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Dyslexia: Information and Support

by Tahira Majothi on August 1, 2011

Dyslexia is a form of learning difficulty which in simple terms can affect a person’s ability to read or write consistently as well as affecting memory and organisational skills. Wikipedia defines it ‘as a difficulty with phonological awarenessphonological decoding, coding, auditory, and/or rapid naming‘.

It is estimated that some four to five percent of the UK population may have a form of Dyslexia. A subjective difficulty, one person’s form of Dyslexia and coping strategies may vastly differ from another. If you have Dyslexia, you may be affected by one or more of the following traits:

  • Writing Difficulties e.g. Planning, Poor Spelling or Structure
  • Mis-Reading or Unable to Distinguish Words in the Text
  • Numeracy e.g. Sequencing
  • Organisational problems e.g. Poor Time Management
  • Perception – Difficulty in Following Directions or Spatial Awareness
  • Forgetting Names, Poor Short-Term Memory

I therefore wanted to share a post with you which I came across on Twitter about Dyslexia via In it researcher Emma Jefferies shares her personal experiences of being Dyslexic. She mentions how people comment that her brain is like a ‘ping pong ball with ideas flying off in different directions’.

In terms of how Dyslexia affected her PhD, Emma found that her brain does not process information in a linear A to B approach as used by ‘non-dyslexics’.

For Emma the process begins with her getting from “A to B by all different directions…going off in different ideas gives me depth and different sources of inspiration. The main challenge that I face…because I don’t take this linear route, as well as spelling, what normally happens I find it hard to both structure and articulate my ideas”.

Within the post there was a clip of a project by design company Studio Studio entitled Project Dyslexie. This project created a font called Dyslexie which was found to have been of particular use to schools, universities, speech therapists and teachers. Their research has shown that the Dyslexie font led to fewer errors when reading as it seemed to require less effort.

If you are Dyslexic or think you may be, but have not been assessed, here are some of the ways we can help you:

Did you know that approximately 40% of students are assessed with Dyslexia whilst at University?

The Disability Service can help you if you have been assessed or would like to be assessed. You will receive help with academic support as well as information on any financial support entitlement as part of your student support plan.

The Study Skills Team

The Study Skills Team can help you with tips on how to write your Assignments, Research Proposals, Presentation Skills, Time Management, Harvard Referencing and Speed Reading to name a few.

The Advisers also offer one-to-one appointments and workshops.

Careers Service

We can help you with Career Planning and Disability Disclosure, CVs and Interviews, Work Experience, Job Search and much more.

Finally just to let you know that I have recently been contacted by our team of Educational Psychologists who are keen to work with our students to deliver a workshop on Dyslexia.

If you would like to attend and find out more about disability disclosure and coping strategies at work, please email me at and I will be in touch. Your email will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Useful Dyslexia Websites:

Dyslexia Action

British Dyslexia Association

JISC Mail Dyslexia Home Page

SKILL – National Bureau for Students with Disabilities

EmployAbility – Opportunities for disabled and dyslexic Students and Graduates

BBC – Report on how Dyslexia Makes Voices hard to discern

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

David C Roberts September 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Thanks Tahira for this post which, as a dyslexic, is of interest to me. I do feel that we need to strike a balance though between the old idea of dyslexia as a learning difficulty and a more inclusive idea that individuals with the gift of dyslexia are at a distinct learning advantage. In the book ‘The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the dyslexic Brain’ two neurolearning experts reveal the hidden benefits of having a dyslexic brain.

In this paradigm-shifting book, neurolearning experts Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide describe an exciting new brain science that reveals that people with dyslexia have unique brain structure and organization. While the differences are responsible for certain challenges with literacy and reading, the dyslexic brain also gives a predisposition to important skills, and special talents.

While we dyslexics typically struggle to decode the written word, we often also excel in such areas of reasoning as mechanical (required for architects and surgeons), interconnected (artists and inventors); narrative (novelists and lawyers), and dynamic (scientists and business pioneers). The Dyslexic Advantage provides the first complete portrait of dyslexia.

With much-needed prescriptive advice for parents, educators, and dyslexics, The Dyslexic Advantage provides the first complete portrait of dyslexia. Supporting their claims with groundbreaking science and interviews with successful dyslexics and innovative teachers, the authors of this essential book show how the unique strengths of dyslexia can be captured for success at home, at school, and at work.

Maybe, just maybe, the rigid ‘I am right you are wrong’ linear way that our educational institutions are set up might be the real problem? Rather that support services to help us cope with the rigid requirements of the institutions it might be an idea to find innovative and creative ways of realising our dyslexic talents?

I think Sir Ken Robinson might have some thoughts on that and if not him them Edward De Bono will.


Tahira Majothi September 12, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hi David,

Thank you for your comment, you have alerted me to resources that I hope our readers find just as useful. I think you are right there does need to be a shift in focus in the way educational institutions offer support to students with Dyslexia.

Having been on the PGCAP course, I think you’ll agree we have seen the potential that new technologies can provide to help students demonstrate their skills and attributes in a variety of platforms, moving beyond traditional learning styles and examinations towards more creative learning.

Best wishes



LD PhD October 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Thanks for posting this! I’m a current microbiology PhD candidate with 2 diagnosed LDs. I have a reading disorder and a learning disorder. So, I’ve had to develop various techniques to similar to Emma’s to succeed as a graduate student. It’s wonderful seeing so many people pursuing these terminal degrees despite having to deal with these obstacles.

Thanks again for this post,



Tahira Majothi October 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Hi Collin,

Thank you very much for your kind comment, I hope that Emma’s techniques can help inspire others. I would love to hear of more coping strategies from people.

Best wishes



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