HOW TO TAKE ACTION
HOW YOU CAN HELP MAKE THE WORKPLACE BETTER FOR ALL
Dyslexia can cause difficulty reading and writing, as well as affecting timemanagement and the ability to keep track of information. To help: give instructions verbally; provide text-to-speech or speech-to-text software; allow meetings to be recorded; use easy-to-read fonts (for example, Verdana, Arial or free specialist font Open Dyslexic); and provide written information on coloured paper and using screen tints.
Adapting your studio for deaf or hearing-impaired employees can include some spatial and technological tweaks. Rethink workspaces to situate regular collaborators opposite each other so lips and faces can be seen easily; minimise background noise (particularly in meeting rooms); video call rather than conference call; provide hearing aid-compatible phones (or an induction loop); subtitle video content; and provide recognition speech-to-text software or a BSL interpreter if/when needed.
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
One in four of us will suffer from some sort of mental health issue in our lives. Adaptability in the workplace, such as working from home or flexible hours, can help. Build mental health days into your sick day allowance; offer mental health training for line managers; encourage all employees to make a Wellness Action Plan; and keep an eye on a common trigger – stress – with regular catch ups.
Autism and Asperger’s syndrome can affect communication and the ability to understand feelings and can make meeting new people or adapting to new routines challenging. To help, develop a structured work day (with big tasks broken down); avoid abstract language; explain the etiquette and unwritten rules of the workplace; give direct feedback; and minimise sensory distractions.
Depending on your employees’ needs, you can: install lifts and widen doorways; offer height-adjustable desks; make sure filing cabinets, kettles, printers, etc, are within reach; remove obstacles; offer nearby parking; and agree on an emergency evacuation procedure if staff members require assistance.