Docstoc

Dyslexia - Q4S

Document Sample
Dyslexia - Q4S Powered By Docstoc
					...providing support for young people, including those with disabilities,
                   in mainstream post 16 education




             Disability and Skill Guide:

                             Dyslexia




                              75% funded by
Click or press enter on content title to navigate to that section of the document

Table of Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 4
      Acknowledgement ............................................................................................... 4

      Copyright and Disclaimer ..................................................................................... 4

      Contact Us ........................................................................................................... 4

Dyslexia............................................................................................................................ 5
   Why should I learn more about my disability? ......................................................... 5

   Associated strengths ............................................................................................... 5

   What is dyslexia? .................................................................................................... 5

      Reading ............................................................................................................... 5

      Spelling ................................................................................................................ 6

      Taking Notes........................................................................................................ 6

      Writing ................................................................................................................. 6

      Self-Organisation ................................................................................................. 6

      Calculation ........................................................................................................... 7

Learning Skills That May be Affected by Dyslexia ....................................................... 8
Literacy and Dyslexia...................................................................................................... 9
   What is literacy?...................................................................................................... 9

   What is involved in speaking? ................................................................................. 9

   What is involved in listening? .................................................................................. 9

   What is involved in reading? ................................................................................... 9

   What is involved in writing? ..................................................................................... 9

   How does dyslexia affect literacy? ........................................................................ 10

      Spelling .............................................................................................................. 10

      Reading ............................................................................................................. 10

      Writing ............................................................................................................... 11

Advice and Guidance for Literacy and Dyslexia ........................................................ 11
   Self help ................................................................................................................ 11

   Support for literacy ................................................................................................ 12


                                                 www.q4s.eu                                                                     2
Numeracy and Dyslexia ................................................................................................ 13
  What is numeracy? ............................................................................................... 13

  What is involved in numeracy? ............................................................................. 13

  How does dyslexia affect numeracy? .................................................................... 13

Advice and Guidance for Numeracy and Dyslexia ..................................................... 14
  Self help ................................................................................................................ 14

  Support for numeracy ........................................................................................... 15

Personal Organisation .................................................................................................. 15
How to Get the Help Described in this Guide ............................................................. 17
Useful Links and Resources ........................................................................................ 18
  Dyslexia ................................................................................................................ 18

  Literacy ................................................................................................................. 18

  Numeracy.............................................................................................................. 18

  Assistive Technology ............................................................................................ 18

Financial Support and Disability .................................................................................. 20
Telling Other People about Your Disability ................................................................. 21
  The SKILL Document – Telling People about Your disability ................................ 22

  Understanding the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and disclosure ................. 22

  Confidentiality ....................................................................................................... 23

  Reasons for telling people about your disability .................................................... 24

  Reasons against telling people about your disability ............................................. 27

  When is the best time to tell people about your disability? .................................... 28

  Use your control of the situation - some key points when disclosing your disability
  .............................................................................................................................. 29

  Questions about your disability once you are in a job or on a course ................... 30

  Further information ................................................................................................ 31

A Case Study ................................................................................................................. 32




                                                  www.q4s.eu                                                                      3
Introduction
Welcome to the QATRAIN for Students (Q4S) Disability and Skill Guide produced
specifically for students with dyslexia.

This guide has been written to help you get the most out of your time spent learning
at college. It contains straight forward advice about how your learning skills might be
affected by dyslexia.

Improving your learning skills is vital if you want to do as well as you can at college
and get the qualifications you need. This guide contains clear guidance on what you
can do for yourself to develop your skills. It also describes the support and guidance
you can expect from your teachers.

Information on where to find useful internet resources, national law as well as
relevant government benefits is also included.

The guide gives advice on telling other people about your disability and how to get
the help and support you need during your time at college.

Acknowledgement
Q4S acknowledge the use with permission of the Skill - National Bureau for Students
with Disabilities document: „‟Telling People about your Disability”.

Copyright and Disclaimer
You may photocopy this document for your own personal, non-commercial use. You
may quote from this Guide by acknowledging www.q4s.eu. Every effort has been
made to ensure accuracy; however, Q4S cannot guarantee factual content.

Contact Us
If you would like more information about the Q4S project, please contact the team
on:

                                  tel: (+44) 01905 855402

                                  email: q4s@worc.ac.uk




                                 www.q4s.eu                                           4
Dyslexia
Why should I learn more about my disability?

Learning a little bit more about your dyslexia will help you to understand how to
make the most of your strengths and talents.

Associated strengths

The “unusual wiring" in your dyslexic brain may make reading, writing, and spelling
difficult. Most people who have dyslexia have strengths in areas that are controlled
by the right side of their brain.

      Your strengths may include the following:

      Creative and original thinking;

      A good imagination;

      Good strategic thinking and problem-solving;

      Determined and hard-working;

      Good at seeing how lots of things are connected, how things work;

      Good 3-D visual-spatial skills and mechanical ability;

      Thinking holistically;

      Artistic and/or musical ability;

      Athletic ability;

      Good intuition and people skills.



