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In the leadup to Dyslexia Awareness Week, MSD staff, alongside Learning Differences Aotearoa Trust adviser Chris Cole, completed an overhaul of job vacancy boards, to make them easier to read for people with dyslexia or Irlen Syndrome.
Some of the changes include wider spaces between words and letters, pictures to indicate the nature of the job, and a consistent organisation.
MSD employment liaison adviser Clare Hamill said before the overhaul, it was possible that some job seekers missed out on opportunities due to not being able to read or see the appropriate job on the board.
"There’s a lot of people ... in very high-powered positions that have had to learn to live with dyslexia and they’ve ... been able to work around it."
Mrs Cole, who lives with dyslexia, said a large amount of feedback from people with dyslexia went into the design of the board.
"It’s getting rid of all the extra words, bullet-pointing, giving it space, the font, the colour, and just making it a bit more structured without the need for so much text."
She said that there was insufficient data to clarify how many New Zealanders lived with dyslexia, but estimates derived from UK studies suggested that 15-20% of the population had the condition.
"I’m an accountant by trade [and] ... I found out I was dyslexic six years ago, because I could read and write.
"I thought I couldn’t be dyslexic... Some [dyslexics] can manage fine with literacy, some don’t. Not all of us would find it easier to engage with [job board] than the way it was before."
MSD work broker Tina Graham, who collated the board, emphasised that the MSD services were available to all job seekers, not just those in select circumstances.
Mrs Hamill said the design of the board was already being adopted by MSD offices in other regions.