ADCET Webinar Supporting Students with dyslexia project

ADCET Webinar Supporting Students with dyslexia project


Good afternoon or good morning depending
on where you’re at it’s Darlene McLean in here I’m excited
to be bringing you this webinar today firstly I’d like to start by
acknowledging that I’m on lutruwita which is Tasmania Aboriginal land and I
acknowledge with deep respect the traditional custodians of the land that
the Palawa people I want to pay my respects to elder’s past present and
emerging and I would also like to acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal
community who continue to maintain their identity culture and Aboriginal rights
throughout lutruwita. thank you for joining us today my name is Darlene
McLennan if this is the first webinar you’ve attended of ours I’m the manager
of the Australian disability Clearinghouse on education and training
ADCET for short today’s webinar is supporting students
with dyslexia in University it’s come about through a research project that
was taken by cqu University it’s fantastic this is their second webinar
this month on dyslexia as it’s currently dyslexia month so it’s fantastic we’re
really excited that we’ve got Chris smoulder presenting this webinar today
chris is an associate lecturer and academic learning advisor at CQ
University I’m in Cannes before we make a start we have a little bit of
housekeeping for those who haven’t attended the webinar before if you need
to activate your closed captions you can go to the CC button at the bottom of the
toolbar it could actually be at the top or the bottom you can increase the
number of lines appearing on that caption box
we’ve by clicking on the small arrow at the top right hand side of the caption
box if you have any technical difficulties throughout the webinar you
can email us at admin at Ed’s ed dot edu presentation will run for around 40 or
so minutes and then Chris is really happy to answer your questions we’ve
received a couple of questions prior to the webinar and she’ll answer those and
we also encourage you to put the questions into either the chat pod or
the question pod you can choose there to actually
choose to present to all all panelists or all panelists and all audience if you
click that button where you include all the audiences people will see your
question and actually can interact throughout the webinar so it might be a
question that we don’t know the answer to or you might want to share some great
resources whatever it’s a wonderful way to have a conversation so please
probably use the chat chat box for that so we get some more engagement I think
that’s about it so now I’m going to pass over to Chris and we’ll look forward to
hearing your questions throughout the webinar thanks Chris
no worries Thank You Darlene thank you very much ad set for having me today and
thank you everyone for coming I’m very excited to present to you about this
Lexia I think it’s really important to raise awareness so the name of our
project was supporting students with dyslexia in particular at our university
but generally in university it was conducted by myself dr. Susan hunt
Shayne Parker and dr. Karen Stokes so I’ll start with a brief definition of
dyslexia dyslexia affects accurate were fluent word recognition decoding of
words and spelling ability it’s not related to intelligence or to lack of a
reasonable education these are not the only characteristics of dyslexia but I
would say that they’re defining characteristics of dyslexia that set it
apart from other learning differences so some of those other characteristics
might include difficulty with memorization dysgraphia which is
handwriting and a number of things dyslexia
around five to 15 percent of the population it’s difficult to know the
exact number but the numbers are similar to the number of people in the world
with blue eyes or the number of people in the world who are left-handed so it’s
a fairly significant number people with dyslexia can and do learn how to read
however people with dyslexia still often or sometimes I 10 have difficulties with
some things related to learning and this comes from a survey that happened in the
UK students with and without disability students with the more students with
dyslexia reported having difficulty with organizing essays and expressing ideas
with writing but when it came to expressing ideas orally the numbers were
a lot closer still a little more difficulty for people with dyslexia but
much closer to students without dyslexia so arrow
Jeane question was how can we support students with characteristics of
dyslexia at our university and it was conducted in three stages the first
stage was a self-report survey this was a validated survey which came from
another research project and there is a references list at the end in case
you’re interested in seeing where that came from the survey was actually used to recruit
participants but we did find some interesting data from the survey as well
which I’ll share with you today interviews we interviewed twelve
students from the survey and we tried to select students with a number of
characteristics so we tried to find students who are on campus studying
primarily on campus or by distance so around half half students in a variety
of subject areas students of various ages and who have been at the University
for different amounts of time we thought that was important and also importantly
students with and without an assessment or diagnosis if you will for dyslexia so
we wanted around half with and around half without we also had a staff focus
group this was comprised of all different kinds of staff at the
University including staff from our disability services staff from academic
support from our pathways program and also lecturers from a few different
areas you
and the the data to arise was centered around these themes um history time and
effort videos and lectures skills and assessment and uptake of assistive
technology so I’ll be speaking about each of these in turn
with history so I’ll read this primary school I think
I failed I failed primary school I failed high school and everything every
