Handy Book App for Android tablets and phones

On the Helpline we have just been alerted to this new product.The product information says,

“Handy Book is an eBook reader that has been designed especially for people with dyslexia and poor sight. Handy Book makes reading easier, less tiring and more enjoyable. You can download a free demo or pay £4.95 for the full licence. This may be refundable if you are eligible for one of the Government schemes mentioned below.

Handy Book has a simple interface allowing you to easily change the background colour, font style and size of text. It also has a highlighter bar that helps you focus on one line at a time.

Many dyslexics struggle with identifying words so Handy Book features a simple dictionary that allows you to select a word and see the definition. Handy Book can also read the definition out loud.

HandyBook supports ePub and FB2 eBook formats. Books can be easily downloaded from third-party eBook websites using Handy Book’s built-in bookshop. Many classic titles such as Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes are available for free.

Handy Book also allows you to view your own documents in DOC, RTF and plain text formats.

During trials at a UK secondary school, Handy Book was tested with a group of dyslexic children from years 7 to 11. The group as a whole showed an improvement of between 16% to 650% in the amount that was being read and a 50 – 300% improvement in the level and time of focus for reading.

“In conclusion, the Handy Book reading app has proven to significantly improve the way students who struggle with one or several aspects of reading actually read. All of the students showed a significant percentage increase in the amount that was read throughout the individual students reading sessions.” – Miss E. Wakely, Senior Dyslexia Tutor

Now get HandyBook for free! If you live in the UK and are registered as having dyslexia you may be eligible to reclaim the cost of HandyBook and an Android tablet using one of the following government schemes:-

Access To Work – for employers of registered dyslexic employees to reclaim the costs of anything that helps them to perform their job. Seehttps://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

Disabled Student Allowance – to help dyslexic students reclaim the cost of anything that helps with their education. See https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas

Please contact us if you require any more information about how these scheme can help you.”

Visual Stress? Find out where you can get help locally.

How to find a Visual Stress Practitioner in Hampshire

NB a number of Specialist Teachers and other assessors offer a screening test for Visual stress with coloured overlays, as a stand-alone test or as part of a full diagnostic assessment for Specific Learning Difficulties and you are advised to discuss this before any appointment.

If coloured overlays are prescribed for you, it is recommended that you use them for at least three months and IF THEY ARE STILL MAKING A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE, consider seeing an optometrist for a test with the Intuitive Colorimeter.

Meanwhile optometrists offering testing with the Intuitive Colorimeter in Hampshire are shown below:

Cameron-Davies Opticians 50-52 West Street
Fareham
Porchester PO16 9UN 02392 373015
Rex Wingate & Partners 26 North Street
Havant
PO9 1PR 02392 484184
Owen Leigh Optometry, The Vision Therapy Clinic (but not as a stand-alone test). Contact for charges. 28 The Spain
Petersfield
GU32 3LA 01730 710174
Rex Wingate & Partners 60-62 Botley Road
Southampton
SO31 1BB 01489 584169
Cameron Davies Opticians 39-41 Marmion Road
Southsea
PO5 2AT 02392 753127

Practitioners in other parts of the country may be found by county at: http://www.s4clp.org/  or http://www.ceriumoptical.com/vistech/specialists.aspx

 

Rawlings Opticians 60 High Street Winchester SO23 9BX Tel: 01962 853082 – Offers testing for Visual Stress with Coloured Overlays only: £45 for test; £12.50 for A4 sized overlay.If an overlay is still being used after 3 months they recommend the client to Rex Wingate and Partners.

Shaylers Vision Centre 25 West Street Wareham Dorset BH20 4JS 01929 553 928 – Offers vision therapy to deal with all manner of visual stress; does not offer Colorimetry. Contact for charges.

 Classic Eyes Eycare Centre 55 Bourne Avenue Bournemouth BH2 6DW (and Poole branch) Tel: 01202 317313 – Offers Vision Therapy and Colorimetry testing. Contact for charges.

