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What is Dyslexia?

A combination of abilities and difficulties; the difficulties affect the learning process in aspects of literacy and sometimes numeracy. Getting through required reading is generally seen as the biggest challenge at higher education level due in part to inability to skim and scan written material. Marked and persistent weaknesses may be identified in short-term and working memory, speed of processing, sequencing skills, auditory and /or visual perception, spoken language and motor skills.

Abilities can include good visuo-spatial skills, creative thinking and intuitive understanding; enabling technology is usually found to be very beneficial

Dyslexia affects up to 1 in 5 people, but the experience of dyslexia isn't always the same. This difficulty in processing language exists along a spectrum -- one that doesn't necessarily fit with labels like "normal" and "defective."

In this video, Kelli Sandman-Hurley urges us to think again about dyslexic brain function and to celebrate the neurodiversity of the human brain.

What are some characteristics of students with Dyslexia?" 

They may:

  • Read and write slowly - the library have some great productivity tools that can help with reading and writing Library Productivity Tools
  • Confuse the order of letters in words, put letters the wrong way round (such as writing "b" instead of "d") or have poor or inconsistent spelling - including a Specific Learning Disability (SPLD) label on assessed work will mean that markers will not penalise marks for these errors.
  • Understand information when told verbally, but have difficulty with information that's written down - proving oportunities for face to face discussion to explain tasks or give instruction may be appreciated.

A Negative Experience


"I told my tutor and umm I really like my tutor, but she said to me "Are you sure? Well, have you always been dyslexic or is this a new thing?" - Warwick Student

TIP: Create a supportive and collaborative relationship by getting to know all your students as individuals. This will help the student feel comfortable asking for support.

Record Lectures

Students with dyslexia may struggle to note take or understand information at the same speed of neurotypical students. Recording lectures ( and seminars where applicable) will give students another chance to understand what is being discussed,


Some students with dyslexia particularly struggle with reading and writing assessments. The option to give verbal, rather than written, answers (when appropriate) can be used to break the repetition of written work which is important!

Lecture Breakdown

Splitting lectures up in a creative way can be used to help students with dyslexia. Begin with a clear breakdown on the lectures teachings and outcomes, followed by breaking the lecture into 4 parts with a break or task between part 2 and 3.