Hidden Disability

There are a wide range of hidden disabilities that are included within the spectrum to neurodiversity; the most common we see in the workplace is dyslexia. It is estimated that up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK has a certain degree of dyslexia; meaning it is likely that up to 10% of employees are dyslexic. The exact causes of dyslexia are unknown, although studies have shown it is neurological in origin with strong hereditary links.

Dyslexic employees can sometimes be viewed in a negative light due to issues with performance or relationships with management. This is usually a reflection of a lack of awareness of dyslexia, poor disability management and the absence of reasonable adjustment. It is important to understand that dyslexia is not a negative thing; dyslexic employees can offer a unique set of skills that can be of significant benefit to the employer. Dyslexia, literally translated, means ‘difficulty with words’, however this is really a misnomer as there is a wide ranging spectrum of strengths and weaknesses that is unique to each individual.

Dyslexia is not linked to a person's general level of intelligence and only affects certain skills and abilities, providing a more pronounced difference between strengths and weaknesses.

Not everyone with dyslexia develops the same strengths. However, by increasing awareness they can be appreciated and their skills applied more effectively.

Not everyone with dyslexia has the same weaknesses. However, identifying weaknesses is required to put the appropriate reasonable adjustment in place.

Diagnostic assessment

A diagnostic assessment, completed by a psychologist or specialist teacher, is an in-depth assessment taking approximately 3 hours. This produces a detailed report providing a formal diagnosis for dyslexia and other hidden disabilities.

Strengths: Diagnostic assessments are a reliable way to gain an objective diagnosis of dyslexia and other hidden disabilities. The report produced illustrates a comprehensive profile of ability, identifying weakness to aid decisions on reasonable adjustment.