subject I failed this was an answer to the question why did you take this
survey and this was a student who didn’t have an assessment but it’s one of his
children had just recently gotten one and so he was beginning to suspect that
he was affected as well the students in our study the great majority of them had
very negative experiences in school these are some more examples so there’s
no point you going to year 12 you should just leave your ten and go learn
something or do something or get a job this is something that a student said an
educator had said it to them and you won’t be nothing but a checkout clerk
these kinds of things were fairly typical of our students and so why well
I’ll come to this back to this in a minute why it’s important so if this
feels a little bit like a segue but I will come back to that um oh sorry sorry
sorry this came from our focus group so they said that this person was talking
about how when they went to support a student and that student felt that it
had been discovered that maybe there was a learning difficulty there they were
very embarrassed or maybe avoided getting more help this is my Segway so in order to access
reasonable adjustments at University and I think anywhere in tertiary ed you need
to have a formal assessment from a medical practitioner detailing the
nature of your difficulties and what kind of supports perhaps what kind of
supports might be recommended students at our University I’ll just speak to our
university the typically the reasonable adjustments include being able to get an
extension on an assignment being able to get extra time on exams and not all
students but many students also have access to assistive technology I have
seen in our policy that alternative assessments are possible but I haven’t
met anyone yet who’s ever been given an alternative assessment so coming back to
that history it can have an impact it can have a lot of impact a student in
several ways I’m only putting two here number one the history of negative
experience can impact their belief in their ability to succeed so it takes a
lot of courage in the first place if you have a history of negative experiences
at school to even attempt university it takes an awful lot of resilience to stay
in university as we’ll see later on even if you don’t have dyslexia and I
strongly suspect that we’re losing a lot of students before we’re able before we
discover that they need the support the other one is social stigma it makes
students feel as if they shouldn’t or aren’t entitled to support that they’re
asking for an unfair advantage it makes they feel embarrassed asking as
you can see so this is from another study and I just need to move my my
little zoom thing out of the way so I can look at this myself so this was a
student said I feel stupid asking for extensions I’m not confident approaching
people to say I need to it to say I need to go through that again it just makes
me feel even more stupid so students are afraid to ask for help another problem with the current method
of supporting students which is through and through Disability Services and
allowing accommodations is this there has been very little awareness or
understanding of dyslexia I think generally in schools I think that’s
changing now but many students come to university not even realizing that they
have dyslexia um in some cases they come here and they realize you know they may
have had difficulty in school but they were young and they never never even
heard a dyslexia or thought about those kinds of things they come to university
and they can see that the person next to them isn’t trying as hard as they are
and it seems to be succeeding much more easily and they may want to get an
assessment and so the other problem with this is expending the expense of getting
an assessment the cost can be quite high if you live in a regional area you may
not have access to assessments and in some places you can get an affordable
assessment but these can take a very long time to get so I had a student who
was nearby clinic where she could get one for free but it took 8 months for
her to be seen by someone so those are all challenges in identifying students
in in the system that we have which is teaching to a mainstream and supporting
students with these accommodations these reasonable accommodations you could see
it in our survey that out of so the way the survey worked was if you scored
above a certain threshold it was suspected that you had characteristics
of dyslexia I can’t say a person had dyslexia but they scored in a similar
way to people who did have dyslexia 67 students who took our survey scored
above this threshold now of these 67 students
2/3 did not have an assessment or diagnosis for dyslexia so that’s so
there’s a pie chart on the screen and you can see that 67% of those students
did not have an assessment but at 67 is a coincidence by the way the number of
students and also the percentage of that number that didn’t have an assessment so
um what I’d like to say here is potentially those students were not
receiving reasonable accommodations it’s quite likely that they weren’t for
dyslexia anyway another study that was conducted in Australia found that of 994
students who did have an assessment for some for a condition that would
challenge you know a challenge at university 633 of them had not disclosed
their difficulties to the University so these are students who actually already
had an assessment and they’re still not disclosing to the university one of the
reasons cited in this paper was stigma one of the reasons for not disclosing
there were many but one of them one of the important ones was stigma avoiding
itself so what I’m getting at and really one of my main points that I’d like to
make today is that we can’t know who has dyslexia we can’t know for sure we do
know people do have dyslexia we do know there are a number of people who do have
dyslexia and so we should if we’re being inclusive we should be trying to design
our curriculum so that it suits as many people as possible and I would argue
that this means best practice in teaching not not catering to people with
