If you’re seeking dyslexia support in the workplace, the Access to Work scheme might be able to help. As an employee with dyslexia, the workplace can pose a number of challenges, including social and emotional barriers to work. However, the right support can highlight the positives of dyslexia, such as creative reasoning abilities, and valuable interpersonal skills.
Access to Work (AtW) aims to provide personalised, practical support that breaks down work-related barriers. This kind of support can help you overcome some of the challenges you may experience with dyslexia. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to Access to Work support for dyslexia, and the benefits of using assistive technology like Jamworks for Business, an AI-powered meeting assistant.
Dyslexia and Challenges at Work
It can be helpful to understand the types of challenges you may be facing at work. Dyslexia is commonly known as a language-based difficulty that can be slightly different for everyone. It is a hidden disability that can lead to challenges with reading, writing, language processing, and comprehension of verbal or written information. In the workplace, this might make it difficult to:
- Write emails, reports, or other materials under tight deadlines
- Process and capture information at speed, such as in meetings or conversations
- Follow verbal instructions for tasks, meetings, or projects
- Read, write, and spell quickly and accurately
- Multi-task when listening, writing, reading, or language processing is involved, such as in meetings
These are just a few of the difficulties you may have experienced. Everyone will have their own experience of dyslexia, and you may have faced other challenges. However, it can be helpful to remember that there are also many strengths that come from dyslexic thinking.
You might be able to solve complex problems by seeing the bigger picture. Individuals with dyslexia are also brilliant visualizers which allows them to be creative with new ideas. Finally, you might also find that you have an excellent ability to express yourself and empathise with others. These are all important and valuable skills in the workplace.
What is Access to Work Support?
Access to Work is a government scheme that provides funding towards personalised, practical support in the workplace. This grant-based scheme aims to help those with disabilities, including learning difficulties like dyslexia, to overcome work-related barriers and maintain their sense of independence. AtW enables employees to stay in, return to, or get work with a range of support options. Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for you, however, AtW can provide additional support that is tailored to your exact needs.
How to Apply for Access to Work Support
Here is a brief run-down of the Access to Work process:
- Eligibility criteria: Check the full eligibility criteria to see if you qualify for Access to Work support. Learning difficulties, like dyslexia, are one of the conditions that are likely to be considered by AtW. There are also some general criteria, such as current work status, age, and location.
- Initial form: If you feel like you meet the criteria, you can fill out the initial form with your information. This will ask for general information about you, your condition, your needs, and your work details.
- Approval follow-up: Once approved, an advisor may contact you for more information about your condition and needs. The advisor might also arrange the workplace needs assessment at this point, or later on.
- Workplace needs assessment: This assessment aims to identify the challenges you face at work and the support that might help. Your assessor will draw up a list of personalised recommendations for your AtW advisor to evaluate.
- Final letter: Finally, you will receive a letter with the decision, grant award, and recommendations. This will explain what the grant is paying for, and how you can claim the recommended support.
Access to Work Support for Dyslexia
Generally, AtW support will fall into a few categories and will vary depending on your personalised support recommendations. These are a few of the key support offerings:
Practical support: AtW can help you get to work by covering travel expenses, such as taxis or vehicle adaptions. You might also benefit from adapted equipment or hardware, like ergonomic or specialist chairs, desks, or keyboards. If you’re looking for work, this scheme can also cover the cost of communication support for job interviews.
Support workers and helpers: You can receive support from a professional helper in the workplace. This could be a job coach, support worker, mentor, and note-taker. There are many options depending on your needs, for example, personal care needs helpers and BSL interpreters are also an option. These individuals can help you manage your disability or condition while at work.
Mental health support: If you are also facing mental health concerns alongside dyslexia, AtW offers a mental health support service. It is a free, confidential support option that is work-focused and can last for up to 9-months. This service includes a personalised, tailored support plan and one-to-one sessions with a mental health professional.
Assistive technology software: In the workplace, assistive software and applications can make certain tasks easier and more accessible to you. For example, there are note-taking tools, speech-to-text software, captioning tools, productivity apps, and so much more. Assistive technology is now also becoming more advanced and personalised with the rise of AI. Below, we’ll share an example of AI-powered assistive technology that is accessible through the AtW scheme.
Jamworks for Business: AI Meeting Support for Dyslexia
Meetings are a place for important discussions, decision-making, and action plans. However, meetings can provide an overwhelming amount of information. Note-taking is one way to leave meetings with clarity and key action items. Yet, learning how to take effective meeting notes can be a challenge for many, and even more so for someone with dyslexia. It can be difficult to listen, comprehend, summarise, and document key discussion points, all while trying to remain present and participate.
Jamworks for Business is an AI-powered meeting tool that can help everyone leave meetings with a set of comprehensive and accessible notes. Jamworks is a robust, meeting recording tool that captures screen and audio content for in-person and online meetings. This tool can sync with your calendar to attend meetings for you and keep you up to date.
Automated Note Taking for Employees with Dyslexia
Jamworks provides simple, automated note-taking features that are both distraction-free and accessibility friendly. This can be helpful for the handwriting and information processing challenges that many with dyslexia face. Meetings are sometimes information heavy and fast-paced with many discussion points and agenda items to get through.
You might find it hard to process this information at speed and struggle to take effective notes. Jamworks removes this worry by offering automated note-taking that breaks meetings down into key points and highlights. These snippets can be reviewed in a variety of formats, including verbatim transcribed notes, captioned video clips, audio snippets, and AI-powered summaries.
This allows you to attend meetings without distractions where you can be present, engaged, and make contributions.
Action Items and Key Points
It can still be overwhelming to review an entire meeting’s notes to try to form an action plan and remember important discussion points. That’s why Jamworks uses the power of AI to extract key action items and points for you. You can review the meeting’s contents in less time and reduce information overload with these notes.
This can make it easier for you to get on with tasks, and worry less about trying to digest the content of a meeting. As you work on your tasks, you can easily refer back to these notes if you forget something you need.
Shareable Meeting Notes and JamBot AI
You can also search for information using the JamBot AI, a chatbot for your meeting notes. You can ask JamBot AI questions about a meeting and it will find the information for you, including who said what. This can save you time when looking for clarification on a particular topic and enable you to get back to work. If you struggle to reach out for help, this can give you the independence to continue working effectively.
However, there is no harm in seeking help and asking for further clarification. Jamworks makes it easy to share these meeting notes with others in a variety of formats. You can use these meeting note snippets to ask for support, and pinpoint what you need help with. This can make it easier for you to communicate and ensure information is shared in a way that is accessible to all.