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Dyslexic Delegate on Business Writing Skills Course

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I am running a business writing skills in a couple of weeks and one of the delegates is dyslexic. I know that his needs will be different to the rest of the group. however, i asked the delegates if they had any specific requirements regarding the course and he didn't mention it and i don't want to bring up the subject on the course if he doesn't mention it. Looking for advice on what possible issues could arise and how best to deal with them, especially as i have 11 other delegates on the course.
Vivienne Holmes

3 Responses

  1. Dyslexian dilemma
    Hi Vivienne,
    As you probably are aware, dyslexia is not a cut and dried area. There are many forms and degrees that it comes in. If your delegate has a severe form then he will probably need significantly longer to carry out certain types of tasks. Most people who have dyslexia have developed strategies to deal with the areas that give them problems (and it could be different for each person). I doubt that he will have trouble with the areas on structuring reports but may well need more time on some specifc phrase use. I wouldn’t worry too much about spelling as Word, etc have pretty good spellcheckers and this solves many problems.
    As for special requirements I would suggest broaching the subject in an open way with him prior to starting the course. To tread round the situation and leave unknowns for him and/or you may be counterproductive. I would think that he has had to deal with this situation a number of times and a sensitive, open question is usually far more acceptable. It might be a good idea to have a quick word with his line manager to check what he/she thinks.

    Good luck

    Nigel

  2. HELPING CANDIDATES
    The previous respondant is right about your candidate they will have developed strategies to deal with their way of understanding words.

    Your role may be more about not putting extra pressure on this candidate by asking them to do stuff that may be difficult.

    for example

    try not to get them to give feedback in written form on flipcharts.

    exercises should be kept private not given to collegue for marking etc

    In terms of your explanation use as many different forms as possible ie voice,pictures etc.
    Getting candidates to give feedback in diffrent ways ie pictures,diagrams, through discussion is a good method anyway as it helps people to use as many learning styles as possible.Accellerated Learning concept has some great ideas here ..

    I would suspect that your candidate is well used to coping and you should just be aware rather than make too much of an issue of it.

  3. Speaking as someone who is Dyslexic…
    Hi – speaking as someone who is Dyslexic, all of the suggestions far are good ones and it is very true there are many different forms and most of us have developed our own way of coping.

    One thing that might really help is for you to speak to the participant prior to the program and ask them what would or would not work for them then try to incoroprate it.

    I assume as you have been made aware that the person is Dyslexic they know you have been informed and would probably very much appriciate you giving them a ring and asking the question.

    From my own perspective a few things that work for me is I will often cover one eye when I am reading it does not mean I am dozing off I just find it easier to read that way – also I would suggest you do not ask them to read aloud in class, we often tend to read slower than average. This does not mean we do not understand the materials it just means it sometimes takes us a little longer to process, so give them the extra time.

    Hope this helps and good luck with the program would love to hear how it works out for you.

    Anne

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