You will find some strategies below. There is no single strategy that works for everyone, find one that works for you in your role.
The provision of any support by the University is subject to operational constraints, and is likely to vary depending on the nature of the role.
Dyslexia and dyspraxia are specific learning difficulties or differences. Most people have fairly even cognitive profiles, but the profile for people with specific learning difficulties is a lot more uneven, with strengths in some areas and unexpected weaknesses in others. There is no link between dyslexia and intellectual ability. At the University we have people with dyslexia and dyspraxia in academic and support roles.
Dyslexia may be thought of as a discrepancy between written and verbal language abilities. It may result in slow and inaccurate reading, untidy handwriting or spelling weaknesses. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across the full range of intellectual abilities. Dyslexia is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category.
Dyspraxia is an impairment in the organisation of movement. Dyspraxia affects the planning of what we do and how we do it. It is associated with problems of language, perception and thought. Difficulties with dyspraxia may include both gross motor movements such as walking and balance and fine motor movements such as handwriting. There may be heightened sensory sensitivity. People with dyspraxia may appear clumsy and accident-prone and may easily get lost.
Dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty with carrying out basic mathematical activities, although the individual may understand complex concepts.
If you have dyslexia and dyspraxia you may be good at getting an overview of a situation, in making connections between hitherto unrelated areas, in thinking ‘outside the box’. You may be skilled at spotting a pattern in information. You may be very creative and good at problem-solving. You may be a fluent verbal communicator. You may have entrepreneurial skills.
However you may struggle in some areas, such as organisation and time management.
Many people have developed coping strategies, but these may fall apart under stress.
If you’ve already got a diagnostic assessment report from when you were a student or from a previous job that is normally sufficient for discussing your support needs, and a further assessment isn't needed.
If you haven’t ever had a formal diagnosis, but suspect that you may have dyslexia or dyspraxia, please contact the Staff Disability Advisor (contact details in right hand menu). They can carry out an informal screening. If they thinks that you have traits of dyslexia or dyspraxia, which are impacting on your ability to carry out your work role, they will contact your department to ask them to fund a diagnostic assessment (around £400). The outcome will be a report for you with a summary for your manager.
You may experience strong emotion at getting the diagnosis. You may find it a relief to know why why you find certain activities difficult, however hard you try. You may feel angry that the explanation comes so late.
Text that appears to blur or move around as you read may be a sign of visual stress, also known as Irlen-Mears syndrome. The difficulties are not caused by dyslexia.
Notetaking is likely to be difficult for someone with dyslexia, because of the multitasking that is involved.
It is difficult to generalise, but here are some suggestions on possible approaches:
Staff Disability Advisor