Half of dyslexics hide the condition from their employer to protect their image in the workplace

Almost half of people with dyslexia are hiding their condition in the workplace for fear that it will change the way their colleagues perceive them, according to research.

The study by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and Business Link for London advisory service found that 45% of the 103 respondents felt unable to disclose their dyslexia to their employer.

The most common reasons for respondents hiding their dyslexia were that it could have a negative effect on their image at work, act as a barrier to business success and hamper their career opportunities.

More than half (56%) did not believe their employer could cater for their needs if they were to reveal their condition, and eight in 10 (82%) also believed their dyslexia would prevent them from setting up their own business.

Vicki McNicol, director of development at the BDA, said: “When an employer is able to support the dyslexic individual’s differences and not see them as a threat, the individuals abilities and talents are able to shine through. Many employers/managers are not able to celebrate difference but, more commonly, want to penalise employees for it. At the BDA, we find that many highly intelligent, dyslexic individuals fail to reach their full potential due to ignorance and lack of understanding among employers and HR professionals.”

Keith Gilbey, director of strategy at Business Link for London, said: “Creativity and tenacity are just some of the traits associated with dyslexics, so they have huge potential to become successful entrepreneurs. Equally, employers need to create a supportive environment so that they can harness the skills that dyslexics typically possess.”

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