 

 

EXAMPLE OF COSTS

Visual Stress screening

with Specialist Teacher                              £30 – £60

Cost of overlays                                 £10 – £15

******************************

Colorimetry Test under 16                 £50 – £65

Adult                                                      £85

Lenses + Tinting                                 £200 – £270

(Under 16 may be less)

Frames under 16                                £free – £15

Frames adult                                      40+

These prices are shown as an example only, you are advised to contact practitioners individually

 

 

New scholarships for teachers and SEN support staff

Jean Hutchins has alerted us to the new round of funding for SEN staff in schools. Here is the link:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-scholarships-for-teachers-and-sen-support-staff

– and this is what it says! NB the four week application time starting today!

Teachers and special educational needs (SEN) support staff will from today be able to apply for funds from the National Scholarship Fund worth up to £1 million to develop their specialist knowledge and skills.

For the fourth year running, teachers can bid for up to £3,500 while SENsupport staff can bid for up to £2,000 to fund training which will improve the support available to children and young people with special educational needs.

The application window for the fourth round will open for 4 weeks from 30 April. To date £7 million has been made available through the fund, benefiting almost 2,000 teachers and support staff in schools across the country.

Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said:

We believe that a teaching profession that values continual professional development is crucial to raising standards in our schools.

These scholarships – alongside other reforms to improve teacher recruitment and training – will help deliver our objective to raise the status of teachers.

Donna Frost Phillips, a successful applicant from the third round of the fund, said:

The fund has allowed me to undertake the specialist dyslexia training course, which I would not have been able to do without this funding. The course is having a direct impact on the literacy development of the learner that I am working with through my training.

The school will have a specialist teacher on site, which means children and teachers will have access to specialist advice teaching, meaning they won’t have to buy in specialist support.

The outcome of the fourth round will be announced in August 2014.

Notes to editors

The National Scholarship Fund is open to all qualified teachers and SENsupport staff in eligible schools. Applications are assessed against stringent criteria and verified by a panel of experts.

Applicants are assessed on the following criteria:

  • priority specialism of SEN
  • support from school – teachers and support staff are required to demonstrate support from their school in terms of accessing resources and being able to carry out activities within and outside the school

The guidance National scholarships for teachers and SEND support staff has more information.

The bursaries will fund up to 50% of a training or development course, up to a maximum of £3,500 for teachers and £2,000 for SEN support staff.

Enquiries

Problems with Writing?

Problems with writing?

Is writing a struggle because …..

  1. You or others can’t read your handwriting?
  2. You can’t spell the words you want to write?
  3. You can’t recall the words you want to write?
  4. You can’t organise your thoughts so you have to keep re-writing your work?
  5. You spend so much of your energy thinking how to write that you forget what you wanted to say?

There are plenty of solutions that can help you – or your child.

Word processing will dramatically improve presentation and make work legible. It can also raise the self esteem of the writer. To maximise the benefits, there is a need for  the writer to develop good keyboard skills. Typing tutors for children can be bought  (Nessy Fingers costs £20 + delivery) or found for free at www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing. There are also many free adult versions available on the Internet. If young children struggle with the upper case letters of the Qwerty keyboard, then you can buy lower case stickers to place over them from www.inclusive.co.uk  for £5. The younger dyslexic may also benefit from picture symbols to support their writing. Pictures appear above a word and give the writer visual assistance, reinforce meaning and improve confidence. SymWriter2 (www.widgit.com from £149) features text-to-speech and a spell checker with symbol support.

Where weak spelling is an issue, the built in spell checker in your word processor may not be able to offer suitable corrections, so a specialist solution could come in handy. There are handheld spellcheckers which will try to interpret phonic spellings e.g. the Franklin spellchecker – from as little as £11. If you go for something like the Collins Pocket Speller/Thesaurus at £22 you can type in an easy word like ‘grumpy’ and find ‘cantankerous’!  Alternatively, Global AutoCorrect 2 is a product which automatically corrects the user’s spelling as they type, enabling them to focus on what they’re writing. It works in every application, and the software keeps track of spelling mistakes so the user can work on them in their own time. It costs £109.