disabilities it means best practice if we teach well we should be able to teach
a wider audience this this idea is based on an idea from architecture called
Universal Design so this is from architecture now the design of products
and environments to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible
without the need for ad reputation or specialized design so in
other words we now build our buildings so that they have wheelchair access
regardless of who’s working at that building or who we anticipates going to
work at that building we anticipate that there’s a segment of our population that
will need this and so we design our buildings with that in mind
Universal Design and learning is a similar concept so we should be
designing our curriculum not for a mainstream and then trying to support
people who don’t learn that way we should be trying to design our
curriculum to suit as many people as possible there’s a website and I’ve
included it in my references list called cast and they outline three major what
would you call it parts of Universal Design in learning I’m going to
addressed a few that I think are important at university so presenting
information in a variety of formats and I will come to this some more in my
presentation allowing for a variety and choice of expression and I will come to
this again as well and I’m all especially talking about assessment and
allowing all students access to assistive technology so this idea came
from someone at my university named Natalie von teen who said wouldn’t it be
wonderful if we had a site license and anyone who wanted to use text readers or
dictation software could just access that and I’ll talk about that again too
towards the end of my presentation another recommendation would be to
develop a strengths-based self-report survey to help I do identify students
that may require additional support and by this I mean you know asking people
about their learning styles what things they’re concerned with and if they are
concerned with certain things that we try to refer them and give them support
early on so that they’re being supported we don’t need to know we don’t need to
label anything we just need to say okay you’re having trouble with writing you
fund writing to be difficult let’s address that let’s let’s refer you to an
academic advisor who can sit down and help you with that
and a third thing which I think is very important is finding a way to provide
low-cost assessments to students that’s as far as my recommendation goes I don’t
know what the magical answer to to making this happen is but I do feel it’s
an equity issue that students who need reasonable accommodations have to go
through this additional expense and worry a second significant theme to come
out of our research was time and effort and I have to say this is what prompted
me to do the research in the first place so one of my roles at the University is
academic advisor and I have a number of students who seem to have learning
difficulties or at least they’re having difficulties with learning so and they
put so much time and effort in and you just want to really see them have a
farrago and find out the best way that you can support those students and this comes from one of the students
in our study who said that he was studying 12 hours a day for two units
these were two graduate units this was a graduate student and another full-time
undergraduate student who said that she was studying 70 hours per week so as you can see it’s all consuming it
really is something that someone with dyslexia or someone who knows that
they’re going to have difficulties they prepare like a marathon they prepare
ahead of time and they really put every effort into completing to the standard
you know that they hope to complete you and this comes from it this isn’t from
dyslexia research this is just looking at generally University students at the
University of Western Sydney it was found that lecturers and students
differed in their estimations by sometimes more than 400 percent of how
long it would take to complete a certain assessment type so for example for
example lecturers believe that an essay should take around 10 hours that was
their fair estimation and students felt that it was taking them 40 hours these
are not students with dyslexia so what what appears to me to be happening in
some units is that students actually do have more than the recommended 12 hours
so I need to backtrack a little there at our University and we say that each unit
that you take each class that you take should take you around 12 hours of study
time per week and that includes everything that includes going to your
your lectures your tutorials doing your readings doing your assessments anything
study and so one of our recommendations is to really have a good look and look
at some research perhaps and determine if we really are asking students to do a
maximum of 12 hours per week and in that we should be including assessment and
that brings me to my next point so one of the students was talking very
passionately about how much she loved oh sorry I’m moving ahead of myself okay so
this is another student she said she wished that there was something official
like a mark marking rubric that when you open it up it’s the same document um it
says font and then you know what font you’re supposed to have she said she had
to chase up two or three or four different assignment documents to find
out how she was supposed to just format her assignments she’s just talking about
formatting and so a common problem that we seemed to find was that students were
having to waste time trying find out what the formatting
requirements were for an assignment trying to find where their assessment
was on the page or where all the information that they needed for an
assessment was on the page and here I’m talking about Moodle which is an online
learning platform where your course is setting it up virtually so one of our
recommendations is that organization and requirements should be consistent within
a course and there’s other research of course that suggests this again this is
best practice so we’re not asking anyone to do anything unusual
