You are here

Section 2: Policy and background

This section provides an overview and links to information and recent policy documents that support the importance of having quality arrangements in place for learners with dyslexia.

Recent disability discrimination legislation, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 , the amendments in 2005 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 all included dyslexia as a learning difficulty. This has been confirmed in the recent Equality Act 2010, which defines disability (including dyslexia) and describes the rights of people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities and the responsibilities of those providing services or employment for them. The Act has made it mandatory for all providers of services and employers to take account of the needs of people with dyslexia and have reasonable adjustments in place for them.

Dyslexia is one of a range of learning difficulties and disabilities and we should be aware of the underpinning policies for supporting such learners. Ofsted has carried out a number of surveys of provision for children, young people and adults with a range of learning difficulties, including dyslexia. A statement is not enough – the Ofsted review of special educational needs and disabilities (2010) demonstrates the importance of key factors such as assessment and targeted teaching for all areas of learning support. Their report Reducing the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training: what works (2010) makes recommendations that providers should extend opportunities for vocational learning and work with employers in order to develop a wider range of employment opportunities for young people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities post-16. Other reviews provide guidance and exemplars for developing and improving provision and frequently include case studies of good practice.

Practitioners and managers working with people with learning difficulties in FE colleges, adult and community learning services, work-based learning and voluntary sector organisations will find advice in a helpful publication from NIACE: Making it Work (2010).