Talking word processors will read text back you – a good way of checking you have written what you meant to say. Wordtalk is for use with all Microsoft word documents (1997 – 2010) and can save the text you have written as an audio file. You can download this for free at www.wordtalk.org.uk. ClaroRead SE (£49) will do a similar job and Penfriend XP 4.1 (£60) has the added advantage of providing speech plus word prediction. (There is also a portable USB version for £99). Co:Writer 6  (£179) is the only word prediction programme to use the context of a whole sentence to predict the next word and its Flexspell interprets phonetic and inventive spelling better than most spellcheckers.

Some predictive software also comes with word banks (lists of words relating to a topic). Children generally learn to recognise words before they can construct and spell them and weak spellers can use the word banks to select longer and more difficult words to enhance their work. The Oska Wordbanks (£159) offered by Claro Software (www.clarosoftware.com) and those available from Clicker and WriteOnline (both £150 from www.cricksoft.com ) all offer text to speech to support reading of the word banks as well as predictive text. Using word banks can reduce the number of key strokes and, consequently, be a lot quicker for the slow typist.

Voice Activated Software (VAS) offers the articulate, clear speaking individual the opportunity to turn their speech into text with a high degree of success and at great speed – three times faster than typing. Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 (the ‘Home’ electronic download is £79.99) is the market leader. It requires a good headset (the USB version is £24.99) and the patience to learn how to use it and to correct errors so that it becomes as accurate as possible. You also need an environment where you will not disturb others and their noise will not interfere with your dictation. It works with digital voice recorders (Olympus DM-450 [2gb] £149) so audio notes can be converted into text. If you download the free Dragon App then no training is needed, but beware! You need to be connected to the Internet to use the remote server and Apple can keep a copy of everything you say!

I have some experience of trialling VAS with teenagers and found that usually their spoken language was not sufficiently clear or structured for it to work efficiently. Having said that, the written work they produced was far better than anything they could have written unaided. Their expectation, however, was that the results would be perfect.

In GCE and GCSE exams there is provision for using some of these tools, providing there is an assessment of need and there is proof that they are the normal method of working in class. The use of a word processor is much more acceptable these days. A scribe, or the use of VAS with spellchecker activated, provides the ultimate support. However, candidates will usually receive no marks for punctuation, spelling or grammar.

Finally, the organisation of longer pieces of work can be achieved by the use of cut and paste facilities in a word processing programme. Many dyslexics dislike working in a linear document and prefer the Mind Mapping or Brainstorming approach where a central idea is placed in the middle of the page and ideas added around.  Inspiration and, for younger users,  Kidspiration (£49 each) both offer the user the opportunity to work in either map or diagram views. These provide the opportunity to structure thoughts and visually communicate concepts before transferring them into the linear documents required for essays. There is a built in picture and symbol library as well as sound to replay what has been written.

MyStudyBar is a tool which helps overcome all problems that students commonly experience with studying, reading and writing. It offers literacy support in planning, reading, writing, vision, speech and voice. This might be worth a try before spending lots of money on one particular product as it is FREE from  http://eduapps.org/?page_id=7 !

One word of warning! Laptops to run all these helpful pieces of software are heavy. Added to the typical school bag they can far outweigh the recommended load for children. A solution is to use the robust and lightweight AlphaSmart Neo2 (£139). It works with Co:Writer predicitve text (£96) and Text2Speech, is battery operated and has wireless connectivity to download work to your PC.

I have only mentioned a small proportion of the software available out there. Have I wetted your appetite?

