Let workers with dyslexia thrive in right roles

shamsudinbardan-dyxlexiaPETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) says companies should bring out the best in their workers if they are known to have dyslexia.

Its executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said that bosses must know the strengths of their dyslexic workers and assign them jobs which they can perform well.

“Dyslexics do well in creative jobs such as designers, musicians and film directors as the jobs require less reading,” he told FMT.

In contrast, he said, if dyslexics are tasked with roles that require a lot more reading, writing or dealing with documentation, they might not be able to perform well.

Dyslexia is a condition where the person has difficulty reading and writing because they cannot process letters of the alphabet into words.

The welfare department has categorised dyslexia as a form of disability.

When asked if hiring dyslexics would be disadvantages to companies, Shamsuddin said it would be unfair to generalise them.

“There is no basis to suggest that employing someone who is dyslexic may cause harm to a company,” he said.

Shamsuddin added Malaysia has banned any form of discrimination against disabled persons through the Persons with Disabilities Act, giving them equal rights in the workforce as able-bodied individuals.

“We are responsible to provide necessary tools to help dyslexics in doing their work because the law requires us to do so,” he said.

Shamsuddin also said companies should include more dyslexia-friendly measures in written protocols.

He gave the example of how a human resource department can use recording devices to record instructions so that dyslexics would not be disadvantaged in understanding such instructions easily compared with having to read them.

“They can also introduce mind maps or flow charts in different colours on paper.”

Shamsuddin advised managers not to give too much work at any one time to their workers who are dyslexics because they may have problems memorising a series of instructions.

“It would be better to pair them for reading with a co-worker.”

Persatuan Dyslexic Malaysia president Sariah Amirin told FMT previously that dyslexic children learn better when allowed to participate in group interaction and to have discussions with their teachers.

“They are not lazy and stupid as the public perceives,” she said.