5 Ways to Manage Dyslexia While at Work
For adults with dyslexia, navigating the
workplace can feel like a constant battle. Standard office skills like organization
and critical reading may not come naturally to dyslexic people, and some may be
concerned about their ability to perform certain jobs if they’re disabled. Jobs with high-stress office environments can
further compound the problem. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective ways to
manage dyslexia in the workplace.
1. Customize Reading Material
To optimize the reading experience, dyslexic office workers can customize their digital reading materials. It's easy to customize the appearance of most PDF files and internet browsers, and these quick aesthetic changes can make a world of difference. When making changes, consider font style, size, and color. There are several fonts designed specifically for dyslexic readers, including Dyslexie and OpenDyslexic. These fonts typically consist of bottom-heavy letters, which can be more easily distinguished from one another. Color can also make reading easier for people with dyslexia. The standard black text/white background computer color scheme can strain the eyes, exacerbating dyslexia symptoms. To reduce eye fatigue, consider installing a tinted screen mask, which is an option that comes with most literacy support programs.
2. Use Text-to-Speech Software
On long days, text-to-speech software can be a life saver. These programs are simple to use, discreet, and compatible with most browsers, word processors, and PDF readers. With the click of a button, text-to-speech software converts the selected text into a spoken document. Use this technology when you're having difficulty reading long documents or when you want to do an auditory proofread on an email you're about to send.
3. Get Serious About Time Management
People with dyslexia may require more time to complete certain tasks than some of their coworkers, and they may need to assess their problem areas. Poor time management is often caused by issues with executive functioning, which impacts the ability to solve problems, take corrective actions, and combine multiple tasks. To make the most of every workday, evaluate your current organizational strategies. Make a list of the tasks you never seem to finish in time and a second list of the things that distract you. You may want to time your most common tasks, as this can provide a baseline for future planning. Once you've eliminated distractions and determined how long workplace activities take to complete, consider outlining each workday in a planner.
4. Learn the Vocabulary
When dyslexic people begin new jobs, they may have difficulty learning the industry-specific jargon. Researching new vocabulary can make job transitions go more smoothly. Search the internet or ask HR for an appropriate vocabulary module. Use multi-sensory reinforcement methods, like spoken recitation, to cement the new words in the mind.
5. Talk to People
Adults with dyslexia shouldn't be afraid to talk to their colleagues or their HR department about their challenges. Many companies offer resources and software designed to help workers with processing issues. Once informed, coworkers may be willing to modify emails or presentations by adding visual information to make them easier to process.
Whether you’re living with dyslexia or another disability, there’s a suitable job out there for you. In fact, there are a variety options to choose from. Jobs for mildly disabled people come in many forms, and you’re likely to find one that matches your skill set when searching the listings provided by disABLEDperson, Inc. If you have any questions or are having difficulty navigating our site, please feel free to give us a call at 760-420-1269.