Acknowledgements: Jamie Munro of Inclusive Technology (www.inclusive.co.uk) who stock most of the products mentioned. For a more detailed analysis of writing support go to the BDA New Technologies Committee website at  http://bdatech.org/learning/supporting-writing-with-ict/.                                                                                                                                Barbara Lowe     May 2013

Going to University with dyslexia? About the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

Who is eligible?

Higher education students living inEnglandwith any of the following:

  • disability
  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia (or other SpLD)

What is it?

A non-means tested, non-repayable grant to cover specialist equipment and non-medical helper support.

In dyslexia terms this usually means:

  • specialist 1:1 support from a dyslexia-trained professional
  • assistive software such as text to speech or mind-mapping applications
  • digital voice recorder

How can I apply?

You must have a full diagnostic assessment report done since you were 16 by a specialist assessor with an assessment practising certificate – either a specialist teacher (STA) or an educational psychologist (EP).

Exam Access Arrangements reports are not enough. Your school or college may be able to advise, or you can find a list of specialist assessors through the Hampshire Dyslexia Association or PATOSS.
Try to book early – many assessors do not work over the summer.

 

A full diagnostic assessment will give an up-to-date insight into your pattern of strengths and weaknesses and clearly state whether you have dyslexia. Assessments typically cost between £350 and £600; STAs are usually cheaper than EPs.  If you also have any medical condition it will help if you get medical evidence from your GP and add it to the same application.

The application process

This can seem a bit daunting – but it is worth persevering.

If you are applying to Student Finance England (SFE) for your student loan, you will also apply to them for DSA and you can use the ‘short’ DSA1 form.
Part-time, self-funded or postgraduate students must use the ‘full’ DSA1 form.
Health Sciences students with an NHS bursary apply to the NHS for DSA.

 

 

Typically:

  1. Send your application to SFE with a copy of your full assessment report.

 

  1. If your application is accepted, they will tell you to book a ‘needs assessment’. The Wessex Needs Assessment Centre covers the local area: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/edusupport/wnac/

 

  1. Your needs assessment report, outlining the support you will need, will be sent to you and to SFE. Check your emails!

 

  1. SFE will send you a letter or email telling you what funding they have approved and give you instructions for ordering your equipment.

 

  1. SFE will pay suppliers direct – you do not have to get involved in that side of it. The NHS will credit your account and expect you to order, pay and send them the receipts.

Accessing support at University

Whichever university you go to, it is essential that you register with the dyslexia support services as soon as possible after you enrol.
Take your diagnostic and needs assessment reports with you.
If you have already arranged your DSA, the specialist advisors will be able to help you book specialist 1:1 support and also make arrangements for additional exam arrangements. If you have not been able to get a full diagnostic assessment, they should be able to arrange this – take your old reports with you. The cost may be cheaper than ‘going private’ – it depends on individual university policy – but it is unlikely to be free.

Useful websites:

 

Jane Warren, MSc (SpLD), AMBDA, APC

Specialist Dyslexia Practitioner and SeniorTeachingFellow
University ofSouthampton

Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments 2013/14 JCQ Regulations

Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments 2013/14 JCQ Regulations
document is now online. http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration/regulations-and-guidance/access-arrangements-and-reasonable-adjustments-2013-2014

Following concerns over  abuse of the allocation of 25% extra time (see below), the regulations have become much more prescriptive and demanding. Centres must be satisfied that candidates have an impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect, giving rise to persistent and significant difficulties.

 

GCSEs: ‘extra time’ rule overhauled to stamp out abuse
Published on August 22, 2013.
http://schoolsimprovement.net/gcses-extra-time-rule-overhauled-to-stamp-out-abuse/

Need help with reading? Try TTS.

