Dealing With Dyslexia as a Postgrad

With more than eleven million people in the UK with disabilities, and research showing that those people find it far harder to access further education, there is a renewed focus on making education accessible for all.

If you are a postgrad student who is dealing with dyslexia, you may need more support than other students, whether that be emotional, practical or financial. Luckily, there are several sources of available help if you know where to access them.

All universities in the UK must have a Disability Officer .

When you first enrol at the university, make contact with the Disability Officer; they will, or should, function as a first port of call in accessing further support.

To ease financial pressure, you may want to consider applying for a Disabled Students' Allowance, which you may be entitled to if you have a formal diagnosis of dyslexia and you are assessed as genuinely in need of the support. The Allowance provides you with funds for specialist equipment such as computer software, a non-medical helpers' allowance if you need someone else to take notes for you or assist you with reading, and a general allowance that may cover things like the travel costs or specialised textbooks relating to your disability. The amount of support will depend on how your need is assessed by the government, and you will need to submit a Diagnostic Assessment Report from a suitably qualified professional. More information can be found at the relevant government page .

Do bear in mind that the application can take a long time to process; it is a good idea to start the application process as soon as you have received a provisional offer from your university.

Technological advancements in the delivery of learning materials mean that groups of people for whom further education was historically impossible can now study alongside their peers. Programs of particular interest to dyslexic students include audio programs which will speak your text aloud, which may make it easier to absorb the knowledge within.

It is always worth letting your research supervisor know that you are dyslexic. Even if you aren't asking for special accommodations, there may come a time where it is useful to have established the history, and your supervisor will then be in a position to be understanding. Hopefully, between you, you can pre-empt and avoid any significant issues that may otherwise arise as a result of your dyslexia. Your supervisor isn't there to take care of your personal wellbeing, but he or she does care very much about your success, and a good supervisor will be flexible and work with you and your personal circumstances.

Student welfare officers can also assist you. Their job is to look out for your welfare, whether that means pointing you towards helpful resources or just lending a sympathetic ear. For other ideas on seeking emotional support, there are a number of useful ideas here .

Nearer the end of your study, you may start thinking about the transition to the workplace; an organisation called EmployAbility may be able to assist you. EmployAbility work with disabled students, including dyslexic students, to ease the transition between work and study and to liaise with employers on your behalf.

Studying with dyslexia isn't easy, but with the right support it is more possible than ever.

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