Looking for work
For some people, dyslexia can present a serious obstacle to finding a job. A bad experience in education may have left you lacking in confidence and self-esteem, or you may find that problems with reading and writing can make it difficult to apply for jobs that would otherwise be a good fit for your skills.
You may be unsure when, or whether at all, to disclose that you are dyslexic during a job search. You are not legally obliged to do so, especially if you feel it won't affect your ability to do the job.
However, if dyslexia is relevant you could disclose it on the equal opportunities section of the application form, or during an interview. It is possible that the employer already has experience of dyslexia in the workplace. In an interview, you can explain how dyslexia affects you, and what support could help to minimise its impact.
By being open with your prospective employer you will also be able to ask for adjustments during the application process, such as extra time during tests.
If you get the job, your employer has a legal obligation to make Reasonable Adjustments to the workplace. These will benefit you and the organisation.
The right job
When considering a new job, it is helpful to think about your strengths, weaknesses and skillsets. What are you good at? It is important to choose a type of work which you would enjoy and makes the most of your strengths.
Dyslexic people can be particularly prone to stress which will be exacerbated by an unsuitable work environment. Adjustments to the workplace, such as the use of assistive technology can support some areas of difficulty. However, there will be jobs where these might not be enough support to enable you to perform the job role effectively.
All dyslexic people will have strengths. Skills such as big-picture thinking, lateral thinking and problem-solving, visual strengths and an intuitive understanding of how things work are often the hallmarks of successful dyslexic people.
Analyse your profile of strengths and weaknesses. You may find it helpful to draw up a table of your strengths, your weaknesses and skillsets. Then look at the job description and see how closely you match.
Access to Work
To apply for Access to Work you need to have a paid job or be about to start or return to one. Your employer has a duty to make Reasonable Adjustments to the workplace. If you have spoken to them and the help you need at work isn’t covered by these adjustments, you may be able to get help from Access to Work.
An Access to Work grant can, for example, pay for:
- Assistive software programmes and training on using them;
- Strategy training;
- Dyslexia awareness training for colleagues and line managers.
A not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assisting students and graduates with all learning differences, including dyslexia, into employment.
National Careers Service
Gov.uk site offering information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work. You can speak to an adviser on 0800 100 900. The phone lines are open 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
Remploy: Putting ability first
Remploy exists to improve the lives of those with complex needs through the power of work. They work to find the jobseekers strengths and match them to the rights job role.
Shaw Trust helps people to find appropriate job roles; they also offer skills development training.
A social enterprise that supports people who are dyslexic (or neurodiverse) into employment. They provide free mentoring and coaching programmes, Dyslexia workplace needs assessments and dyslexia tests.