Dyslexia Tools for the Workplace
By Kimberly Kafafian
I can tell you first hand that the dyslexic mind works differently. I am disorganized and I misplace things. I am 5 minutes late to almost every meeting. I lose my train of thought while speaking sometimes. And I often rush to get my thoughts out because I’m worried about forgetting my point. I can see why many would think a dyslexia CEO would be a strike against Monarch’s success. However, I truly believe the way my mind functions gives me superpowers. For starters, I am an amazing problem solver. I seem to have an innate ability to cut through the clutter and identify important details, see past the details to get a more creative view of a problem, and communicate clearly. This definitely helps me to not only effectively manage my own team, but also to define and address the HR needs of my clients. It also enhances my empathy for others because I know what it’s like to struggle in the workplace.
These dyslexia strengths, however, also come with challenges. For example, while I’m good at reading people, I can sometimes struggle reading text-heavy documents or spelling a word correctly. Over the course of my career, I have found tools that can help overcome these challenges so that I can thrive. As a strong proponent for hiring talent with dyslexia because I know first hand the benefits that person can bring to a business, I also stress to my clients how it is so important to support those with dyslexia in the workplace so that they can flourish, which helps the organization as a whole to succeed.
Tools that Can Help Dyslexic Employees Boost Performance
Here are some of the tools employers can employ to aid their dyslexic workforce in reaching their full potential.
Mind Mapping Software
This type of software provides the employee with a framework for organizing information. It helps in brainstorming thoughts without having to worry about order or structure. The mind map can transform a lot of textual information into an easy to read and comprehend colorful diagram.
Installing a commonly used dyslexic-friendly font – such as Helvetica, Courier, Arial and Verdana – can enhance readability of text. The Dyslexie font though is even better. This special typeface is specially designed to enhance the ease of reading and comprehension for dyslexics.
Text to speech software can help dyslexics comprehend written material, such as presentations, reports, and even email.
Instant Spell Checkers
This tool can enable workers to focus on communicating their thoughts instead of worrying if everything is spelled correctly.
Speech Recognition Software
With this tech, the employee can dictate what they want to say and have it instantly converted into text to aid with spelling and writing.
A bright white background can make reading and comprehension difficult for dyslexics. The glare can inhibit the assimilation of information. A small shift in paper or whiteboard color to cream or off-white can make a huge difference.
Good leaders recognize the amazing strengths this neurodiverse talent can offer an organization AND understand the tools that will help dyslexics thrive in the workplace.
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