When I was looking for background information on Dyslexia and Disclosure in the workplace, I found something shocking: there was very little practical information available to young people, mid-career, and actually any adults navigating the world of work and their dyslexia. That led to the Dyslexic Advantage Disclosure Project.
Dyslexia and workplace is a little bit like brilliant dyslexic dinosaur expert Jack Horner’s insightful question: Where are All the Baby Dinosaurs? His research into the question led him to discover that many of the smaller species were actually the younger forms of bigger ones. For dyslexics in the workplace, the question is – where are they? The answer seems to be that they are here, but many work environments are so dyslexia-unknowledgeable that there is little incentive to disclose.
In this project, I’ve been interviewing a wide range of successful adults for their stories of how they navigated the world of work. The following are interviews with an employee with a large global technology corporation, a corporate user designer, software engineer, and physician.
Some Common Themes:
– Tell People After You Know Them – Co-workers easier and more helpful than managers or possibly HR
– Recognize Your Personal Strengths
– Know What You Need – recognize when you need double-checking by other team members
– Learn Technology, Invest in Technology and training if necessary
– Companies are not set up for dyslexic employees – most dyslexic employees are ‘invisible’
Some readers have asked us for free resources about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and workplace issues. There is a free resource called JAN or Job Accommodation Network. Information is available for employees as well as employers. Their website is here: http:askjan.org and their phone number is: 800-526-7234.
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