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AI could help dyslexic workers progress

People with dyslexia often have soft skills which are in demand, the research found

Almost two thirds (66%) of dyslexic professionals say AI tools can help them climb the career ladder, according to new research from LinkedIn and charity Made By Dyslexia.

Founder of Made By Dyslexia, Kate Griggs, said AI complements the strengths common in dyslexic employees.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “AI can’t replace the soft skills that index high in dyslexics, such as innovating, lateral thinking, complex problem solving and communicating.

“But it is the perfect co-pilot for dyslexic thinking; as AI aggregates, dyslexic thinking innovates. Businesses should lean into assistive technology and new technology advancements to empower dyslexics to thrive in the workplace.”

Read more: How HR can help dyslexic employees

Ian Moore, managing director of HR consultancy Lodge Court, said AI can be helpful for reading, writing and editing.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “AI can help staff who have dyslexia improve their writing with either virtual editors or apps that will rewrite text to suit a certain tone of voice or purpose.  

“It can also help with reading, summarising large pieces of text and explaining complex concepts in simple terms. 

“By simplifying these two areas that people who have dyslexia often struggle with, they’re enabling them to focus on their ideas and creativity rather than the mechanics of the work itself.”

Many of the skills common to dyslexic people are in demand in the workplace, but workers who have dyslexia themselves are often underestimated, according to Griggs.

Read more: Dyslexia tribunal sparks discussion on how to support neurodivergent employees

While the majority (88%) of people who have dyslexia surveyed view their neurodiversity as an advantage in the workplace, fewer than half (46%) of non-dyslexic professionals recognise this advantage. 

Griggs added: “Dyslexic thinking skills are valuable and vital. They include the in-demand soft skills that we know businesses are looking for, such as communication and leadership. 

“Every business should learn to harness the potential of the one in five people who are dyslexic or risk missing out on untapped potential and talent.”

Moore added that dyslexia support should be included in DEI initiatives. 

He added: “Employers should embrace dyslexic peoples’ unique talents and abilities and support them where needed, with measures such as digital aids like text-to-speech software or spell-check tools, changes to working conditions or extra time for tasks, as well as regular staff training to raise awareness and promote understanding.”

The research was conducted by Censuswide in the UK between August and September 2023, involving 2,052 non-dyslexic workers and 309 dyslexic workers aged over 18.