we’re just saying let’s look at our courses and make sure that we’re doing
everything sensibly and consistently across a course I want to have a little
graphic there for Moodle so your Moodle pages for each unit should be the same
the assessment block should be in the same place the formatting requirements
should be the same and they should be in the same place this will make it easier
for everyone and another theme videos and lectures so this student said being
able to go and review lectures and watch them in my own time has been really
beneficial for me because I find that I can pause and think about something and
then go back to it when you have dyslexia it takes a while sometimes for
information to process and sink in so I put these quotes up verbatim and
sometimes there’s little grammar thing in there I’m not sure if that was from
the transcription but I’m hesitant to change it but so anyway the students
really valued videos in past research one of the things to come up frequently
as a difficulty for students with dyslexia was note-taking because
students used to have to watch a live lecture and take notes in real time
which is a very difficult thing because you’re doing a number of things you have
a number of balls in the air one of them is paying attention decoding the
language that you hear that you see and then forming it into words and writing
it on the page and in the same time trying to get again what has just been
said which is a difficult thing but videos are a wonderful thing because
students watch it again and again they can pause
and they can take notes if they want to the other reason is some students find
it easier to understand information that’s presented to them verbally than
they do when it’s in written form so videos are very important and we really
should be making them a priority another study and I would say a similar
study but mine is actually similar to theirs by McCullagh Lowe sank whatand
Bangkok found that students actively searched for videos on the internet to
help them understand their course content so these were videos that
weren’t included in their course but because they were having difficulty
understanding a concept they sought a video in order to help them understand
it better and students in my study did this as well and to go back to Universal Design we
should be designing our courses so that we can be we are presenting things in
multiple formats so presenting things in written form and next to that we should
be presenting the same content not different content the same content and
video form and a recommendation to come out of this is best practice and video
production and by this I don’t mean beautifully polished transitions and
music and their kind of thing but there is research that says what works best in
an educational context and one of the things and there’s a study at the end I
believe that the author is güell they looked at massive online learning
courses millions of sessions and found that from videos of that that went
anywhere from three minutes to 40 minutes and lengths the mean time for
watching a video was 6 minutes so one of the very very resounding messages from
that study was short short and sweet 6 minutes was the recommended amount of
time but I would even say – just something that’s planned something that
has a beginning a middle and an end something that’s very clear and easy for
students to understand and another problem that students said that
they had was that the videos that they did get were recorded lectures and a lot
of times the quality of this wasn’t good for a number of reasons one being it’s
not interactive but also the lecturer was speaking to a lecture hall and
sometimes they were very very long sometimes they were you know their
speech wasn’t very emphatic or interesting they didn’t give examples so
there were a lot of them a lot of complaints around that and especially
because the videos were so important to those students the other recommendation
because interaction was so important to the students is video conferencing using
video conferencing instead of recorded classroom lectures so that it’s a it’s a
platform like this in fact this is doing my belief it’s a slightly different
format then I’m used to but um lecturers can call upon students and take
questions from students students can send chest questions in the chat and
they can send them anonymously to their lecturers if they want to and then hear
the answers so that is something that would really benefit our students skills
and assessment are obviously a really big thing assessment has been shown to
determine students learning really it’s what drives the students learning
because the assessment is the important thing it’s the thing that we’re going to
focus our attention on and one of the things we found is that
our students had an awful lot of writing so this student had this was her first
year I don’t think it was a first term but this was her first year she had five
essays in that term and she said it was definitely not without a huge struggle
and a hundred different drafts she felt that this was very difficult for her on the other hand this student who also
have a lot of written assignments but he was talking about how presentations how
well he did in presentations and he said that’s where I got my really high marks
one percent in one case absolutely unbelievable at university getting a
high mark like that so imagine the lift that this gave him in the boost to self
confidence and how wonderful to be able to present his understanding of the
content of the course in a different way more importantly I would say that this
this sum helps students be able to engage more with the learning of their
unit so this student said apart from the lectures that I try and see every week
all the material that I want us to read I’m not even touching the edges because
I’m trying to focus on doing these assessments the student felt that
working on the assessments because it was so important in the way that she was
going to get her grade she didn’t have time to look at the course content which
is unfortunate because it’s the opposite really of what you want
