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Reasonable adjustments

Some examples of reasonable adjustments for all settings such as FE / ACL, workplace and offender settings:

  1. ICT, or ‘assistive technology’, can provide support through tools such as texthelp, voice-activated software, mind mapping (visual planning), and coloured screen backgrounds. These can be provided on an individual basis. However, organisations can consider taking a more dyslexia-friendly whole organisation approach by installing software such as texthelp on all machines; this type of good practice supports everyone. A Framework for Understanding Dyslexia has useful information about different types of mainstream ICT facilities and specialised assistive technology to support dyslexic learners.
  2. Extra time may be awarded for assessments, examinations, induction, and other time-bound activity. If there is a formal diagnosis of dyslexia and the learner has a set of agreed reasonable adjustments, these may include particular requirements for summative assessment, such as supervised assignments or tests / examinations set by an external awarding organisation. Your role may be to coordinate this with the awarding organisation and ensure that this support is properly in place at the appropriate time. However you will also have a role in ensuring that learners understand and are familiar with using any assistive technologies or support such as working with an amanuensis. Note that the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) works with all awarding organisations and publishes an annual guidance document relating reasonable adjustments.
  3. Information may be provided in a dyslexia-friendly way, for example, through the use of coloured paper, diagrams and graphics, and a clear, sans serif font such as Arial 12-point.
  4. Additional training and support may be provided for workers and others to help them manage in times of change, especially in the workplace.
  5. Ensure that instructions, particularly if they are complex and multi-step, are written down and, even better, available as a flow chart, diagram or mind map.
  6. Try to ensure that learners / trainees / workers have the chance to ‘do and try’, not just listen in order to learn new things. Many people with dyslexia find the kinaesthetic approach, learning by doing, works best for them.
  7. Provide support for planning and organisation, for example, through the use of ICT or mobile phone diary, organiser or planner software. These can be invaluable in giving people with dyslexia reminders about the passage of time.
  8. Encourage the use of a ‘buddy’ system.
  9. Develop effective workplace / learning place cultures. This could be supported by having effective diversity groups or a disability forum where ALL disabilities are discussed.
  10. Celebrate difference and encourage disability awareness wherever possible, including dyslexia awareness training for senior management. Cascade this learning to line managers and staff.

Note: These are only some of the examples of reasonable adjustments. There may be many other reasonable adjustments required, depending on the needs of the learner / worker and the demands of the learning or working environment.