What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia affects the part of the brain that deals with language. If you are dyslexic,
your brain deals with information in a different way. Dyslexia affects the skills needed
for learning to read, write, and spell. It also can affect taking notes, maths and self
organisation. To check if you have dyslexic tendencies see links in the Resources
section.

Reading
If you have dyslexia you may have trouble reading:

      Your eyes might get very tired after reading for only a little while;

      You might have difficulty reading for more than a few minutes;

      You may read slowly;


                                   www.q4s.eu                                          5
      You might have trouble sorting and choosing materials for study;

      You probably have trouble understanding and remembering what you have
          read;

      You find it hard to „get‟ the main points from what you have read;

      You misread the assignment or examination question.

Spelling
If you have dyslexia and have trouble spelling:

      You might have difficulty with sounding out words c-a-t;

      You may find it hard to memorise spellings;

      You might not be able to spell common words such as „they‟, „what‟, „where‟,
       „does‟ and „because‟ despite lots of practice;

      You might spell words wrong even when you are copying them from the board
       or from a book.

Taking Notes
If you have dyslexia and have trouble taking notes:

      You might have difficulty writing and listening at the same time;

      You probably find it hard to take notes and understand what you wrote;

      You may find it difficult „getting‟ the main points;

      You might find it hard to copying quickly and accurately.

Writing
If you have dyslexia and have trouble writing, your difficulties might include the
following:

      You might have slow and/or messy handwriting that stops you getting your
       ideas down;

      You may find it hard to plan and structure your written work;

      You might have problems sequencing your ideas into a logical order;

      You don‟t find it easy to write with the correct grammar;

      You may not really know how to punctuate sentences;

      You might have difficulty editing and proof-reading your work.



Self-Organisation


                                   www.q4s.eu                                         6
If you have dyslexia and have trouble organising yourself:

      You find it hard to organise your time and meet deadlines;

      Your books and folders are not tidy or sorted in a logical order;

      Your files and folders on your PC are not well organised;

      People sometimes think you are lazy, unmotivated or sloppy because of your
       difficulties with self organisation.

Calculation
If you have dyslexia and have trouble with calculation:

      You find arithmetic and basic numeracy difficult;

      You mistake words or numbers that look similar, for example 3 or 8 or 5;

      You find it hard to copy correctly from the board;

      You often lose your place in calculations like long division;

      You find it difficult to remember signs and symbols;

      You have problems remembering formula and theorems;

      You can‟t seem to remember maths language like „square root‟ or „acute
       angles‟.

Remember! Not everyone who is dyslexic has all of the symptoms (or strengths)
listed above, nor does everyone have the symptoms to the same extent – you are all
unique!




                                  www.q4s.eu                                         7
Learning Skills That May be Affected by Dyslexia
Dyslexia may affect all of your studies to some degree, but the following skills have
been identified as those most likely to pose some challenges for you.




                               Literacy




                               Numeracy




                                 www.q4s.eu                                             8
Literacy and Dyslexia
What is literacy?

Literacy means that you can:

      Read and understand information shown in words, graphs, charts and
       pictures;

      Write and speak so that others can understand you;

      Listen and ask questions to understand other people‟s points of view;

      Share information using ICT such as e-mail and phones.



What is involved in speaking?

      Organising and planning what you want to say;

      Remembering the right words;

      Using the correct grammar;

      Remembering what you want to say next;

      Pronouncing words correctly.

What is involved in listening?

      Understanding sounds and words quickly;

      Being able to tell the difference between spe ech sounds and between words
       that are similar;

      Being able to remember a sequence of information such as instructions;

      Being able to understand 'figures of speech‟ such as „raining cats and dogs‟.

What is involved in reading?

      The ability to read words and sentences to understand a text; and to pick out
       key points, messages and ideas;

      The ability to understand and analyse the text, and to form an opinion about
       what you have read;

      The ability to proof read your work to spot grammar and spelling mistakes;

      Reading aloud clearly.

What is involved in writing?



                                 www.q4s.eu                                            9
      Spelling - making sure that words are spelled correctly;

      Grammar - joining sequences of words to form sentences that make sense;

      Punctuation - using punctuation marks, such as a question mark (?) show how
       a sentence should be read;

      Developing ideas into a written document that has a sensible structure with a
       clear beginning, middle and end;

      Handwriting that is readable and neat.

How does dyslexia affect literacy?

Everyone who has dyslexia is unique. Remember that the difficulties you have will
not necessarily be the same as someone else‟s. The things that help them may not
suit you as well.


If you have dyslexia it means that you are likely to have some difficulty with the
underlying skills needed for reading, writing and spelling.


Spelling
If you have dyslexia and have trouble spelling:

      You might have difficulty with sounding out words c-a-t;

      You may find it hard to memorise spellings;

      You might not be able to spell common words such as „they‟, „what‟, „where‟,
       „does‟ and „because‟ despite lots of practice;

      You might spell words wrong even when you are copying them from the board
       or from a book.

Reading
If you have dyslexia you may have trouble reading:

      Your eyes might get very tired after reading for only a little while;

      You might have difficulty reading for more than a few minutes;

      You may read slowly;

      You might have trouble sorting and choosing materials for study;

      You probably have trouble understanding and remembering what you have
       read;

      You find it hard to „get‟ the main points from what you have read;

      You misread the assignment or examination question.


                                   www.q4s.eu                                         10
Taking Notes

If you have dyslexia and have trouble taking notes:

      You might have difficulty writing and listening at the same time;

      You probably find it hard to take notes and understand what you wrote;

      You may find it difficult „getting‟ the main points;

      You might find it hard to copying quickly and accurately.

Writing
If you have dyslexia and have trouble writing, your difficulties might include: person
writing

      You might have slow and/or messy handwriting that stops you getting your
       ideas down;

      You may find it hard to plan and structure your written work;

      You might have problems sequencing your ideas into a logical order;

      You don‟t find it easy to write with the correct grammar;

      You may not really know how to punctuate sentences;

      You might have difficulty editing and proof-reading your work.

Advice and Guidance for Literacy and Dyslexia
Self help

You should:

      Use some sort of storage system such as drawers, trays or boxes for your
       paperwork or folders. Use pots for pens and pencils to keep your desk well
       organised and tidy.

      Have a drawer just for your stapler, Post It Notes, labels, scissors, spare
       pens, pencils, notebook and calculator. Remember to put things back in the
       drawer when you have finished with them.

      Make an effective filing system (using file names you can remember!) and
       make the time to file papers away regularly. Do the same with your electronic
       files and folders;

      Use a planning system such as a „to do‟ list each day. Cross off each action
       when you‟ve done it. You can also use of the MS Outlook functions such as
       the diary, journal, alarms and tasks. These are simple and easy to use.

      Have a chat with your teacher about adjustments that will allow you to join in
       and be as successful as possible. For example:

                                   www.q4s.eu                                            11
          o Check what technology the school or college can provide, for example
            TextHelp! (for spelling), Inspiration (for mind mapping) and Live scribe
            (for note taking).

          o Buy a cheap coloured overlay in a colour that suits you to use when
            reading.

Support for literacy

Your teachers should:

      Use a range of teaching styles – they know that you find it easier to work with
       visual materials rather than text;

      Advise you about which key books or chapters in books to read. This will
       reduce the amount of reading you have to do.

      Provide a note taker, if necessary, who will write notes on your behalf;

      Give a summary of their session, or let you have their PowerPoint
       presentation before the lesson (online or hard copy) so that you can
       concentrate on listening and understanding rather than having to take notes;

      Show you and the class the „big picture‟ at the start of a new topic or session -
       they should give you an overview of what they will cover in the session;

      Break the teaching session up into chunks, and include time for you to „take it
       in‟ as well as for questions;

      Give you lots of feedback to help you to understand and develop your learning
       skills;

      Help you develop action planning and prioritising skills;

      Use mind maps and simple diagrams not just text;

      Use accessible print.




                                  www.q4s.eu                                          12
Numeracy and Dyslexia
What is numeracy?

If you have good numeracy skills you will be able to take part more easily in
everyday life, and get on in the workplace and in your school or college. If you have
good numeracy skills you can:

      Decide what needs to be measured or calculated;

      Watch, and write down information in the right way;

      Make estimates and check calculations;

      Use maths in everyday situations. For example, you can plan a journey and
       work out how long it will take, what time you need to leave, what time you
       expect to arrive, and how much it will cost you.



Having good numeracy skills will enable you to take an active and responsible role in
your everyday life, your community, the workplace and your school/college. Being
numerate means that you are able to:


What is involved in numeracy?

      Understanding mathematical information:

          o You know how the number system works, and you understand what we
            mean by whole numbers, decimals, fractions and percentages;

          o You know how to use money; you know how to tell the time and
            understand things like temperature, distance, area and volume;

          o You can use maths language like „share‟, „minus‟ and „subtract‟.

      You should be able to calculate and use numbers:

          o Adding up and taking away; multiplying and dividing;

          o Algebra; equations and patterns.

      You should be able to use maths for day-to-day problems in your home,
       college or work life; for example, planning a journey, splitting a restaurant bill
       or cooking.




How does dyslexia affect numeracy?



                                   www.q4s.eu                                               13
Everyone who has dyslexia is unique. Remember that the difficulties you have will
not necessarily be the same as someone else‟s. The things that help them may not
suit you as well.


If you have dyslexia it means that you are likely to have some difficulty with the
underlying skills needed for calculating and using numbers and using maths in a
practical context:


      You might find it difficult to memorise your multiplication tables;


      You may have problems remembering the order in which things should be
       done;


      You might find it hard to be well organised;


      You may make lots of mistakes when you read maths symbols, for example
       you might mistake 5 and 3,or a 6 and 9;


      You might have problems copying quickly and accurately;


      Your handwriting might be messy and difficult to read.


