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What Is Dyslexia Discrimination?

By Angela Farrer
Updated May 16, 2024
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Dyslexia discrimination refers to the practice of denying people with this condition equal access to employment or educational opportunities on the basis of this disability. Many areas have laws in place that prohibit this type of discrimination for dyslexia in school or in certain workplaces. Individuals who have learned and mastered dyslexia strategies for reading comprehension are frequently successful in various occupations when they are permitted reasonable work accommodations. Schools are also required to provide certain learning aids for students with dyslexia, and failure to do so can often constitute discrimination. Dealing with verifiable dyslexia discrimination frequently involves a consultation with an attorney who is knowledgeable in disability law.

Living with dyslexia is often challenging for both children and adults, although many dyslexic people are able to lead productive and fulfilling lives as long as they receive the proper education. Reading and writing techniques for dyslexia are usually different than those for people without this condition. Most learning disability experts believe the causes of dyslexia are genetic, and the main ways of treating it involve teaching dyslexics alternative ways of correctly recognizing and processing written symbols. Primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges, are normally required by law to provide instructional accommodations for students with dyslexia. These aids often include recorded textbooks and specialized software designed to help with written work.

Instances of dyslexia discrimination in schools sometimes occur inadvertently when schools do not have the resources to provide specialized instruction to dyslexic students. This type of problem can often be tied to required courses in a foreign language that are especially problematic for many dyslexic students. Many language teachers do not have sufficient training in teaching students with this disability, and one common way of avoiding dyslexia discrimination is to allow course substitutions in this situation.

Workplaces are also usually required to have reasonable measures in place to prevent dyslexia discrimination. Employers in many fields are not permitted to make hiring decisions based only on a disability. An otherwise well-qualified candidate who happens to be dyslexic needs to be judged by the same criteria as the rest of the job candidate pool for a certain position. A few specific jobs that require large amounts of reading and attention to printed details are not considered good fits for candidates with dyslexia; examples include editing and publishing job fields. Hiring managers in these cases are allowed to withhold an employment offer while still avoiding dyslexia discrimination as the laws define it.

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