Disability and Learning Support Service

Case study: supporting a dyslexic student

Case study illustrating the support that can be available to dyslexic students

Kyle was a final year Engineering student when dyslexia was first recognised.  Without support in place he had found the course consistently challenging and had failed examinations every year.  He had specific difficulties with memory and speed of processing information.

He found the fast pace of lectures hard to grasp and reported major difficulties maintaining concentration.  His slow speed of handwriting and difficulty writing legibly impeded his ability to take effective notes in lectures.  Consequently he was left with poor recall of lectures and notes of limited use.

As Engineering lectures often include references to visual information such as graphs it was arranged for Kyle to have access to both an audio and visual recording of the lecture.  By replaying the lecture in his own time this enabled him to process the content by stopping and starting the recording as required.

As the locations of the lectures for Kyle’s course did not allow the school to create podcasts, the school agreed to allow him to video lectures using a handheld recording device.  Kyle was provided with a camcorder on loan through the Disability and Learning Support Service.  However, as handheld camcorders are not designed for recording all day, he found that there was insufficient battery power to last for a full day of lectures.  Discussions between the Service and the Learning Spaces Technology Team then resulted in Kyle being loaned a digital camcorder with sufficient battery power. 

Kyle was also provided with PowerPoint presentations in advance of lectures and a contribution towards printing costs as this enabled him to have a print-out of the slides during the lecture.  This reduced the amount of information he had to write as he could annotate the slides, including visual images such as graphs and diagrams.

As he had significant difficulty with spelling and proofreading he was also given access to a proofreader for his dissertation.  In his final exams he was not penalised for poor spelling, grammar, punctuation or structure in exam scripts and he received 25% extra time.