you so this is pretty famous cartoon it says
for a fair selection everybody has to take the same exam please climb that
tree I’m not saying that essays don’t have their place at university I will
come back to essays in a minute but what I’m saying is that everybody should be
given the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in in other ways as well
so we need to not over rely on certain kinds of assessment just because that’s
the way it always has been done one of the quotes to come out of a focus group
was one of the advisers said that she’s heard people say that if you can’t write
an essay you should be at university which is heartbreaking really to hear
that’s not true so we should be giving students the
opportunity other opportunities this was from a study an extensive study on
inclusive assessment that took place in the UK it was a survey asking students
to choose their preferred types of assessment and there was a list of 44
different types of assessments to choose from and it’s interesting that students
with and without disabilities and I think it’s Gibbs which is in the
references list looks at conditions which support learning conditions of
assessment which support learning and both of these kinds of assessments allow
for copious amounts of feedback there was one more thing I wanted to say about
that but it’s it’s escaping me right now oh yes and and also they they require a
more even distribution of students time over the course of the term which has
also been found to promote learning and retention rather than a single exam at
the end which students often leave till the end to study for another interesting thing and probably
not surprising is that students with dyslexia did not choose in their top
seven essays assignments so you get it’s inequitable that almost every assessment
or so many assessments are essays so these are some problems with over
reliance on a single type of assessment and again I want to stress over reliance
number one they’re not always authentic so an essay isn’t something that most
people will typically be doing in their target profession they don’t encourage
learning of other important skills so for if we’re just doing essays and we’re
not doing other things we’re not teaching students how to work in groups
we’re not teaching students how to do oral presentations which isn’t also also
very important in a lot of industries they’re not always the most effective
way to encourage learning as we saw just previously and they’re not always valid
and that they require a disproportionate amount of time on skills that may not be
the central skills of the unit or just a disproportionate amount of time on those
skills so returning to that study I mentioned
about inclusive assessment water field in West this is an example an example of
a successful example of providing choice to students they took an engineering
course which traditionally had written examinations and they offered students a
choice they were allowed to choose from either module tests coursework portfolio
or weekly summative tests and they would choose at the beginning of the term and
I think they had a period of around four or five weeks where they could change
their chosen assessment type now initially there were concerns about
equity and it is something that you have to think about when you’re designing
this and making sure that it is fair that if you take one you’re not
advantaged and they did consult professional bodies and also the
equivalent of course coordinators there they saw this as an issue but they felt
that they had resolved any issues and the findings were this that additional
resources were needed to develop and Marcos essence however no special
accommodations were requested there was a significant reduction in the number of
lowest grades there was a significant increase in the number of grades above
60% and both students and staff were happy with the result we’re happy with
the trial so this is an example of actually not just variety but providing
choice to students so that everybody can choose the way that suits them best to
show what it is they’ve learned in the course so out of all of that variety and choice
and assessment this was the one I started to talk about
much earlier I loved templates I loved them and they helped me a lot and here
she was saying and just when they’re really clear she was talking about the
templates being clear but then she was talking about her lectures I feel like
they say it’s not a trick question but I feel like it is and she went on to say
that they say just answer the question and she’d say I just answered the
question and then they said no but we wanted you to say this and she said
that’s that wasn’t just answering the question it was a little it was it was
quite funny the way she was expressing herself there but um it was a very
common problem for our students trying to understand what was required of them
trying to understand the task trying to understand what everyone was looking for
and I would argue that this isn’t just a problem for students with dyslexia this
is a common problem for a lot of the students that I see they’re new to essay
writing or they haven’t done it in a long time and so once again I’m gonna
just step away from dyslexia for a minute and point out the completion
rates for certain equity groups in Australia and I want to focus especially
on this first one age 25 and over so over a period of nine years 41 point six
percent of students over the age of 25 do not complete their degree in nine
years so they start their degree and after nine years they still haven’t
finished it so um and I I can only speculate but I would like to imagine
now that I’m a 25 year uh 25 year old student I haven’t been to school in a
long time maybe I wasn’t great at school to begin with and I’m now going to
university and I need to write which is quite typical two essays and they’re
doing week six and in that time I have to learn how to
use the library and conduct research how do we evaluate sources for credibility
and for usefulness how to read a journal article and jargon that I may not yet be
familiar with I have to learn how to note take and paraphrase which are quite
