What do I need to know as a teacher?
Dyslexia can have a substantial and long term adverse effect on normal day to day activities, and is therefore a recognised disability under the Equality Act 2010. The Act states that schools and higher education institutions have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students (this includes students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia).
The duty to make reasonable adjustments requires a school to take positive steps to ensure that pupils with additional needs can fully participate in the education provided by the school, and that they can enjoy the other benefits, facilities and services that the school provides for pupils.
Often reasonable adjustments are minor changes and don't have to involved costly materials or additional staff time. Small considered changes can have a big impact on a student's education.
Examples of reasonable adjustments
- Offer alternatives to writing as a key method of recording
- Provide handouts that contain the learning points rather than asking pupils to copy text from the whiteboard or take notes
- Repeat instructions/information and check for understanding of tasks
- Use a visual timetable with colour coding and symbols
- Alter format options onscreen on an interactive whiteboard
- Encourage peer support to record homework tasks in the planner
- Provide access to assistive technology such as a computer, for pupils who find it difficult to read large amounts of text or to write quickly enough in class
- Use multisensory ways of teaching.
- Allow time to respond as many dyslexic students are slower to process information
- Break information up into smaller 'chunks'.
These simple changes can benefit all pupils, not just those with a specific learning difficulty.
Read our Dyslexia Friendly Style Guide for tips on creating dyslexia-friendly materials.