There are many products offering Text to Speech (TTS) software which can:

 

  • reduce the effort of reading, allowing concentration on content;
  • reduce eye strain – important for those with visual difficulties;
  • develop vocabulary and imagination in younger children;
  • give access to texts which may provide instruction, knowledge or entertainment;
  • improve retention of information because it adds auditory learning to visual learning;
  • provide a proof reading service for struggling writers;
  • develop reading skills when the sentence and/or word being read is highlighted;
  • be used for GCSE and A level examinations by those dyslexics who have substantial reading impairment, and for whom using TTS software is their normal method of working. They must have either below average reading accuracy, reading comprehension or reading speed. A computer reader will even be allowed in papers testing reading as it allows the candidate to independently meet the requirements of the reading standards. (JCQ regulations 2012-2013).  Readingpens, however, are not allowed.

Text to Speech (TTS) comes in many forms. So how do you decide what you need? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • do you want TTS to work in a limited or a broad range of applications e.g. Word, PDF, e-mails, text files, e-readers and the web?
  • do you want a simple product or one that offers extra features? If the latter then you must be prepared to spend time on training if you are to get the most out of the product;
  • does the product offer a good speaking voice which is easily understood?
  • do you need your TTS software to be portable?
  • is cost an issue? Some TTS is free. Prices quoted here do not include VAT. This is because if the product has been specifically designed for use by people with a disability and is being purchased by, or on behalf of, someone who is disabled, VAT is not chargeable.
  • do you want to use TTS on a PC, Mac, tablet (Android or iPad) or mobile phone? This will affect availability and price.

It is impossible in this article to go into the specifications of each product, but all the details can be found on the Internet and many of them offer 30 day free downloads. Here are a few TTS products and prices to look at:

Balabolka (http://www.cross-plus-a.com/balabolka.htm) – free download.

 

Mini Reader (http://www.ivona.com/en/mini-reader/) – free download.

 

Microsoft Office 2010 Speak – free if you have Office – It can speak selected text in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

 

Natural Reader (http://www.naturalreaders.com/download.php) – free download.

 

iSpeech – for iPhone and iPad (itunes.apple.com) free app.

 

CapturaTalk for Android – £48 – mobile app

 

Snap&Read – £99 – simple, one button toolbar that reads selected text in any application can run it from a memory stick – just make sure that you are allowed to use USB sticks in your school or office.

 

ClaroRead – £49 to £199 – this supports writing as well as TTS. It can convert text into an audio file that can be transferred to an MP3 player, iPod or mobile phone and played back.

 

Clicker 6 – £150 – standalone application –  simpler in that it has only one toolbar to cope with – usually used by younger dyslexics – TTS but primarily for word processing.

 

Dolphin SaySo – £159 – reads out text in Word, emails and web browsers. As with Claro, you can save text as audio files to listen to on an MP3 player or smartphone.

 

Read:Outloud 6 – £186 – its study tools help students capture facts and information and improve comprehension.

 

Reading Pen TS Oxford Premium – £187 – offers TTS plus definition and pronunciation ‘on the move’ – PC compatible.

 

Texthelp Read & Write Gold – £320 – and Kurzweil 3000 – £635  – both multi-faceted pieces of reading and writing software.

 

Intel Reader – £499 – takes a picture of any printed text and reads it aloud. Very useful in schools combined with its Portable Capture Station – £99.

 

Financial help for purchasing some of this software – and the hardware on which to install it – may be available to dyslexic students in Higher Education through the Disabled Students’ Allowance (http://hantsda.org.uk/higher-education/). For those in work, there is the Government ‘Access to Work ‘ scheme which provides support to help individuals work to their full potential (http://hantsda.org.uk/adult-dyslexia/).

 

The Accessible Resources Pilot Project, funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, tested a model where curriculum material was presented in an electronic format to those pupils who found reading difficult. Forty pupils across nine schools were given laptops and software for translating and accessing electronic files. Assessment results following the trial showed that everything, from school attendance to reading, writing and confidence had risen dramatically.

There is now a way of accessing curriculum texts through Load2Learn. Because of copyright issues, the school must have texts available in school, and one teacher must sign up to the scheme granting access to pupils on a needs basis. Since January 2013 this scheme has become free. So now there are over 1500 curriculum titles in Word, audio, EPUB and PDF format. See more at www.load2learn.org.uk.

