions.
  • Difficulty when writing by hand.
  • Spelling and grammar errors.
  • Difficulty reversing numbers.
  • Directional difficulties.
  • Difficulty with short term memory especially remembering names, numbers and lists.
  • Difficulty in organisation.

Research into the nature and causes of Dyslexia is ongoing and as yet there is no one model upon which all professionals in this area agree.

Nevertheless, there is considerable evidence regarding the following:

  • Neurological bases of Dyslexia.
  • Cognitive characteristics of Dyslexia.
  • Educational and behavioural outcomes for the person with Dyslexia.
  • Positive aspects of Dyslexia.

Screening availability

Taking part in an initial Dyslexia Screening can act as an indication to whether or not a person has characteristics associated with Dyslexia.

If you are in a position where you work with people with SPLDs, then being fully aware of the characteristics of Dyslexia could be paramount in identifying goals for your clients’ future. If you suspect that someone you work with may be Dyslexic, then familiarisation with Dyslexia is key. Our screening tool can act as a guide to identifying Dyslexia.

Dyslexia Questionnaire

Another method of initially assessing Dyslexia is to take part in a Dyslexia questionnaire.

Have a look at this questionnaire, answer the questions and make a note of your responses; If you find you answer yes to the majority of the questions, it may be appropriate to have a Dyslexia Screening. Please note that this is an example questionnaire and does not determine a definitive indication of Dyslexia and should be used for information only.

  • Do you find difficulty in telling left from right?
  • Is map reading or finding your way to a new place confusing?
  • Do you find it difficult reading aloud?
  • Does reading take you a long time?
  • Do you find it difficult to remember the sense of what you have read?
  • Do you find it difficult to read?
  • Do you find it difficult to say a long word that you haven’t read or seen before?
  • When dialling a number on a telephone, do you get numbers mixed up?
  • Do you find it difficult to say the months of the year backwards?
  • Do you mix up dates and times and miss appointments?
  • Do you find filling out forms difficult and confusing?

Attitudes and Expectations of Dyslexia in the Workplace

While working with people with Dyslexia, it has been our experience that self esteem and levels of confidence are affected by what is considered as a huge burden to carry and in some instances can be an isolating experience.

In our experience, a number of individuals have discovered they have Dyslexia at widely varying points of life in both education and employment, or even through a conversation with a neighbour over a garden wall. Dyslexia is not always discovered at primary or secondary school. In order to recognise traits of Dyslexia you can familiarise with the most common characteristics of Dyslexia.

We aim to work with employers to encourage a positive working environment and attitude towards Dyslexic employees and employers. We offer various services from Dyslexia Awareness training courses for the identification of employees who may have Dyslexia, to bespoke Dyslexia Assessments that identify employees' strengths, as well as providing a detailed list of suggestions to help improve the working environment for Dyslexic people.

Dyslexia And The Workplace

Understanding the attributes of your Dyslexia can help you to build on your strengths in the work place and alternatively can help you understand aspects of your weaknesses and enable you to develop your skills; perhaps this could result in finding a different way around a task that you find difficult. A work-based assessment could help you to realise your strengths and relative weaknesses.

Help Finding A Job If You're Dyslexic

Finding a job isn't always straight forward and in most cases requires writing a CV, as well as a covering letter, or filling out the necessary application form. If you are Dyslexic and have difficulties in job application processes, there are schemes in place to assist. For helpful advice on the starting points of searching for a job, please see Job Centre Plus.

There are various schemes to help employees and potential employees such as New Deal, hosted by Job Centre Plus, which is a scheme in place to aid disabled people to employment.

Choosing The Correct Job

If you know you are Dyslexic and are aware of your Dyslexic traits, you may be aware of your strengths which will put you in a good position to apply for roles that you would be able to do. As a starting point, it might be a useful idea to jot down some of your main strengths. For instance, if you enjoy and consider yourself to be good at maths, then looking for jobs that involve calculations might be an option for you.

Choosing The Correct Employer

People with severe Dyslexia may be eligible for help from government schemes such as New Deal or WorkStep. The aim of these schemes is to help people with a disability find and keep a suitable job. For more information, please follow this link.

