Dyslexia and other learning differences

As an employer, it is likely that that some of your staff will have a neurological difference called dyslexia. Dyslexia affects learning and regular workplace behaviours. It is a difference – not a disability. Across the whole population at least one person in ten has dyslexia. The larger the workforce the greater the likelihood of dyslexic folk in your workforce.

This information has been prepared by Mike Styles, winner of the 2017 Adult Literacy and Numeracy Leadership Award. The information is designed to assist you to work effectively and efficiently with these staff members and to get the best possible outcomes for you and for those staff. The advice and guidance provided is based on the best current international knowledge. 

So, what is dyslexia? A good place to start is with a quality definition.

'Dyslexia is a lifelong learning difference where people struggle with reading, writing and spelling. Having dyslexia is not an indication of low intellectual ability. Associated with dyslexia are a number of challenges with short term memory, time management and verbal and cognitive processing speed'.

Here's some fact sheets about dyslexia

What you need to know about dyslexia

Indicators of dyslexia in adults

The positive side of dyslexia

Supporting your staff member who has dyslexia

Relevant information about dyslexia
  • Dyslexia affects at least 10% of the population and affects all cultures, languages and ethnicities.
  • Dyslexia lasts a lifetime.  We do not grow out of it.
  • Dyslexia affects both males and females.
  • Dyslexia is a genetic condition, passed down from generation to generation.
  • Most obvious signs are limited reading skills, poor writing skills and very poor spelling skills.
  • Most people with dyslexia will not have been diagnosed for it and therefore are not aware of their condition.
The positive aspects of dyslexia

The story about dyslexia is not all about challenges and problems. There are a number of very positive, attractive features associated with dyslexia.  They include: 

  • Very strong visual, spatial/3-D skills.
  •  Innovative “left field” thinking.
  • Creativity.
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strong empathy and cooperation skills.  Great team players.

Resources from Ako Aotearoa

Article from The Guardian about dyslexia      

Made by Dyslexia videos

Ako Aotearoa: Evaluating the effectiveness of support interventions for dyslexic learners in multiple learning environments

Ako Aotearoa: How to make learning interventions which support dyslexic trainees in classroom and workplaces