E-books were first published 20 years ago and sales have now overtaken hardbacks. The Kindle and other eBook readers do not all support TTS and TTS is not enabled on all books. Check before you buy! However, there are several good sources of free eBooks with titles for all ages and interests:

VBookzhttp://www.vbookz.com/V1/vBookz_Voice_Readers.html provides access to 30,000 free books from Project Gutenburg.

Blio – www.blio.com – provides free books, but you have to pay £7 to download your choice of voice. This site provides good colour and pictures and the text being read is highlighted.

Seeing Earhttp://www.seeingear.org – offers free membership to those who are print disabled. They offer over 2,000 books which are still in copyright thanks to the Copyright Licensing Agency Print Disability License (2010).

Internet Archive – www.archive.org – offers 2,620,497 public domain books in a range of formats – txt, PDF,DAISY, PUB and Kindle.

When I started writing this article I had intended including software to support writing. However, that will have to wait until the next issue or I will take over the whole newsletter! TTS is constantly evolving, so keep your eyes open for future developments.

Acknowledgements: In writing this article I am indebted to Jamie Munroe of Inclusive Technology (www.inclusive.co.uk) for his recent very interesting and free, training day in Southampton. I have also sought help from the BDA publication “Dyslexia and Useful Technology”, edited by E A Draffan. The BDA New Technologies website will keep you up to date (http://bdatech.org/what-technology/text-to-speech/).  Finally, there is a useful comparison of products on the Iansyst website at www.dyslexic.com.

Barbara Lowe.        May 2013.

 

 

Non-verbal Learning Deficit: what is this?

Recently, I met a young man who had received an identification of mild dyslexia and Non-verbal Learning Deficit (NLD). When I first met him, I had been impressed by his mature verbal skills, his accomplished drawing skills and his calm and quiet manner. His parents had sought an answer to the combination of difficulties that he was facing each day in his school. The identification of Non-Verbal Learning Deficit was encouraging news for his parents as it recognised some great strengths and gave them a real insight into his difficulties along with some very clear guidance and recommendations for his teachers to help him cope in the busy classroom.

As NLD is not very common it may be difficult for teachers and tutors working with children with dyslexia to identify this subtle learning difference. NLD syndrome reveals itself in impaired abilities to organise the visual spatial field and/or accurately read non-verbal signals and cues. Although academic progress is made pupils with NLD will have difficulty working in situations where speed and adaptability are required.

A pupil with NLD generally presents deviations in three broad aspects of development:

  • motor coordination, including fine graphomotor skills (handwriting)

 

  • visual spatial organisation, including faulty spatial perceptions and difficulties with spatial relations (mathematics and number concepts)

 

  • social, including lack of ability to comprehend non-verbal communication, deficits in social judgement and social interaction.

 

Children with NLD generally have early speech and vocabulary development, remarkable rote memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development and excellent spelling skills. In addition, these children have the verbal ability to express themselves eloquently. A child with NLD may present as a very articulate, motivated and cooperative young person who can relate well to adults.

A common problem for children with NLD is a lack of awareness amongst parents and professionals and therefore a delay in obtaining an accurate identification. Often Autistic Spectrum Disorder is suspected. Difficulties are generally picked up late because reading and spelling may be quite strong. However inferential reading comprehension is weak. Mathematics is often the first academic subject to be viewed as problematic because of the spatial and conceptual aspects of mathematics. These can be a problem due to spatial and fine motor difficulties. Generally, handwriting is poor so the whole business of setting out work neatly and in line will be affected. Organisational skills can be weak particularly in written work so writing stories or essays or anything requiring sequencing may be difficult.

