Welcome to your Learner’s page. You may be just starting college or off to university. We have designed this page to be both useful and informative with strategies to help communicate your struggles with literacy. It may be that you want to find out about a dyslexia assessment to get more help or technology which will support you. This page should answer all your questions and give you ideas which will make your college or university life easier. We hope you like it.
Do you use memory strategies such as Roman Rooms? Perhaps mind maps help you? Organisation can often be a tricky one, do you sometimes get overwhelmed the amount of work you have and don’t know where to start?
There are many free functions in Word 16 including immersive reading, reading view and structured documents – find out how they can help you using our videos. You can use predictive text, and speak functions which can help with writing and reading. It can even be used as a proof reading tool.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking or the free speech recognition on laptops can be a real help if you struggle with spelling and writing. It can be frustrating to start with but once the software knows your voice and you have picked up what commands to use, it would speed up your work and even transform how you achieve at college or university.
There are many places for help but you should start with additional support departments in colleges and universities. Don’t feel like you’re the only one, many students have dyslexia and have found with the correct support, can still achieve.
Perhaps you find this report from the Open University useful about studying with dyslexia.
Your parents may not know much about dyslexia or SEND so you may need to explain to them what it is like and how they can help. It’s important they know that you are not being lazy but that you have genuine difficulties. Explaining to them how you learn best may mean that they can support you at home or help you communicate with school or college.
Relevant website for your parents to find out more information, include:
Perhaps they need to know what things affect someone who struggles with literacy? Dyslexia can affect your speed of processing, your short term memory and your phonological awareness (that’s how your hear sounds and map them onto letters on a page and manipulate sounds e.g. if I change the first letter of cat to an m what word will that be?)
You may already know what help you need in exams but perhaps you’ve never had any before and feel the need for extra time? You will need to let your tutors or lecturers know why you’re struggling and which barriers, if removed, would help. There are simple tests to a specialist can deliver to see if are eligible for a reader or extra time as examples. Adjustments should be made to allow a learner to show what they know, and usual ways of working should be established.
There have been many changes to exams over the past few years, which the Driver Youth Trust have commented on. These are best explained in the following blogs.
Many universities have these; it’s just a “Are you allowed to use a laptop” for instance? Or, “Can you take a picture of the board for homework”? It’s quite easy for teachers to screenshot work on the whiteboard and then send it to you for example, this is an easy way for teachers to support you without giving them too much extra work.
We know how busy they are. Remind your tutors to concentrate on your content, not your spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is worth asking universities whether they have such a dyslexia friendly marking policy.
Find out more about dyslexia friendly marking guidelines here.
Most universities and colleges have a learning support department. This will have a group of specially trained tutors who will give advice and 1:1 support to help. The learning support department usually works closely with Faculties, Schools and other administrative offices, in order to make sure that all the services and facilities meet your needs.
Their role is to support students with disabilities and dyslexia in using all the resources and facilities the university has to offer, such as the library or faculty buildings. This could be from:
Some universities and colleges also offer Disability Resource Areas, which are rooms that you can use and that provide a quiet and supportive environment with computers, assistive software, arranged equipment, such as mice and keyboards and adjustable furniture, such as adjustable electric height desks.