complex skills write an outline write a paragraph or essay organize those ideas
know that I need a thesis statement a topic sentence etc write in a formal
academic style which I may not have been exposed to before and learn how to
reference these are all very challenging skills a student needs to learn all of
these skills by week six and present the knowledge that they have learned in this
form so my recommendation is borrowed from
some other study and I want to say it’s kids but it’s not I believe it’s Gil and
others that we should be teaching students si writings if we feel that we
want our graduates to be able to write an essay before we leave instead of just
using this as an assessment type we actually have to teach them how to do
this and I would say that we should spread this over the course of their
degree it could be over the course of two years
but slowly step them through the process give them the opportunity to learn other
content in the course as well so I just want to return to that idea of universal
assessment before I continue there that this is just good practice this isn’t
just for students with dyslexia it will help just students with dyslexia it will
help a whole range of students including so many of those ones that we saw
previously here or it’s uneasy to skip is it and finally I’d like to talk about
the uptake of assistive technology so just a assistive technology being
software or even hardware that can help a student in their learning things like
dictation software or text reading software it has been found that
assistive technologies can really help students with learning difficulties this
will help them in their learning and with their self-confidence hopefully
with their retention and I asked almost all that I did ask
all the students if they used assistive technology and here’s a typical answer
this student said I asked if he had ever used a text reader and he said dragon
does that dragon does text-to-speech which I never used which would have made
things easier and so I asked the question why did you never use it and he
said well I think he says I never got there I got two dragon late in the piece
as I was starting mid-course I realized it would take me some time to learn how
to use speech to text so he felt that he needed some training and some time to
get used to the software before he could actually use it in his studies which
took so much of his time out of the 12 students that we interviewed only one
was using assistive technology two other students had access to the software but
they weren’t using it because they didn’t feel comfortable using it none of
the students that none of the other students that we interviewed had access
or in many cases actually ever heard of assistive technology ever heard that
this was such a thing that could help them so and again this comes from a colleague
site licenses for software should be purchased by institutions so that all
students can have access to return back to the beginning remember we don’t know
who has dyslexia we don’t know who’s having difficulties in their learning
many people could probably benefit from this kind of technology why not just
make it available to everyone at the university instead of going through the
lengthy process actually of getting licenses for individuals training and
software should be made readily available to everyone
so that they can use the software and we should be trying to do it as soon as we
can well and that’s all I had to say about
that okay oh but I’m not doing yet wait okay I’m just along have I gone darling
I wasn’t checking the time I’m just gonna sum up quickly recommendations for
lectures Universal Design which includes some of
these things so maximum twelve hours of weekly content consistent course wide
organization and requirements best practice in video production interactive
over just you know individual recordings variety and choice and assessment and
explicit course wide teaching of assessment skills and I just have one
more for the institution site licenses for software training and software and
developing a strengths-based self-report survey to help identify students that
may require additional support and I I realize I’ve gone longer than I thought
I would but um here I’m not just talking about support from services like
disability services but also support academic learning advisors and
counseling because many many of these students also have issues with
self-esteem and anxiety and also some of these students have as well ADHD and two
of the students in my study found it extremely helpful to meet with
counselors who helped them to budget their time help them learn how to manage
their time not just their time at school but their time outside of school as well
and finally find a way to provide low-cost assessments to students and
Darlene I think that’s all I have there sorry to cut in so I was in the middle
of I’m answering a question online and I didn’t actually know I’d kind of stopped
following along you say I better jump in okay thank you for that that’s fantastic
so just for people if you’ve got any questions for um Chris please feel free
to write them in the chat pod and I’ll ask them we did get a few questions
prior to the webinar which you’ve kind of answered some of those throughout
your webinar one that we did get was around assessment so Luke’s asked Jesus
do do you think that further assessments are needed for students if they have a
an assessment when they are a child it’s not up to me unfortunately I think that
different I I’m not sure what is required of everyone but I know that
some departments at least require that you get a more up-to-date assessment so
we we sought an answer a couple of years ago around this as practitioners in the
sector and our advice was yes if it was done prior to to the person reaching 16
years of age then a reassessment would need to be done and so there’s lots of
information I’ll give a plug while we’re waiting for some more questions to come
through of our opening all options on Adsit so it’s a de de de u /o a o
opening all options oh and there’s a heap of information there in regards to
