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Supporting Students with Dyslexia in Higher Education

Making the transition to TAFE or uni can be challenging for everyone, but to offers extra challenges for those with dyslexia. These students will often have had tools and supports to get them through school that may not have made the transition with them to TAFE or Uuni. These are some simple steps you can take to support your students with dyslexia to achieve their best.

Reading lists

  • Everyone gets a reading list, but distinguishing the essential reading in that list from the useful-but- not-critical reading is really useful for students who can feel overwhelmed by a long list of heavy reading.
  • Get in early! The more time your students who have dyslexia have with their reading list the more it will benefit them.
  • Tailor your list. Providing guidance on key texts is very helpful to contextualise the reading for students who have dyslexia.
  • Allow for deep focus. An in-depth study of a small number of texts is often more manageable than a broad study of many.

Procedures and processes

  • When you require work that needs a sequence of steps to be followed, ensure your sequence is clear. Provide the steps  verbally and in writing to allow students to refer to.

Assistive technology

  • You might notice that some of your students use assistive technology to support their learning. This family of technologies is frequently growing and changing, talk to your student about what they use if you’re curious.

Variety is the spice of life – and learning

  • Wherever possible, present your material in more than one way. If it’s projected or written on a whiteboard,  talk the material through as well. Handouts,  worksheets, overheads and videos are all great. It’s also important to note that many people who have dyslexia particularly struggle  with whiteboards.
  • Variety isn’t just important for mode of teaching delivery, but also for method. Using a variety of methods helps to avoid students feeling restricted to reading to find what they need. Diagrams are also great – lists, flow charts  and concept maps are all useful.

Learn more about dyslexia and how you can help to provide a supportive environment at work and school in our other factsheets and at

Download Supporting Students_Further_Education 2018 now.

Reviewed by Sandra Hargreaves Educational expert and co-author with  Jamie Crabb Educational Consultant on the book Study Skills For Students With Dyslexia, Support For Specific Learning Differences (Splds) Third Edition, 2016.




  • Teaching and assessment strategies, see the Australian Disability Clearing house,
  • Study Skills For Students With Dyslexia, Support For Specific Learning Differences (Splds) 3rd Edition, 2016.
  • Dyslexia and Learning styles Second Edition: A Practitioner’s Handbook, 2008
  • SPELD Foundation (2014) What is Dyscalculia, Retrieved on 3 January 2017. Available from
  • British Dyslexic Association (2015) Dyscalculia, Retrieved on 25 January 2016. Available from http://www.bdadyslexia.