So, as a parent of a child with NLD or a tutor supporting the child, the areas which give the most cause for concern would be a very slow processing speed for visual tasks, spatial discrimination and fine motor tasks. The skills which the child excels at: vocabulary skills, attention to detail and literacy skills could be used to the child’s advantage by presenting work verbally as much as possible or using speech to text software. Mathematics should be supported with the use of concrete tools for as long as needed, with a calculator, clear lined and squared paper and addressing specific difficulties using multisensory methods to support the development of number system.

As the pupil develops, and moves onto secondary school and beyond, additional time for work and examinations should be given. Also targeted guidance to understand social and non-verbal communication will be needed. As with all students, but in particular for students with a specific learning difficulty, the use of ICT should be considered at all times.

Sue McKenna.  hantsda@live.com References:

Keeping A Head in School   Dr. Mel Levine .Educators Publishing Service Inc,Cambridge,MA.

Eric Development Team    http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED461238.pdf

Going to University with dyslexia? About the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

Who is eligible?

Higher education students living in England with any of the following:

  • disability
  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia (or other SpLD)

What is it?

A non-means tested, non-repayable grant to cover specialist equipment and non-medical helper support.

In dyslexia terms this usually means:

  • specialist 1:1 support from a dyslexia-trained professional
  • assistive software such as text to speech or mind-mapping applications
  • digital voice recorder

How can I apply?

You must have a full diagnostic assessment report done since you were 16 by a specialist assessor with an assessment practising certificate – either a specialist teacher (STA) or an educational psychologist (EP).

Exam Access Arrangements reports are not enough. Your school or college may be able to advise, or you can find a list of specialist assessors through the Hampshire Dyslexia Association or PATOSS.
Try to book early – many assessors do not work over the summer.

 

A full diagnostic assessment will give an up-to-date insight into your pattern of strengths and weaknesses and clearly state whether you have dyslexia. Assessments typically cost between £350 and £600; STAs are usually cheaper than EPs.  If you also have any medical condition it will help if you get medical evidence from your GP and add it to the same application.

The application process

This can seem a bit daunting – but it is worth persevering.

If you are applying to Student Finance England (SFE) for your student loan, you will also apply to them for DSA and you can use the ‘short’ DSA1 form.
Part-time, self-funded or postgraduate students must use the ‘full’ DSA1 form.
Health Sciences students with an NHS bursary apply to the NHS for DSA.

 

 

Typically:

  1. Send your application to SFE with a copy of your full assessment report.

 

  1. If your application is accepted, they will tell you to book a ‘needs assessment’. The Wessex Needs Assessment Centre covers the local area: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/edusupport/wnac/

 

  1. Your needs assessment report, outlining the support you will need, will be sent to you and to SFE. Check your emails!

 

  1. SFE will send you a letter or email telling you what funding they have approved and give you instructions for ordering your equipment.

 

  1. SFE will pay suppliers direct – you do not have to get involved in that side of it. The NHS will credit your account and expect you to order, pay and send them the receipts.

Accessing support at University

Whichever university you go to, it is essential that you register with the dyslexia support services as soon as possible after you enrol.
Take your diagnostic and needs assessment reports with you.
If you have already arranged your DSA, the specialist advisors will be able to help you book specialist 1:1 support and also make arrangements for additional exam arrangements. If you have not been able to get a full diagnostic assessment, they should be able to arrange this – take your old reports with you. The cost may be cheaper than ‘going private’ – it depends on individual university policy – but it is unlikely to be free.

Useful websites:

 

Jane Warren, MSc (SpLD), AMBDA, APC

Specialist Dyslexia Practitioner and SeniorTeachingFellow
University ofSouthampton

Adult Dyslexia Report

In the 40 years that the British Dyslexia Association has been campaigning there has been many changes in the world of dyslexia, some of them good.

In light of this milestone, the British Dyslexia Association has produced a report looking back at the last 40 years and has made recommendations for the future.

In partnership with The Dyslexia Foundation and after consulting 100 organisations, this report is a wide ranging and comprehensive assessment of the current provision for adults with dyslexia.

The link to the full report is here:

http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/news/adult-dyslexia-report.html