FAQs for Students and Parents
What is a print impairment?
Print impairment is the collective term for anyone who is unable to access print due to a visual, perceptual, or physical disability, and therefore benefits from the availability of alternative formats. Also known as print disabled, print impairment includes blind and partially sighted people, people with additional literacy needs and learning disabilities and dyslexic people.
How do I know if I am dyslexic?
"We used to have spelling tests on Fridays which I dreaded, I tried to get out of going to school on Fridays. Personally and in confidence levels it was difficult."
To be 100% certain if you are dyslexic, a full assessment is required. However there is a small test you can take or there are some strong clues which can give you an indication.
Take the Online Dyslexia Test.
Indicating Factors in your teenage Years:
- Inaccurate reading
- Gets tongue tied when using long words,
- Instructions and telephone numbers need repeating.
- Difficulty planning and writing longer documents.
- Difficulty spelling.
- Poor confidence and low self-esteem
- Demonstrates other areas of significant skills
Indicating Factors in Your early years:
- Jumbles up phrases, e.g. 'stool bus' for 'school bus'
- Is often accused of not listening or paying attention
- Use of substitute words e.g. 'lampshade' for 'lamppost'.
- Always bumping into things and falling over
- Difficulty learning nursery rhymes and rhyming words, e.g. 'cat, mat, sat'.
- Later than expected speech development.
- Persistent difficulties in getting dressed efficiently and putting shoes on the correct feet.
Indicating Factors in No Matter what your age:
- Obvious 'good' and 'bad' days, for no apparent reason,
- Confusion between directional words, e.g. up/down, in/out,
- Difficulty with sequence, e.g. coloured bead sequence, later with days of the week or numbers,
- A family history of dyslexia/reading difficulties.
Even though these difficulties associated with dyslexia vary enormously, they can manifest themselves in similar patterns of problems and these include the way you see the printed word.
The images below simulate the different effects Dyslexia can have on the way people see printed text:
Where can I get a dyslexic assessment?
If you are concerned that you or your child might have additional literacy needs or your child might be dyslexic, firstly contact your school SENCO. They might provide an assessment themselves or refer you to an educational psychologist.
I Like reading, but print impairment doesn't make it pleasurable?
Reading books and other materials need not be a chore, especially if you receive them in the alternative format that suits you. A large amount of books, schools resources and other materials are already available in DAISY, MP3, Braille and large print from the following organisations:
- www.rnib.org.uk/talkingbooks (external link)
- www.rnib.org.uk/libraryservices (external link)
- www.revealweb.org.uk (external link)
- www.listening-books.org.uk (external link)
- www.calibre.org.uk (external link)
Alternatively you can quickly and easily create your own by using DAISY an MP3 creation tools such as EasyProducer from Dolphin Computer Access (external link), that quickly and easily enable you to convert Word documents into DAISY books or MP3 files. Alternatively reading and writing tools such as Dolphin's EasyTutor enable you to create and read your own materials knowing that you have chosen the right word, and spelt it correctly.
"I hated reading. I always have in life. But now I can finally enjoy reading with the help of the linked text and audio in DAISY books"
Read more about DAISY and how this multi sensory format makes reading more pleasurable and improves your confidence.
Can I have extra help with my exams?
If you are a Dyslexic students and are studying for GCSE, AS and A2 exams you might be entitled to Access Arrangements that might include some of the following provisions:
- Coloured Overlays
- Coloured paper
- Extra time
- Speech recognitions software
- A reader
- Questions on tape
- Use of software
- Use of a computer
These provisions through the Access Arrangements scheme enable you the student to reflect your true subject knowledge in your exam. You must arrange the access arrangement before an exam or assessment and you will need to provide evidence of your dyslexia according to the provision you are seeking. In the first instance approach the Exams Officers at your school or college who can some limited provision. The exams officer might then need to contact the awarding body, again depending on the provision you need.
Visit the Joint Council for Qualifications website (external link) for more details.