specific learning disabilities which include guidelines to assessment we’ll
give you some more information around why the recommendation is to have that
reassessment done at that age so yeah and so identifying you did speak a bit
in your presentation around identifying students with dyslexia is there any
other information that you think it’s important for people visually teachers
that are joining us today around how they can identify this
here in the classroom okay someone did ask that question and I would say it’s
different different age groups so I also had I also have two children who are
dyslexic but I’m not an expert in primary education or anything like that
but to me for primary education if if a child isn’t reading when everyone else
is reading to be suspicious there are other signs as well so for example one
of my son’s had speech problems he’s also a little bit dis praxic which means
he is not as coordinated perhaps as others different signs but if someone’s
not reading when everyone else is I would say be vigilant and make sure that
they’re getting the intensive phonemic instruction that they will need in order
to learn how to read if if it’s an older child I would say that unexpected
misspellings is really a big one it sounds very obvious and like a
no-brainer but I mean um how I’m trying to think of an example so I had a
student here and this is also true for higher ed who was using a comparative
form and I wish I could remember the word but you know word that ends like
brighter smarter he was using that for a verb which is an action word like you
know to do something and if I read it to him he could hear his
English was very grammatical he could hear the mistake but he just didn’t see
the mistake on paper and that kind of thing is a trigger but really if someone
is having substantial difficulty with their study then they need support and
you you want to investigate what what difficulties they have and try to
address those yes um so there was a question that came in before the webinar
as well around font and if you recommend particular font we have a tad set for
this month have actually put the dyslexic font on Adsit so people can
check it out there you can turn it off and on but for this month it’s it’s
there permanently for the month so what’s your thoughts and regards to
fonts Chris um it’s the same really so for all my materials now the research
shows that sans-serif fonts like Helvetica and Arial or good fonts Comic
Sans is a good font we should be avoiding italics and all caps and things
like that the round table meets every year it’s an organization that meets
every year trying to find best practice in presenting print forms and I’ve
provided a link for that people can go have a look at what is recommended there
the person asked if I thought that dyslexia font was you know a gimmick or
something I wouldn’t say that no if it were I say if you suspect that someone
has dyslexia or you know that someone has dyslexia try everything and see what
works for them if that’s something that works for them then we should be trying
to provide it for them but on the whole I will use sans-serif fonts which have
been found in studies to be very accessible for people with a number of
print disabilities so I’ve had a question online so students are required
to do assignments on a computer but then I required to do a three-hour written
exam many students have difficulty to write as fast as they can tight and
not fit to write for three hours either how do you see we address this problem I
see that we should be accommodating them it’s unfortunate that in order to do
that they will have to have an assessment at most institutions but we
should be why why does it have to be handwritten there’s no reason for that
yep no and I think majority of I know definitely in the further education
sector if people have you know provided the documentation around the Pacific
learning disability then the adjustment would be placed in place that they can
use computers I know they’re still often a fight with the qualifications
authorities around Australia or eventually getting that adjustment put
in at exam time which you know it just seems quite frustrating I’ve had a
personal online protocol to arms around why Pacific learning disabilities can’t
be a as a part of the middie it’s part of many care to look at a diagnosis
which was great and maybe I mean you know it might be something that we are
the sector can start to argue for because it’s one of the limitations we
really find for people coming to universities and tapes especially that
either they’ve come without a recent diagnosis
and it’s a recent assessment and it’s a really expensive insurer or they’ve come
and finally actually realized they do have dyslexia or another another
specific learning disability and then having just saw said assessments just so
inhibiting for them to get the adjustments they need in their their in
their studies which just yeah limiting them I agree it’s extraordinarily
frustrating it’s something that really bothers me and that’s one of the reasons
why stuff like this is fabulous because I think that I think a lot of aware I
think awareness needs to be raised a lot of people consider dyslexia to be a myth
or you know just don’t know anything about it and so it’s not been on the
radar and in schools it has been at least in the literature that I’ve read
it’s been described as being put together with other difficulties with
literacy so I’m in in a way this is inclusive in a way not so this is all
about that label um that label controversy but students with English as
a Second Language or with cognitive difficulties and dyslexia are all in the
same category yeah used to be I’m just two more questions that we had
prior there was one around epson software we have a lot of information on
Ed said so I’m just going to ask Jane if she could just put the link to where
people can find out the different technologies there’s an episode
available for people with specific learning disabilities in the chat for
everybody there was a question I was just one come online I haven’t read it
