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Specific Learning Difficulties e.g. Dyslexia

Approximately 10% of students at the University have disclosed that they have dyslexia or another specific learning difficulty.  The Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS) is available throughout the year to offer support, guidance and information.

In order to ensure appropriate support is in place for you at the University, the Disability and Dyslexia Service will need evidence of your specific learning difficulty/difficulties (SpLDs). You will need to provide the DDS with a full diagnostic assessment report, which must meet the following criteria: 

  • carried out after your 16th birthday
  • contain a clear diagnosis of a specific learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia
  • undertaken by an Educational Psychologist, Chartered Psychologist or specialist teacher assessor holding a current Assessment Practising Certificate.

If you do not have such a report, the Disability and Dyslexia Service can assist with arranging a diagnostic assessment, once you are registered as a student at the University. However, there is a cost attached to these assessments. Some assistance with this cost may be possible from the University’s Additional Learning Fund.

Please note the following information regarding evidence for dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

Please provide evidence from an appropriately qualified professional. A full diagnostic assessment carried out in line with the above criteria for SpLDs is helpful. However, it is recognised that ADHD or dyspraxia may be considered a medical diagnosis and therefore a letter from a suitably qualified medical professional may be acceptable where they are able to confirm the diagnosis. For dyspraxia a report from an Occupational or Speech Therapist may be acceptable. For ADHD a report from a Psychiatrist may be acceptable. If such reports are not available then the DDS may accept a letter from a GP confirming that records regarding the original diagnosis are held in the student’s medical records. 

The Disability and Dyslexia Service can offer you the following support if you have a SpLD, or if you are experiencing difficulties that may be associated with a SpLD and would like to discuss these with someone:

  • Advice regarding SpLDs, plus informal screenings for dyslexia can be arranged, if a student has not previously been assessed.

  • Formal Educational Psychology assessments can also be arranged if you do not have a full, assessment report, or if an update is required. However, you will be required to pay for at least part, but possibly all, of the cost of this assessment.

  • The DDS can provide advice and assistance in acquiring Disabled Students’ Allowances.  See the Financial Support and the Disabled Students' Allowances web page.

  • A programme of study skills workshops is provided for all students at the University who wish to improve their skills.  See the Academic Skills webpage for more information. 

  • Specialist, study skills support can be arranged on a regular 1:1 basis, or in small groups, if you have the relevant the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

  • If you are a non-UK student and not eligible for DSAs, please contact the DDS to discuss your support requirements.

  • Exam arrangements: once the DDS has accepted your diagnostic assessment report, an Advisor can discuss with you any appropriate arrangements for exams.  These may include extra time, use of a PC, rest breaks, readers, scribes etc. 

    Please also see the Exams and Assessments webpage for more information.

  • Informal coloured overlay tests are available with an Advisor, by appointment.

  • Dyslexia stickers:  you may be issued with stickers to attach to your coursework which tell the marker that you are dyslexic.  In most case, the marker is able to make allowances for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors where they do not interfere with the meaning.  N.B.  Teaching qualifications, Education courses, Social work and some language modules in English are exempt from this policy.

  • The library offers extended loans for students with dyslexia/SpLDs.  You can also arrange individual library inductions.

  • Open Access IT: suites for Open Access IT can be found on both campuses and have additional software such as mind-mapping.

Please also see the information the Dyslexia Q and A page.

For further information contact the Dyslexia Adviser or Disability Coordinator on: 01243 812076 or email: