Extensive College Dyslexia Support now reaches even further

This week is Dyslexia Week 2021, and Learning Services staff at Truro and Penwith College have been marking it by discussing the range of dyslexia support available at the College and how this helps students to achieve their goals and aspirations.

Training in dyslexia awareness has been extended to cohorts of students, who will go on to work in the fields of education, health and care, where dyslexia support training would be highly beneficial.

Thousands of students have received dyslexia support through the lifetime of the College, with the range and quality of the support available getting even wider and more impactful all the time. 

“Dyslexia friendly practice and support is the responsibility of everybody at the College,” says Gemma Marshall, the Learning Services Support and Transition Programme Team Leader. “Students are encouraged, with support from us and their lecturers, to advocate for their own needs to enable them to achieve their true potential.

“This week, our students who may go on to teach, work in education and with children, or in care or healthcare were given dyslexia awareness and support training. As a team we are committed to everyone at the College being able to deliver inclusive support and are thrilled to now be able to extend this into training for students also.”

Dyslexia Week is a chance to raise awareness, share resources, and tell success stories nationally. Because dyslexia isn’t visible, individuals can sometimes feel ignored, unacknowledged, unsupported and frustrated. At Truro and Penwith College the support is extensive and includes: Dyslexia and dyscalculia screenings, one-to-one tutoring in English, Maths and Study Skills, equipment loans, a dedicated Dyslexia Moodle page, advice and guidance on strategies and techniques for success and  training and advice given to lecturers.

Dyslexia Champions are also within every programme area and Learning Services and Learning Centre staff are always on hand to help with assistive technology training.

At Truro there have been 47 student dyslexia screenings already since the start of term, and last year 243 students were helped with dyslexia support, while 489 received tutoring and advice. Thousands of students have been given dyslexia support at Truro and Penwith College over the years.   

This support is available to all students, from 16-18-year-olds on full time courses, to adult learners, students on Apprenticeships, University-level courses, and part-time courses. The Learning Services Hub stays open late on Monday and Tuesdays to provide that additional support to adults also. Students have a variety of ways to engage with the process.

Caroline Thomas, Exams Assessment & SEN Coordinator at Penwith College, who is a British Dyslexia Association Specialist Teacher and Assessor, added: “At Penwith Learning Support we recognise that dyslexia can lead to low self-esteem and an increased inability to access the full curriculum. We provide support and advice to enable students with dyslexia to understand any difficulties and how to utilise their unique strengths in order to reach their potential.”

It is estimated by Dyslexia.uk that 10% of the UK population suffer from dyslexia, that’s 6.7 million people, and 4% suffer from it severely, that’s 2.7 million people in the UK.

Symptoms vary widely but often feature problems reading and writing or remembering and comprehending what was read. It calls for new strategies and slightly different ways to study and learn. It’s the most common learning disability in children and can be a lifelong disability and set-back for an individual unless it is recognised and that individual given strategies to help them succeed.

Often people with dyslexia feel held back and unacknowledged for something that they do not fully understand and that others do not recognise and appreciate.

For Dyslexia Week 2021 the ‘Community Studies’ department at Truro and Penwith College, with students who may well work in their future careers in the areas of Education, Health and Care, received Dyslexia Awareness training, giving students information and tools for everyday life and in their future careers.

Roland Bray, the Deputy Team Leader for Learning Services, who coordinates the dyslexia screenings and support, said: “We are proud of our commitment to ensuring all students receive the very best support for them.”

Find out more about Dyslexia Week here: www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/support-us/awareness-events/dyslexia-awareness-week

Find out more about the support available at Truro and Penwith College here: www.truro-penwith.ac.uk/how-we-support-you/learning-services, and here: www.truro-penwith.ac.uk/how-we-support-you/blog/learning-services