Providing Learning Support for Students with Hidden Disabilities and Dyslexia Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities

How to Support Students with Dyslexia

Support before the fieldtrip

Possible solutions to difficulties that can occur before a fieldtrip
Difficulties Solutions
1. Staff awareness of dyslexia
  • Staff development session on dyslexia
  • If disclosure is agreed, information exchange procedures need to be in place between fieldwork staff, support services and the relevant students
  • Assessment of need for fieldwork to be part of Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) assessment. (This can, for example, fund specialist equipment such as laptop or a non-medical helper)
  • Disability awareness training for all staff and students, (supports equal opportunities and breaks down misconceptions and myths)
2. Short term memory, information processing, sequencing problems:
  • Remembering arrangements (date, time place)
  • Organising time
  • Packing the appropriate equipment & clothes, arranging money etc
  • Travel arrangements must be transparent
  • Information is required in variety of formats - verbal, written, e-mail
  • Information reminders prior to departure
  • Purchase of Personal Organiser through DSA (see Appendix 1)
  • Study Skills support for time management, organisation and recall strategies through DSA
  • 'Buddy' system and peer support
3. Timing of preparatory reading
  • Allow time for slower reading and processing
  • Give pre-reading titles early to allow for dyslexic students' difficulty with short-term library loans
  • Give out course handbooks well in advance
  • Supply written list of unfamiliar key subject words and place names
4. Design of written material for students
  • Minimum 12 point font size
  • Use Arial or other sans serif font
  • Avoid too much underlining, capitals and italics
  • Use coloured paper
  • Avoid "ghosting" or text overlaid on graphics
  • Use bullet points
  • Leave wide spaces
  • Left justify only
5. Note taking Arrange study skill sessions on taking accurate notes in the field - arranged through DSA

Page updated 14 December 2001

GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock