Whether you are currently teaching, a student or training to become a specialist, we've covered some of the most frequently asked questions on dyslexia. For more frequently asked questions on special needs and inclusion browse around on the Education Hub.
How can I be dyslexia-friendly in higher and further education settings?
In assessment tasks you can:
present assessment tasks so that they are easy to read and follow
avoid switching modes during the assessment (e.g. from looking for positives to looking for negatives in a task) without giving strong advance signals
vary the methods of assessment (e.g. by using portfolios, presentations, posters, etc.)
arrange assessment feedback so that students know how to make progress, (e.g. by target setting.)
In an assignment tutorial or seminar you can:
graphically organise, e.g. by using Mind Maps® (Buzan 2007), the assignment for an individual, group or class, converting it to a list if some find that easier to follow
ask students to verbalise their assignment ideas; we can then graphically organise or otherwise record what they say as discussion progresses (preferably on tinted card), then give them the notes of their own words to take away
avoid assuming that starting points or key points are the same for the tutor and the student. Linear thought may have less relevance or clarity for a dyslexic student than for the tutor leading the discussion.
In teaching and lecturing you can:
use multisensory methods
‘chunk’ the tasks
give the ‘big picture’ before linear progression
take care with font size and style
arrange text in small blocks and place these near relevant pictures or diagrams
allow extra time
use and offer tinted paper as standard
give handouts in advance
avoid setting long copying tasks
avoid expecting students to take copious notes
find ways of teaching that do not depend on pencil and paper tasks
look for quality rather than quantity
>> The above ideas are an edited extract from Dyslexia-friendly Further Education and Higer Education
What study skills support can I recommend for students with dyslexia?
How can I be a dyslexia-friendly school teacher?
A great deal more is known about dyslexia than used to be the case, and a great deal of good practice may be found in schools incorporated into practitioners’ daily routines. A Dyslexia-friendly teacher’s professional knowledge is a combination of attitude, understanding, technique and empathy. If we do not experience dyslexia ourselves, it may help to adopt a ‘dyslexia proxy’ by reflecting on our experience of some other, personal difficulty in our schooling. To be Dyslexia-friendly we can:
Make ourselves familiar with the characteristics of dyslexia.
Appreciate the importance of the learning environment.
See dyslexia as a whole-school concern.
Keep updating our own knowledge.
Use Dyslexia-friendly approaches, including multisensory practices.
Notice individual students’ preferred ways of learning, providing opportunities for success.
Connect new learning to previous, secure learning, and then rehearse and revisit.
Allow a variety of methods for recording work.
Understand that there are good days and bad days, appreciating that this is not deliberate avoidance or laziness in a learner.
Protect students’ feelings, realising that literacy activity may be fearful for some learners.
Recognise that sometimes it is two steps forward and one step back – or vice versa!
Provide dyslexic students with opportunities for success
>>This is an edited extract from The Dyslexia-friendly Teacher’s Toolkit
I want to be a specialist in dyslexia. What resources are available for me?
I'm doing a dissertation on dyslexia. What can I read to learn more about the topic?