so given how prevalent dyslexia may be what could universities do to help these
students transition out into the Graduate labor market you mentioned the
time if it is proportion for essays and writing assessments transition out often
requires learning specialized written genres such as selection criteria is
applying for many jobs so any hints in that one Chris it’s a great question um
well I mean if if assistive technology could be the answer there as well if we
can teach people you know not only to get through university but to become
competent at doing these things possibly through assistive technology hopefully
that could help them in in the job market in their future professions as
well is that answering the question sorry because I didn’t I didn’t see it are you there I’ve deleted myself I’m
getting between between my coughs and my drinks I’m getting confused with myself
trying to keep my coughing at obey that was more in regards to your supporting
students who are looking for work and and you know having to communicate and
yet certainly technology could assist in that hopefully what we’re doing is
preparing them for that profession and if we if we’re if we’re putting those
students in mind and we are supporting those students then we should be then
that’s what we’re doing mmm I think it’s good practice and I’m sure lots of
students in their studies have actually you know had a friend or family or
whatever do some of the checking for them I would really encourage any
students or to actually also use the Career Service often the Career Service
within the university will you know if you explain the situation that you’ve
done your selection criteria about you know Judy or Pacific learning
disabilities you’re wondering if you’ve you know using the right terminology or
so forth that hopefully they would take on that as a I mean that they could do
that’s another referral that I would actually suggest so I’m sorry I don’t
remember the name of the person who did it but someone did do a presentation on
that set about referring students to careers advisors to talk about what
their strengths are when choosing what to study at University in the first
place and that’s someone that I think is useful to refer people to as well yeah
and the last question was around the PhD students if they meeting academic
requirements was there anything over and above what you presented on today for
that student cohort perhaps not I think that I we did interview a PhD student in
our study and her frustration was that that while there are some supports in
place for undergraduates it’s pretty it’s virtually unheard of she felt in
the research degree so she did a research in honors masters and also her
PhD and she was really having to advocate for herself complicating that
issue was the fact that she did not have an assessment for dyslexia
didn’t feel that she should have to get one actually what she wanted at that
level was proofreading she wanted the ability to I get I suppose funding to be
able to have her work proof read and it was determined that she was going to
have to get an assessment in order to have that conversation but um for those
students I would say proofreading is helpful assistive technology definitely
so and I do think you need training in it to see if it’s going to work for you
in the first place and one-on-one support where we’re desired yeah that’s
just a quick question because we’re just running out of time was if you you have
any video banks that students could you know go to you know how you said some of
the what the students strategy is is trying to find short videos to explain
content in and so forth or you know yeah it was there any video banks you know
besides YouTube hmm that’s a good question um well I do know a few
students mentioned Khan Academy so I mean this probably everyone knows about
those there was one of their maths one that someone told me and I forget the
name of it I’m sorry put it up into into the webinar afterwards if you remember
it we’ll put on our page okay sure yeah I don’t I don’t really have any no no
but it’s another thing that will I think will add to add set to recommendations
for academics because they probably have them too so they could actually make it
easier for students by saying you know these are an essential but you know you
can go here here here to kind of you know increase people’s capacity to to
you know understand the topic alright I would stress that thing when it’s
essential and when it’s non-essential because that was another one
recommendation come out of our report was that sometimes people are trying to
be helpful and they put heaps of content on there and then they don’t distinguish
between what’s necessary and what isn’t and it can be quite overwhelming
very good good cool on that looks like ringing that isso saying a thing I know
that well me we’ve reached our time so thank
you so much Chris it was a really informative webinar with your research
have you got a date because at the moment it’s not released is it I know it
has to go through a bit of a process and hopefully hopefully within a month or so
I should be able to allow people to read that report I hope but there’s other
writing planned as well excellent all right well um if we can at
that time we’ll certainly put up on on ad setting and promote it wide widely so
just a reminder that we’ve got to we’ve got a webinar coming up in enough
probably gone off that now sorry about that there next webinars next month in
Riga and it’s in partnership with the National Center and the title of that is
if my computer is beyond graduation long term socio-economic outcomes amongst
equity students so that’s our next webinar which is coming up on the sorry
the 6th of November we also have talking about the roundtable we have a webinar
coming up are presented by from some of the outcomes of the roundtable and that
will be later in November but we’ll send information out and and promote widely
widely when that comes up so that’s it so thank you Chris for for your time
it’s absolutely brilliant and thank everybody for joining us have a great
day Thanks

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