Dyslexia

WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?

Developmental dyslexia is a learning disability that causes difficulty with reading and writing. Dyslexia, however, may cause other disabilities as well, such as difficulties processing the spoken language. Substantial research suggests that dyslexia is a neurological condition that may be associated with biochemical and genetic markets.

Often, individuals with dyslexia appear bright but cannot function at their age level concerning reading and writing abilities. Further, these individuals are usually easily frustrated about reading and writing and often have problems paying attention in school and at work. These individuals often also appear to "zone out" or daydream. Dyslexics, however, frequently display skills or talents in other areas, such as art, drama, building, mechanics, sports, or sales.

Treatment for dyslexia often includes educational training and phonetic tutoring. There is also evidence that musical therapy can be helpful to a dyslexic. Full recovery generally does not occur, but, with treatment, the difficulties of dyslexia can be alleviated.

WAYS IN WHICH YOU MIGHT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE OF DYSLEXIA

  • Your employer does not allow you to miss work for medical appointments
  • Your employer does not accommodate your need to take a reasonable amount of time off of work
  • Your employer will not provide reasonable on-site accommodations for your disability
  • Your employer will not allow you additional time to complete your work so as to accommodate your need for additional reading or writing time

HOW THE LAW PROTECTS YOU IF YOU HAVE DYSLEXIA

To state a cause of action for disability discrimination, an employee must show that she has a disability, is regarded as having a disability, or has a record of having a disability. The employee must then show that his or her disability results in physical limitations, that he or she can still perform the essential functions of the job (with or without reasonable accommodations), and that the employer took some adverse action (such as not hiring, firing, or demoting the employee) on the basis of that disability.

Both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act provide protection against disability discrimination. Dyslexia is such a disability, deserving of protection from discrimination, as long as the individual is substantially limited in his or her ability to work. Dyslexia will not be considered a disability unless it substantially hinders the individual's learning or ability to work. If the dyslexia is severe enough, then the employer may not take any adverse action against an employee because of the employee's dyslexia. The employer also has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with dyslexia so as to allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. The law will protect an employee whose employer does not provide these necessary accommodations. For example, an employer must provide a dyslexic employee with additional reading or writing time, unless doing so would place an undue burden on the employer.

Further Information