About dyslexia and the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark
Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark
We are working with Ako Aotearoa to gain accreditation for the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark.
We welcome your feedback as we progress this important work:
Please share your feedback and experiences with us
About dyslexia and how we can help
Dyslexia can present in different ways for different people. It can affect the way individuals process or interpret:
- written words
- letters and symbols.
It does not affect general intelligence. Around 10% of the population are thought to have dyslexia.
People with dyslexia may think and process things differently to neurotypical people. That does not mean their way is wrong, just different. This can be an important strength, as they can bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to many situations.
If you want to learn about getting an assessment see the ‘Dyslexia assessment and screening’ section.
How we can support learners
Our Disability and Access Services team can talk to you about your strengths, barriers you are finding with online study, and your best learning styles to offer advice around resources and tools to support your study success.
Dyslexia assessment and screening
You can get dyslexia diagnosis as an adult. If you want to investigate an assessment, there are a few options to consider.
The Adult Dyslexia Checklist
This can give you an indication of whether you may have dyslexic traits and if you may need further assessment. It does not do a full assessment or give a diagnosis.
Educational psychologists can do a SPELD assessment. They may cost between $500-$1500 and the session can take up to five hours. For some people this could be emotionally tiring, but it does provide suggestions about the best ways to learn.
Lucid LADS Plus
This dyslexia screening is undertaken with trained professionals. It can cost around $200, takes less than an hour and is a computer-based assessment.
Techniques, strengths and barriers
People with dyslexia often think and perceive the world in a different way to neurotypical people. They are also often:
- creative and artistic
- able to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas and solutions
- excellent verbal communicators
- very empathetic
- strong with visual and spatial skills. Many can visualise things in 3D
- logical problem-solvers and often able to jump to an answer of a complex problem
- able to see connections, patterns and relationships that others don’t
- good long-term memory
- big picture thinkers and not bogged down by details
- good at collaborating and co-operative tasks.
See the ‘Study tips’ section on this page to learn about some tools and techniques that can help minimise barriers. You can also reach out to our Disability and Access Services team if you want to discuss options.
Some barriers dyslexic people may find with online, distance learning include difficulties with:
- reading, processing and retaining written information
- retaining recent information. Long-term memory is strong but short-term memory can be weaker
- organising their time and predicting how long a task may take or did take
- spelling and grammar getting thoughts onto paper. They may be strong verbally but struggle transferring that into written words
- organising and structuring written information
- interpreting written questions
- reading black type on white background, or serif or italic fonts
- keeping their place while reading.
Some techniques that worked well for some of our learners with dyslexia are listed below.
Practicing the task as you learn about it. For example:
- if you are learning about creating a spreadsheet have a spreadsheet open and practice as you read the course material.
- Some people find doing a physical task, like knitting, while reading or processing information can be helpful!
Some learners with dyslexia take in visual representations of information best. This could be a flow chart or a spider-diagram. Mind mapping is also a great technique to help to turn written information into a more visual format.
- Listening to information is great way to take in, process and remember new information
- Talking about a subject or saying what you have learned out loud can help you to process and remember the information.
The tips and techniques below are some that our learners find useful. Feel free to contact our Disability and Access Services team if you want to discuss these or other support options.
There are many assistive technology tools that can aid with study and lots are free. These include:
- screen readers
- dictate functions
- tools that let you change the size and style of font or background colour on web pages.
For more information on these and links to download some free tools see our Assistive technology page.
You can also try HelperBird, which is a browser tool made by dyslexic people for dyslexic people! It can change how a web page looks to suit your style. For more information about Helperbird and how to download it for free to use when you study with us, go to our web page:
Dyslexia specific tips
Give yourself time to process information
- pause when you need to
- do a passive task (such as knitting, folding laundry etc) while you think through the course content or questions.
Listen to information
- Screen readers can help you hear the information while you read it helping you to process and remember it.
- Record answers, thoughts or notes into your phone so you can listen back to them rather than having to write them and read them later.
- After reading a page or paragraph summarise what you have just read out loud, as if teaching it to someone else. This helps you process and remember the information
Have your assignment question on hand
Have your assignment questions near while you study and make a note of pages where you find information useful for your assignment. This way you can jump to the page when you do your assignment and don’t have to read through everything again.
- Create mind-maps or flow charts to help you remember things.
- Visualise a process or create a visual or flow chart of a process.
- Create a visual brainstorm to plan your assignment answers.