starbucks-dyslexia“Dyslexia should not be invisible in the workplace.” – Fernette Eide MD Co-Founder Dyslexic Advantage

Yesterday, the BBC reported that the global coffee giant Starbucks lost a discrimination lawsuit to a supervisor, Meseret Kumulchew.

Meseret had let her employer know that she was dyslexic, had difficulty with words and numbers, and learned best by being shown tasks visually. When some errors were found in her entries of refrigerator temperatures, however, she was accused of fraud, reassigned from her duties, and told to undergo retraining.

“The tribunal found Starbucks had failed to make reasonable adjustments for Ms Kumulchew’s disability and had discriminated against her because of the effects of her dyslexia.

It also found she had been victimised by her employer and there appeared to be little or no knowledge or understanding of equality issues.”

From The Guardian: Kumulchew urged Starbucks to follow its own approach to training baristas in making adjustments for her. “Starbucks says ‘do, show and tell’. That works brilliantly for me,” she said. “Visual, physical and reading, they all go together.

This morning Dyslexic Advantage called on all employers and human resources managers to address dyslexia awareness and education in the workplace. Awareness of dyslexia falls woefully short in the US and global workforce. Better education and training are necessary to reap the benefits of the breadth of talent, innovation, and ability that dyslexic people have to offer.