Advice and Guidance for Numeracy and Dyslexia
Self help

You should:

      Don't be scared to just 'have a go' at solving a problem. Make a conscious
       effort try lots of different ways to solve a problem until you get somewhere
       with it. It‟s important to think about how you learn and understand because
       you will be able to apply this knowledge in other similar situations later.

      Use all the information and resources you have. Use your notes from your
       classes. Talk with your friends who are trying the same problem, or who
       already know how to solve it;

      Take advantage of tutorial time with your teacher;




                                  www.q4s.eu                                          14
      Have a pencil and paper handy when you study. When you are working
       through your notes or using a book, it is a very good idea to have a pencil and
       paper handy so that you can write down your own thoughts and working out
       as you go along. This will turn the maths into part of your own thinking;

      Use a calculator to check your results;

      Play games that involve practising some maths skills such as darts (scoring)
       or card games like bridge or poker.

Support for numeracy

Your teachers should:

      Recognise that you understand maths concepts but that you struggle with the
       calculation processes or mathematical language.

      Teach you the whole concept (the big picture) first before teaching the step by
       step approach;

      Show you how to interpret the language of maths;

      Teach you your „finger tables‟ (how to use your fingers for the multiplication
       tables)

      Know that you learn best with use of colour, humour, stories and images,

      Teach you how to use keyboard shortcuts;

      Show you how to customise your desk top and change the background
       colour, font etc;

      Make sure that you understand all the basic rules and     that they repeat the
       „rules‟ even when they have been taught before;

      Break the teaching session up into chunks with pauses for „taking it in‟ and
       time for questions;

      Give you lots of feedback to help you to understand and to develop your skills;

      Help you to organise your time;

      Allow you to use a laptop and technology such as Dragon Naturally Speaking
       (speech recognition software) for class and home work;

      Use accessible print.



Personal Organisation
In order to maximise your success in each of the skills/activities you need to be well
organised: Use some sort of storage system such as drawers, trays or boxes for

                                  www.q4s.eu                                            15
your paperwork or folders; and pots for pens and pencils to keep your area well
organised and tidy.

Have a drawer just for your stapler, Post It Notes, labels, scissors, pencils and pens,
calculator and disks or datasticks, and put things back in the same drawer when you
have finished with them.

Create an effective filing system (using file names you can remember!) and make the
time to file papers away regularly; do the same with your electronic files and folders.

Use a planning system such as a „to do‟ list each day and cross each item off when
completed. You can also make use of the MS Outlook functions such as the diary,
journal, alarms and tasks.




                                  www.q4s.eu                                          16
How to Get the Help Described in this Guide


If you aren‟t getting the help recommended here, print off a copy of this Guide and
use it as a starting point to have a chat with your teacher about what can be done to
make sure you are able to get the most from their teaching.

Remember, you can choose to do this in private if you prefer.




                                 www.q4s.eu                                         17
Useful Links and Resources
Dyslexia

Dyslexia Checklist (So you think you may be dyslexic?)
www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/adults-and-business/i-think-i-might-be-
dyslexic.html

Could it be dyslexia? A video: www.dys-add.com/dysvideo.html

Best resources for Achievement and Intervention re Neurodiversity in Higher
Education (BRAIN.HE) www.brainhe.com/resources/dyslexia_in_adults.html

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia www.dys-add.com/symptoms.html#gifts

Literacy

BBC: Factsheets, worksheets, quizzes and games to help improve your skills
www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/

Dyslexia Checklist (So you think you may be dyslexic?)
www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/adults-and-business/i-think-i-might-be-
dyslexic.html

Could it be dyslexia? (video) www.dys-add.com/dysvideo.html

Best resources for Achievement and Intervention re Neurodiversity in Higher
Education (BRAIN.HE) www.brainhe.com/resources/dyslexia_in_adults.html

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia www.dys-add.com/symptoms.html#gifts

Fingerjig Typing Game - test your typing www.rsc-
northwest.ac.uk/acl/eMagArchive/RSCeMags2007/July07/012eMagazine/fingerjig_ty
ping_game.html

Guide to choosing Dyslexia Friendly Books for Kids
www.waterstones.com/wat/images/special/mag/waterstones_dyslexia_action_guide.
pdf

Numeracy

Dyscalculia – not only trouble with maths
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8Nhjwr6v3A&feature=related

Dyscalculia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLzFccrK8PQ&feature=fvsr

Assistive Technology

Getting organised – some strategies for students: LearnHigher
www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learningareas/timemanagement/gettingorganised.htm

Manage your time: MS Outlook http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/manage-
your-time-with-outlook-HA001205366.aspx


                                www.q4s.eu                                      18
Streamline your office tasks: Microsoft http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-
help/streamlining-your-office-tasks-HA001154360.aspx

Evaluating your efficiency http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/evaluating-
your-efficiency-HA010060190.aspx

Smart pen www.livescribe.com/smartpen/index.html

MS office 2007 has a range of planning tools available; right click on the Office
button, select „new‟, select „templates; select „planners‟




                                  www.q4s.eu                                          19
Financial Support and Disability
In the UK, disabled people under the age of 65 are entitled to Disability Living
Allowance (DLA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is payable to people
with disabilities and/or health issues whose ability to work is reduced. Some disabled
people also qualify for the Motability scheme; this funds low cost vehicles (cars,
wheelchairs, scooters) for those who qualify for the Higher Rate Mobility Component
(HRMC) of the DLA. For financial support to enable people to live independently in
the community rather than in residential care, there is the Independent Living Fund
(ILF). Dependent on income, disabled people can also be entitled to other social
benefits (child tax credits, housing benefits, income support).

Please consult the following websites for further information about the funding
available to disabled students in further education:


Directgov – The UK Government website


      Financial support for disabled people:
       http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/FinancialSupport/index.htm


       Support for disabled young people at college or at 6th form:
       http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/EducationAndTraining/HigherEdu
       cation/DG_4000896


Skill - The National Bureau for Students with Disabilities:


      Benefits available to disabled students:
       http://www.skill.org.uk/page.aspx?c=14&p=147


      Funding available to disabled students in further education:
       http://skillcms.ds2620.dedicated.turbodns.co.uk/page.aspx?p=106&c=10#fe


Disability Alliance - Disabled Students Project which provides details of the finance
and other benefits available to disabled students:
http://www.disabilityalliance.org/skill2.htm




                                  www.q4s.eu                                            20
Telling Other People about Your Disability
Become a powerful self advocate! Think about the effects of your disability on
yourself - and on your classmates and teachers. Give polite guidance on what works
for you in each learning situation.

You should disclose your disability to the school/college and give your teacher a
clear description of your learning and support needs so that they can factor these in
when planning their teaching sessions.

For advice on telling people about your disability please visit the Skill: National
Bureau for Students with Disabilities website (www.skill.org.uk) and download the
document Telling People about Your Disability
(http://www.skill.org.uk/uploads/Tellingpeople.doc) published by the Skill Information
Service. The document has been used in this guide with permission of Skill.

The Skill Telling People about Your Disability document provides a comprehensive
guide to disclosure with sections on:

Understanding the Disability Discrimination Act and disclosure

      Confidentiality

      Reasons for disclosure

      Reasons against disclosure

      Timing a disclosure

      Use your control of the situation – Some key points

      Answering questions about your disability

      Further information

The Skill document is included with permission in the following pages.

Please note:

      You may photocopy this information booklet

      You may quote from this information booklet if you acknowledge the source

      Skill information booklets are available in standard print, large print, Braille,
       audio and disk formats

      Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy. However, Skill cannot
       guarantee factual content.




                                   www.q4s.eu                                              21
The SKILL Document – Telling People about Your disability

Many people ask Skill‟s Information Service whether they should tell a prospective
employer or educational institution that they have a disability. Other people ask at
what stage when applying for a course or for a job is it best to tell people that they
are disabled. The official term for this is „disclosure‟.

You may have a visible impairment but you may feel unhappy about putting personal
or medical details on an application form. Or, you may have a hidden condition and
feel that it may not affect your ability to do a particular course or job. In any case, you
may feel that there is no need to tell anyone right away.

There is no clear-cut answer as to whether you should tell a prospective employer or
institution that you are disabled. You must use your own judgement but the
information in this leaflet can help you make this choice. You can also take advice
from your local Connexions Service or Nextstep service (in England), Careers
Wales, Careers Scotland or Careers Service Northern Ireland, from the careers
service at your college or university, or the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at
your local Jobcentre Plus.

Understanding the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and disclosure

The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) provides rights for disabled people in
employment (Part 2), the provision of goods and services (Part 3) and education
(Part 4).

Your rights

The DDA says that employers or education providers are not allowed to discriminate
against you because you are disabled. What this means is that they are not allowed
to treat you less favourably because you are disabled (for example, not employing
you or admitting you to a course because of this) and that they must make
reasonable adjustments to enable you to do a course or a job (for example, provide
specialist equipment or software).

Employers’ and institutions’ duties

When making reasonable adjustments, educational institutions have an „anticipatory‟
duty, which means that they have to anticipate the needs of all disabled people. This
may mean making more general adjustments to services, policies, procedures and
premises before a disabled person actually applies. Employers do not have this
anticipatory duty and only need to make adjustments when they know about your
disability.

In order for an education provider or employer to discriminate against a disabled
person, they „must have known or reasonably have known‟ about a person‟s
disability. However, in order for them to say that they did not know about your
disability, they must have taken „reasonable steps‟ to find out about it.




                                   www.q4s.eu                                            22
Reasonable steps to find out about your disability include asking on an application
form for a job, your UCAS or college application form or asking on your enrolment
form. It may be that your employer undertakes staff monitoring from time to time or
that they offer confidential sessions with the Human Resources (HR) department to
discuss any job-related issues. Most universities or colleges have disability officers
who offer drop-in sessions to discuss disability-related issues in confidence, even
before you have started your course.

