Ruth Houston

Dyslexia in the workplace

BBC’s recent report regarding the disability discrimination case of a Starbucks employee with dyslexia struck a chord with us here at Texthelp.

Dyslexia in the workplace

A starbucks employee in London has won a disability discrimination case after she was accused of falsifying documents after mistakenly entering wrong information. The woman has dyslexia and had made mistakes due to her difficulties with reading, writing and telling the time.

The tribunal found Starbucks had failed to make reasonable adjustments for Ms Kumulchew's disability and had discriminated against her because of the effects of her dyslexia.

Starbucks said that it is now in discussions about providing more workplace support.


The BBC’s report regarding the disability discrimination case of a Starbucks employee with dyslexia struck a chord with us here at Texthelp. As an assistive technology company whose mission is to support people with learning disabilities, and in fact, to all those people who struggle with reading and writing more generally, we have real insight into some of the daily communication challenges which exist in today’s workplaces.

According to the British Dyslexia Association, around 10% of the UK population have dyslexia, and around 1.5 million people of working age have an identified specific learning disability. In a recent Life Opportunities survey carried out by the ONS, it was found that 53% of adults with impairments experience barriers to employment. 

Furthermore, 66% of employers in the UK have reported limited confidence in their staff knowing where they can access advice about workplace adjustments from outside their organisation, and nearly half of them (46%) remain worried that recruiting people with learning disabilities will involve ‘extra work.’ (according to the 2015 State of the Nation report)

There is clearly still a lot of work to be done to raise awareness within companies about learning disabilities such as dyslexia and the provisions that can be put in place to support their existing and future employees, so that they can experience the same opportunities as everyone else.

At the heart of Texthelp is the motivation to solve these challenges and provide assistance and support. We recognise that, in order to provide both students in schools and adults in the workplace with the best opportunities, we need to address reading and writing skills before the transition from education to the workplace if possible, therefore providing effective, lifelong skills. 

By supporting those who need it most, we enable individuals to reach job opportunities as more able and more confident employees, as well as to thrive in their chosen careers.


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