Dyslexia and Mental Health in the Workplace: A Hidden Connection?

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Dyslexia and Mental Health in the Workplace: A Hidden Connection?

Dyslexia Matters… Why?

A recent report by Nancy Doyle at the Genius Within has revealed that 67% of people with dyslexia have requested support for stress in the workplace. 52% of these people have also reported significant sleep difficulties as a result of this stress. In addition, 37% of these respondents had visited their GP for help with stress, anxiety or depression in the last year.

So, what causes people with dyslexia in the workplace to suffer from anxiety, depression and stress and what can we, as employers, do to help relieve this?

Imagine sitting in front of your computer with several reports to read and reams of emails to respond to. Now imagine that you struggle to read long documents and that writing lengthy emails can be distressing, as a result of having dyslexia. You have to work much harder and longer than your colleagues to meet deadlines and the quality of your written work is not of the same standard, as others in your team. As a result, you begin to lose sleep, suffer from anxiety and you have low self-esteem. What’s even more frustrating is that you know you have the skills and ability to excel in your role, you just need some support from your employer to help alleviate the stresses.

As employers, we can all put some simple steps in place to help relieve some of the stress felt by our employees with dyslexia. By supporting our staff and being Disability Confident, we can help:

1. Reduce instances of absenteeism

2. Increase employee morale

3. Encourage staff retention/development

4. Increase productivity

5. Show best practice and become an employer of choice

Simple steps to help our dyslexic employees include:

  • Talking about dyslexia – Dyslexia Awareness Week is from 3-9th November 2014. This is the perfect opportunity to have an open discussion about the effects of dyslexia and the impact on work performance.
  • Encouraging a member of staff to become a Dyslexia Champion, to help embrace the culture of support.
  • Demonstrating your commitment to providing support for dyslexia by implementing text-to-speech software like Read&Write Gold, across the entire company.
  • Providing important documents such as H&S procedures, contracts etc. in audio format. Assistive software, like Read&Write Gold, allows you to convert text to MP3 format which provides employees with an alternative, more accessible format.

Dyslexia Awareness Week – 3 -9th November 2014

(Blog contributed by Texthelp Ltd)

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