Who is eligible for help under New Deal or Workstep? To qualify for help under one of these schemes, you must meet two criteria. First, you must be classed as having a disability - under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995); secondly you must be receiving a benefit such as Job Seeker's Allowance or Incapacity Benefit. To find out more, please follow this link.

Vocational support

Vocational support can be in the form of simple technological interventions, utilising software and IT or it can be more specialised in exploring how employees can best be supported vocationally within their workplace. This may necessitate job coaching, exploring reasonable adjustments or simple work shadowing in order to resolve any unexpected problems relating to Dyslexia in the workplace.

There are different schemes in place to assist you in career development. For instance, New Deal run through Job Centre Plus. For more information, please follow this link.

Additionally, self-awareness of your own attributes of Dyslexia is the key that will enable you to choose your preferred type of job and employment. There is no denying that finding the perfect job isn't easy, but hopefully our promotion of self-awareness of Dyslexia will enable you to make positive steps to take control of your own choices of career. You can actively seek out employers who are working and encouraging disability legislation promoted through the DDA. We would advise that this information can be discovered by talking to the prospective employer or finding information on the organisation through publications or websites.

Technologies for all

It may be appropriate to provide a Dyslexic employee with an appropriate technology-based intervention. This would be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the individual’s Dyslexia and respective difficulty at work. A work-based Dyslexia Assessment would provide recommendations of different assistive technologies.

Funding assessment in employment

If you are struggling with elements of your work and suspect that you may have Dyslexia, the first step is to take part in an indicative screening of Dyslexia.

After a screening you may want to have an assessment of Dyslexia. Assessments can cost up to £425, so it’s worth checking with your employer to see if they can assist you with this cost. Alternatively, please see our funding section. http://www.nwonline.co.uk/dev/dyslexia/services-funding.asp

Working to strengths not weaknesses

Deciding to disclose your Dyslexia to your employee can feel like a daunting experience. Your employee can only take action in helping you if your difficulty is known. Your employer should encourage your individual development and enable you to do your job to the best of your ability. Telling your employer should have positive effects for both employer and employee.

If you would like advice on this matter, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Should I disclose my Dyslexia?

Please see the table for more information on Dyslexia disclosure.

Time of Disclosure Reason For Diclosing Reason For Not Disclosing
At time of application
  • If a disability is an asset to the application.
  • Demonstrating honesty.
  • If a disability will not affect you on the job.
  • Risk of having application discounted because of disability.
Durning the interview process
  • Making sure adjusments will be in place before job commences.
  • Demonstrating honesty.
  • If disability will not affect you in this job.
When you recieve a job offer
  • If you think that a disability will affect your work.
  • If you require adjustments in the workplace.
  • Demonstrating honesty.
  • If disability will not affect you in this job.
  • If you fear prejudice will affect the work you are given.
When you start work
  • If you think that a disability will affect your work.
  • If you require adjustments in the workplace.
  • Demonstrating honesty.
  • If disability will not affect you in this job.
If problems arise at work
  • If you find that you were unprepared for the effect of your diability in some job or function.
  • If you cannot perform the job for which you were hired without adjustment.
  • If you can learn compensatory techniques that will not require adjustments.
  • If you can put adjustments in without employer intervention.

Pro-active employers

The 'two ticks' disability symbol

Although employers are bound by the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) to treat you fairly, some demonstrate that they are particularly positive about employing and retaining disabled people.

Some employers show this by placing the Jobcentre Plus 'two ticks' disability symbol on their job adverts.

This means the employer has made some specific commitments regarding the employment of disabled people. As part of this, you are guaranteed an interview if you meet the minimum conditions for the job vacancy.

For employers who are pro-active in support of Dyslexia, look out for this symbol on employers’ websites. Employers who use the disability symbol make five commitments regarding recruitment, training, retention, consultation and disability awareness.

These commitments are:

  • To interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and to consider them on their abilities.
  • To discuss with disabled employees, at any time but at least once a year, what both parties can do to make sure disabled employees can develop and use their abilities.
  • To make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment.
  • To take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make these commitments work.
  • To review these commitments each year and assess what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans.

Ask at your local Jobcentre for information about employers in your area who have been awarded the disability symbol.