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How do academic staff get to know a student is identified as dyslexic? (2 minutes : 34 seconds)

Christine Carter (Academic Support), Andrew Fisher (School of Humanities).

What ways do you end up corresponding and communicating with their academic staff?

Christine Carter, Academic Support:
I think there would be, in the first stage, there’s sort of a systems approach almost, really, or that’s what it tends to end up feeling like although it isn’t actually that.

When the report from the dyslexia assessment comes through to us we go through it with the student and discuss it with them, because they’re quite technical documents, in fact. And we give the student their copy, and it’s at that point that we talk about if they want to inform their departments officially and how they want to do that. We have a small number of students who don’t want to do that, they just want to keep it to themselves and not have that information shared, but the majority we have something called an Academic Referral Form which we sign to say that we have official evidence that the student is dyslexic and we then discuss with the student the reasonable adjustments, as the law requires, that would be useful for that student.

So the first stage is that kind of systems approach, and staff respond variously to that. Sometimes we get queries about it, but quite often it is just circulated into the department and we’re not always sure exactly how it’s circulated or what happens to it. I think where we would have sort of dialogue with staff it would be in relation to individual students, sometimes instigated from staff, sometimes instigated because the student has come into us with a query. So it can happen in both directions in that situation, really.

How have they identified, or become identified as having dyslexia in your experience?

Andrew Fisher, Philosophy:
Ok, identified as dyslexia...Two ways, I think, one officially I get a letter saying “Mrs Miggins is a dyslexic tutee”, but often tutees tell me, say “I’m having problems with this essay, can you help me about structure?” typically, and these sort of issues, and then they’ll say “Oh, by the way I’m dyslexic”. So that’s normally how the students are identified, so officially I’ll get a letter saying this, and also the tutees will just identify themselves as well.

Produced: June 2007, in collaboration with the University's Promoting Enhanced Student Learning (PESL) initiative.

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Module design: What is dyslexia (student perspective)

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