Optimising Opportunities for Dyslexic Students during their Industrial Placement

By Glynis Perkin.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

During the course of the project 17 dyslexic students were interviewed. These students were on industrial placement or returned from industrial placement, which is of one year duration. The industrial placement is paid employment that is undertaken between the second and third year of undergraduate study by many students in the UK. It was determined that, whilst some difficulties with written communication were experienced, there were other areas where students believed that their visualisation skills, often referred to as a visual way of thinking, were an asset in the workplace. Many of the students also felt that the workplace was more dyslexia friendly than university. However, six of the interviewed students were adamant that they would not apply for a position in a company where the recruitment procedure was to use verbal reasoning or numeracy testing. This was of some concern, many large employers use this form of assessment and therefore students who wish to avoid this have significantly reduced the number of companies to whom they can apply.

This paper will highlight student opinions through direct quotations and refer to a workshop that has been developed for dyslexic students who are seeking industrial placements or applying for graduate positions.

This will enable Loughborough University to be pro-active in this area, in supporting the needs of students with Specific Learning Difficulties, which is a legal requirement in the UK under the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act 2001.

Keywords: Diversity, Dyslexia, Employability, Higher Education, Employers, Industrial Placement

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp.121-134. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.202MB).

Dr. Glynis Perkin

Progression Project Officer, The Engineering Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, The Mathematics Education Centre, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

Glynis entered Loughborough University in 1999, after working in industry for over 20 years, to read for a master's degree in Mathematics. She graduated with a 2:1 honours classification in 2003. In October 2003 she joined the Mathematics Education Centre (MEC) as a research student under the supervision of Dr. A.C. Croft. In 2007 she was awarded a PhD for her research into Mathematics Learning Support and Dyslexia in Higher Education. Glynis is now employed by Loughborough University as Progression Project Officer, working in both the Engineering Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (engCETL) and the MEC. Her work focuses on supporting students with their mathematics at the transition to university, providing one-to-one mathematics support to dyslexic students, developing and running key skills workshops and three-day enterprise events.

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