In the section that follows, you will find out more information to help you decide
whether to tell people about your disability in the initial application stages. You will
see that there are many more reasons for telling people than against, but it is up to
you to make the decision.

It is important to understand, however, that under the DDA if your potential employer
or institution has made reasonable attempts to find out about your disability and you
have not told them about it, you will not be able to make a claim for discrimination
under the DDA.

Confidentiality

You have a right to the information about your disability being kept confidential. In
addition, disability information is considered as „personal sensitive‟ information under
the Data Protection Act so cannot be passed on to others without your permission.
Should you not want anybody else to know, then you can request that this
information is not passed on and you should make this clear when you are filling out
the form. Many educational institutions will have a policy outlining which members of
staff will be told about your disability and this might include the disability officer, your
personal tutor, exams officer and individual lecturers.

Even if you request that nobody else knows you have a disability, employers and
education providers still have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for you.
However, it may be that the most appropriate adjustment cannot be made. For
example, you may prefer to record a lecture rather than have a note-taker in the
lecture with you because you do not want other people asking you about why you
have a note-taker.




                                   www.q4s.eu                                              23
Reasons for telling people about your disability

   1. Employment and education are covered by the DDA

       An employer or education provider cannot lawfully refuse you a job or place
       on a course just because you are disabled or because they do not want to
       make a reasonable adjustment. So, if you do tell people about your disability
       and feel that you have been treated unfairly in the application, admissions or
       interview process because of this, you can make an official complaint under
       the DDA.

       If you have been given opportunities to tell people about your disability and
       you do not, then the employer or education provider could say that they did
       not know and you would not have a case for discrimination.

See Skill‟s information leaflet The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 for further
information.

   2. Most employers and education providers have equal opportunities
      policies/disability statements

       Most employers and education providers have equal opportunities policies or
       statements and therefore a certain commitment to admissions, recruiting and
       employing without prejudice. You can ask to see the policy or disability
       statement or ask what they do to ensure equal opportunities. You may feel
       more comfortable disclosing your disability if there is a statement that they will
       not discriminate against you. If there is a written policy, this will give a basis
       for an appeal if you feel you have been discriminated against.

   3. Some employers are keen to employ disabled people

       Look out for the „two ticks‟ Disability Symbol on job
       advertisements, awarded by the Jobcentre Plus. This means the
       employer has made some commitment to employing disabled
       people. The „two ticks‟ Symbol also means a guaranteed job
       interview if you meet the minimum criteria of the person
       specification. Also, look out for positive statements about disability or equal
       opportunities. In some cases, a disability may be viewed as an additional
       qualification.

   4. It is an opportunity to describe your disability positively

       Your experiences may have provided you with skills that are useful in the
       specific job or course. For example, having a personal assistant involves
       additional skills such as organisational skills, communication skills or
       managing a budget. You can use this as an opportunity to talk about your
       disability in a positive way. If you decide to give people this information when
       you are ready to do so, you will be more confident. If you are forced to explain
       at a later stage, you may find it harder to explain the positive aspects of your
       disability.


                                  www.q4s.eu                                             24
5. Many application forms or medical questionnaires for jobs and certain
   courses (e.g. medicine) ask direct questions about disability and health

   If you give false information about this, and your employer or education
   provider finds out the truth later, you could risk losing your job or place on a
   course.

   If your disability has any implications for your health and safety or that
   of colleagues, there is an obligation to inform employers under the
   Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)

   If an accident happens as a result of your disability, and you had not told your
   employer about it, you as an employee could be judged legally responsible
   (although prosecutions are very rare).

   Although there is no law specifically governing you on a course at an
   institution, you should talk to someone about any health and safety
   implications of your disability if it may impact on your course – for example, if
   you are working in labs, or with chemicals, or with young children.

6. There is funding available for making adjustments

   In both education and employment there is funding available to make
   adjustments and your employer or education provider may not always be
   aware of this. In further education, colleges are given money to pay for
   adjustments. In higher education, you may be eligible for Disabled Students‟
   Allowances, which can pay for the cost of additional equipment, non-medical
   helpers or extra study support that you may need. In employment, the Access
   to Work scheme, operated through JobCentre Plus is available to help to fund
   specialist equipment or extra transport costs.

   Employers can also get free advice on adaptations to the workplace for a
   disabled employee or applicant from the Disability Employment Adviser at the
   local Jobcentre Plus.

   For more information see Skill‟s booklets

         Funding further education for disabled students

         Funding higher education for disabled students

         Help for disabled jobseekers from Jobcentre Plus

7. Adjustments can be put in place earlier

   The earlier that you tell people about your disability, the easier it will be for
   adjustments to be put in place in time for you to start your course or your job.
   Talking to the disability officer or HR department about adjustments will
   enable them to make arrangements before you start working or studying.




                               www.q4s.eu                                             25
8. You might build a better working relationship

   A working relationship is often better when both people involved feel they can
   be open about issues that are relevant to the job or course. You may want to
   build up a relationship with your supervisor or tutor before disclosing your
   disability to them.

9. You might need to explain aspects of your CV (curriculum vitae) or
   application form

   Your disability might account for aspects of your CV or application that may
   otherwise count against you. You may, for example, have a gap in educational
   history or career which may have been due to a rehabilitation period or you
   may have had to retake your examinations due to a period of illness.

10. Your disability information is confidential

   Information about a disability is protected both by the DDA and the Data
   Protection Act as it is considered to be personal, sensitive information.
   Therefore, this information cannot be passed onto others without permission
   from you and it needs to be processed in a confidential manner.




                             www.q4s.eu                                          26
Reasons against telling people about your disability

  1. You may have concerns about discrimination or being rejected by
     people with pre-set ideas about the effects of disability

     You may feel that the competition for jobs and course places may mean that
     employers and education providers will look no further than a disability and
     not look at your abilities. You may feel that an employer or education provider
     will automatically see you as a „problem‟ and possibly a potential expense.

  2. You may have concerns that it will give the employer or education
     provider the chance to label you by disability

     You may feel that an employer or education provider will see your disability as
     the only or most important thing about you or make assumptions about what
     you can and cannot do on the basis of your disability.

  3. You may not want to discuss your disability with a stranger

     You may feel that the application process does not allow the time or space for
     someone to get an accurate understanding of your disability, or that you find it
     difficult to explain it in words on an application form.

  4. You may feel your disability may have no effect on your ability to do a
     job or course

     You may feel that your disability is not relevant to the job or course, and so
     there is no reason to tell people about it. However, you should bear in mind
     that you may need adjustments as your course or job develops.




                                www.q4s.eu                                            27
When is the best time to tell people about your disability?

After weighing up the pros and cons of disclosure, you may decide you do want tell
people about your disability. The next important decision is at what stage of the
application process you should do this. The information below sets out the options
available to you.

On the application form

Some application forms ask direct questions about disability, so you can give all the
details that you feel are important at this point. The UCAS form, for example, has a
section where you can detail any additional study support needs you may have. You
may feel that your disability, and your life experiences due to your disability, increase
your ability to do a job or course. You may also wish to include information in the
section on the application form that asks about why you feel you are suitable for the
job.

On medical questionnaires

You may be asked direct questions about disability and health on a medical
questionnaire. Whether you will need to fill one out, and at what stage you do this,
depends on the type of job or course. You will have to answer honestly. If your
disability has any health implications, you will need to put this down on this form.

On equal opportunities monitoring forms

An employer may have a separate equal opportunities monitoring form which they
ask all applicants to fill in. This form is for them to see that the mix of people applying
for their jobs matches the mix of people in society. If it does not, they may need to
change where they advertise job vacancies.

These equal opportunities forms are not used to judge your application. They are
separated from the main application form, usually by Personnel or Human
Resources, at an early stage. This means that the people who decide which
candidates to interview do not see these forms. They should judge the applicants on
the basis of their skills and work experience only.

In a covering letter or personal statement

If you need to provide a covering letter with your CV or a personal statement with
your application form, you could mention your disability in this. It could also be
mentioned in your CV, for example if you have been to a school or specialist college
for disabled people.

Before going for an interview

If you are invited for an interview and need practical support, such as a sign
language interpreter or help getting to the interview, you could contact your employer
or education provider to arrange this. It is much easier for employers to respond to
your needs if they can prepare in advance. It will also show how you can manage



                                   www.q4s.eu                                            28
matters relating to your disability, and may also improve how well you do at an
interview. You will feel more relaxed if you know the right support will be in place.

At the interview

You may have a disability that is visible and it may surprise them if you have come
this far in the application process and not said that you have a disability (even if it
has no effect on your ability to do the job). They may end up asking irrelevant
questions about your disability that you could have simply explained in the
application form. This time should be spent explaining how you are suitable for the
job, not focusing on any disability.

Talking about your disability at an interview may be difficult. This is especially true if
you do not find it easy to discuss personal matters in such an environment. It may be
easier to put any relevant information down on paper when you first apply rather than
having to deal with it in a face-to-face situation when you may be nervous. You will
also have the time to prepare what to say, rather than having to come up with what
to say at the interview. But you may feel happy to tackle this kind of question in an
interview. You may be better at explaining your disability by talking about it, rather
than putting it in writing.

Use your control of the situation - some key points when disclosing your
disability

      Do not assume that an employer or education provider will view your
       disability in a negative way.

       There are now over four hundred company members of the Employers‟ Forum
       on Disability and each is committed to improving the job prospects of disabled
       people. The Jobcentre Plus awards the „two ticks‟ Disability Symbol to
       organisations that commit themselves to promoting opportunities for disabled
       people. Other organisations may have good equal opportunities policies but
       not have the „two tick‟ symbol, so find out more about the organisations or
       companies you want to work for.

       Most higher and further education institutions have a disability officer (or
       equivalent, such as a learning support manager) who will be able to give you
       advice about your disability and your course.

      Always think about what you want to do first and then start thinking
       about the types of support you might need, if any.

      If you decide when to tell people about your disability, you will have
       more control over the way it is seen.

       You can describe your disability in a positive way as well as any positive
       effects it has had on your life. For example, if you have a hearing impairment
       your other communication skills may be strong, such as attention and use of
       eye contact or body language. If you want to work with the public your
       awareness of disability may improve your service to disabled people.


                                  www.q4s.eu                                              29
      If you are invited for an interview, do not allow them to dwell on your
       disability

       Sometimes it can be tempting to use the interview as a chance to air past
       grievances. However, do not allow them to dwell on any negative aspects as
       employers and tutors will want you to be positive and enthusiastic.

      Think about what your disability has taught you.

       What skills can be transferred into the workplace or onto your course? Some
       application forms ask questions about your strengths and weaknesses, and
       your most important achievements. These can form the basis of a declaration,
       for example:

          o Because of my hearing loss I have developed a good level of
            concentration. This is demonstrated in my ability to analyse
            spreadsheets and make performance-related forecasts.

          o Having restricted mobility has meant that I have developed an interest
            in Information Technology at an early age and have worked with a
            range of software.

Also, admitting the difficulties you have had and stressing the ways you have found
to overcome them shows maturity and determination to an employer.

Questions about your disability once you are in a job or on a course

Once you have started your job or your course, you may find that your colleagues or
fellow students may show some prejudices, especially if they have had limited
contact with disabled people or knowledge of disability. This could be the case even
if people are genuinely committed to equal opportunities and the employment of
disabled people and even if staff have been on all the relevant courses!

People may ask lots of questions about your disability. This may be relevant if it is
about how you may best be supported. For example:

      Is this print large enough?

      Is this lighting OK?

      Are the shelves at the right height?

However, you may have to deal with irrelevant personal questions about your
disability, such as:

      How much can you see?

      What is wrong with your legs?

      How much can you hear?

      When did it happen?


                                     www.q4s.eu                                         30
Also, people may not be aware of subtle things that you may have to explain to
them, for example:

      your condition may vary

      you may be able to read small print but trip over a chair

      you may be able to hear one type of sound better than another (such as
       men's voices as opposed to women's and vice versa)

      your speech may be clearer one day and not so clear the next.

Some people can be awkward and embarrassed, preventing you from bonding with
colleagues or fellow students. They may have negative expectations about what you
are able to do, and see only the disability and not other things about you. Being
good-humoured and helping people to be relaxed about your disability can go a long
way to breaking down barriers. Of course, there is no excuse for people making
offensive comments, either through ignorance or prejudice, and harassment of
disabled people is specifically covered by the DDA. You should speak to your line
manager at work or the disability officer at your institution about this and how you
can use the internal grievance or complaints procedures and the protection of the
DDA.


Further information

You may find it helpful to talk through any concerns you have about disclosing your
disability. You can talk to the disability officer in your institution or a general or
specialist careers adviser at your local Connexions Service or Nextstep service (in
England), Careers Wales, Careers Scotland or Careers Service Northern Ireland;
also the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at the Jobcentre Plus should have
experience of working with disabled people applying for jobs. You may wish to talk to
other disabled people about how they felt when disclosing their disability. A local
group of disabled people may be able to help you as may the following
organisations:

Association of Disabled Professionals: http://www.adp.org.uk/

British Council of Disabled People (BCODP): http://www.bcodp.org.uk/




                                  www.q4s.eu                                        31
A Case Study
(Spelling has been corrected by the project team)



My name‟s Georgia and I‟m doing a graphic design course at my college. I
love the course but it‟s quite hard, specially the exams we have and there
seem to be lots of them!



I‟m dyslexic and my mum has told me that it‟s probably because I‟m dyslexic
that I‟m so creative (she‟s always reading up about dyslexia as my little
brother has it too, only worse than me and he‟s always getting into trouble at
school). I love art and fashion and I make a lot of my own clothes. My friends
think I‟m like Gok because I just sort of add accessories to outfits to make
them look different and fab.



I get some special support at college but it‟s nothing like the remedial classes I
used to have in junior and secondary school, I hated those. The Special
Needs teacher used to come and get us out of class, it was just, like, so
embarrassing. My tutor at college is really good, she helps me to understand
the questions on the assignments we get otherwise I get in a right mess and
answer a question they haven‟t even asked. She‟s always calm, even when
I‟m tearing my hair out with all the pressure I‟m under. She just helps me to
break everything down into little pieces and shows me how to things a step at
a time – it really, really me. God knows what I‟d do without her!



My Disabilities and Me

Dyscalculia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms5N1X6CYAM

The images of the people used in this guide are not the images of the people in the
case studies.




                                 www.q4s.eu                                           32

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:7/12/2011
language:English
pages:32