Specific Learning Difficulties
AccessAbility provides advice and support for students with specific learning difficulties/differences, including dyslexia, dyspraxia/DCD, attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and dyscalculia.
If you are a student with specific learning difficulties you might benefit from:
- Specific arrangements for exams and teaching
- 1:1 study skills support from a specialist tutor
- Access to assistive technology
How to organise support for a specific learning difficulty
In order to organise support adjustments for a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you will need to book an appointment with us and provide a diagnostic assessment report, based on an assessment by an educational psychologist or a suitably qualified specialist teacher.
For diagnoses of ADHD and dyspraxia/DCD, a report resulting from an assessment by a suitably qualified medical professional, a speech and language therapist or occupational therapist may be suitable.
Tests conducted for JCQ access arrangements in schools are not usually sufficient evidence of a specific learning difficulty. However, please send us any documentation that you have available to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise further.
Please book an appointment with us if you would like to discuss your options.
Screening for specific learning difficulties
Many students will have been fully assessed, and diagnosed, prior to beginning their studies at university. However, a number of those with an undiagnosed SpLD will find that their difficulties become more apparent when studying at university level and may then benefit from screening and/or assessment.
AccessAbility provides screening for specific learning difficulties. In the first instance, we recommend that students complete the below screening questionnaire, which can help to identify any indicators of a specific learning difficulty:
When we have received your completed questionnaire, an Advisor will be in contact with you with further advice. If there are sufficient indications of an underlying SPLD, a full diagnostic assessment would be recommended.
If you would like to discuss your difficulties in confidence, please make an appointment to see an AccessAbility Advisor.
For further advice about screening and assessment, please see the link below:
Assessment for specific learning difficulties
If you have been advised to have a full diagnostic assessment, or you need an updated report, please see our SpLD assessment information sheet 13.10.21 for details of qualified practitioners locally, and nationwide.
Assessments may cost upwards of £350. However, if paying for an assessment will cause you financial difficulty, there is additional funding available. Please see the links below for further information and advice about financial help:
Useful contacts and resources
- Dyspraxia Foundation: https://dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/
- The British Dyslexia Association: http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/
- Dyslexia Foundation: http://dyslexia-help.org/
- ADHD UK: https://adhduk.co.uk/
- The Codpast – fresh content for students and adults with dyslexia: www.thecodpast.org
- The British Association of Behavioural Optometrists www.babo.co.uk
- Kirby, A. (2013) How to Succeed in College and University with Specific Learning Difficulties: A Guide for Students, Educators and Parents, Condor, Souvenir Press (E and A) Ltd.
The Study Zone offer one-on-one online sessions on a number of study related areas, and can discuss specific questions and look at work with you:
The AccessAbility team run online Study Skills webinars specifically geared towards students accessing support from Wellbeing Services. You can find more information on the following page under the 'Bookable Webinars' drop-down:
Most UK students with a specific learning difficulty will be eligible to apply for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA), which can offer funding for things such as specialist equipment, one-on-one sessions with a study skills tutor or support with other costs you may have to pay due to the impact of your disability. Please see further information on the page below, and book an appointment with AccessAbility if you would like any help in applying: