British Dyslexia Association Helpline: Sponsored by Scanning Pens
Wednesday 6 May 2020
How can I support dyslexic employees working from home?
- Hardware adjustments: Laptops with a larger screen or a secondary larger screen to connect to existing laptops are likely to positively impact people with hidden disabilities work from home set-up. Other considerations are the software used on devices; if a colleague’s usual specialist software is temporarily unavailable, seek a free temporary download for them via the software company’s website. Useful software for people with dyslexia can often be downloaded for free or is in-built already, for example, Microsoft has a dictation and screen-reading feature built-in, as do certain smartphones.
- Virtual meetings: While teams are currently unable to meet in person, video platforms are a great way to bring everyone together while also enabling attendees to record content, which can be incredibly useful. This feature allows neurodiverse employees to review information at a later date as well as removing the need to take notes in real-time; Many neurodivergent people process information differently and like to have verbal information in bitesize chunks with additional time to process and digest it.
- Preparation: Ensure that agendas and handouts for meetings are shared as early as possible so that employees with reading difficulties have time to process the information and prepare their contributions. It is also important to be mindful that many people with reading challenges prefer information presented visually through charts, diagrams and colour coding, as well as with specific fonts and layouts.
How can I best support my dyslexic child’s education during the school closures?
- Planning: By creating a routine of timetabled activities, parents and carers will be best able to structure children’s schooling while learning from home – this can be broken out in hourly slots such as ‘exercise’, ‘academic’, ‘creative’ or ‘relaxing’ time in order to organise school days. Other useful ways to support children’s education include creating quiet, designated spaces for academic and creative work, which will help focus youngsters while undertaking their activities.
- Diversity is key: When it comes to learning materials, schools have sent packs home with children to cover, however it is important to remember not all learning is about reading, writing and spelling. Incorporate physical activity, board games and domestic activities you’re your child’s timetable - small chunks of learning with lots of repetition works best, however, remember to change the activity or stop if the child is becoming disinterested or frustrated.
- Activate the senses: Remember dyslexic children tend to learn most effectively when activating as many of their senses as possible such as tracing and speaking the letters in a word they are learning or using coloured paper and pens and to experiment with learning.