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6 tips for studying with Dyslexia

By UALHalls 07 Oct 2019

Many successful people have dyslexia; such as Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise and Albert Einstein. It has not stopped them from achieving great success in their fields, and with a few tweaks, you can adapt your study to help you succeed in yours. 

We spoke to students with Dyslexia, to get their advice on what helps them:

1. Speak to Student Services

UAL's Disability Service arranges adjustments and provides support for students who are disabled, dyslexic or have another Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD). Advice is available at any stage of the student journey, even before an application has been made. They can also offer you a screening if you think you may have dyslexia and want to be assessed.

2. Research using videos and documentaries

Instead of painfully reading through pages of research try swapping to films and videos. The UAL libraries have a comprehensive selection of DVDs to borrow and YouTube videos/BBC documentaries can often be used as valid research.

3. Start revising and preparing earlier in the year

The early bird catches the worm. If you start preparing for coursework and exams earlier on in the year, you will not be as stressed during deadlines. Although this is a blanket tip for all students, you may find that you need a little more time than your peers to complete your work to the highest standard.

4. Try making notes in picture form

Instead of writing your notes out try visual note-taking. This involves drawing the information you need to remember as pictures/diagrams and keeping writing to a minimum. There are lots of videos on YouTube that explain visual note-taking in more detail.

5. Print and annotate instead of reading online

Reading through large amounts of text on a screen may be difficult to absorb. Try printing it out and highlighting/annotating in your own words. This will make it easier when you go over your notes as you won’t have to read it all again, and will be in a more accessible format.

6. Use your resources

If you know writing an essay is going to be more difficult than your other assignments, priorities it and give it more time than your other projects. It might help to write in one of the University's libraries or study areas instead of at home, as there are staff and resources around who can help. Academic support offers to read your essays and help proofread them for free, which is an invaluable service for dyslexics.

Dyslexia Awareness Week takes place from Monday 7 October to Sunday 13 October. Throughout this week you can speak to your Wellbeing Peers about the best resources for dyslexic students and get advice on how to speak to Student Services about the screening.