Many learn strategies to get around their literacy and numeracy challenges by the time they reach the workforce. But for others, the problems may persist. SPELD NZ fields many calls from concerned employers who want to support their staff. We know how to help.

Ten percent of the population are affected by specific learning disabilities (SLD) such as dyslexia. These don’t go away when people enter the workforce. Employees lacking the strategies to cope with their dyslexia and other SLD may reach a “glass ceiling” that prevents them reaching their job goals. Employers are often empathetic and want to encourage and support staff with dyslexia/SLD. However they may struggle to identify exactly what is going on and how to help them.

SPELD NZ can provide support and advice for those in need. We offer adult-focussed diagnostic assessment and if required, one-on-one tuition to enable an employee with dyslexia and other SLD to reach their potential.
Read about our services for adults

Services for Employers - SPELD NZ

Tips for employers

There are some really simple things employees can do to help those with dyslexia:

  • Give instructions at most two at a time
  • Encourage the person to record work instructions on their mobile phone so they can listen to them and re check later
  • Print material to read on pastel coloured paper
  • Ensure that written material is always in font size 12 at minimum
  • Use a sans serif font such as Ariel or Verdana
  • Help the individual create a specialist vocabulary list for technical terms they use frequently (spelled correctly)
  • Encourage colleagues to proof read each other’s work for external consumption
  • Provide instructions aurally as well as in writing.
  • Set up an environment where staff feel free to discuss diversity

Thanks to the British Dyslexia Association.

Here’s a thought-provoking article and some videos on how employers can embrace the strengths of neurodiverse/dyslexic adults.


British Dyslexia Association

Here are the BDA’s guidelines to help employees make their workplaces more dyslexia-friendly.

The Yale Centre for Dyslexia & Creativity

Here are some other ideas on how to create a dyslexia-friendly work environment:

Made by Dyslexia

This is a global charity launched by Sir Richard Branson.  Its mission is to help the world understand, value and support dyslexia.  Here’s its advice on dyslexic strengths in the changing work place.

Dyslexia Tips for Employers

Personal Stories

Find out how SPELD NZ has helped both children and adults overcome their struggles with dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities.

What Dyslexia Taught Me

Christchurch IT product innovator Christian Sax describes his lifelong struggles with dyslexia and what he’s learned along the way.

Aidan at work

Dyslexia in the Workplace

New employee, Aidan Milner, recommends total honesty and not shying away from support to level the playing field.

Back to the Classroom

What drives someone with learning difficulties to become a teacher? Former SPELD NZ student Elizabeth Luoni Verkleij shares her journey.

Out of the Shadows

After a lifetime of frustration, 62-year-old Hamish Shoebridge has finally learnt how to read and write.