Specific learning difficulties (SpLD)
The term 'specific learning difficulty' (SpLD) covers a range of learning differences that impact on your study. The support we provide depends on your specific learning difficulty and how it’s likely to affect your studies.
The list below shows examples of specific learning difficulties and some of the main effects on your skills.
- Dyslexia: Reading, writing and memory (due to effects on how information is stored and processed).
- Dyspraxia (developmental coordination disorder): Motor coordination.
- Dyscalculia: Understanding maths concepts.
- Dysgraphia: Difficulties with handwriting.
- Attention deficit disorder (with or without hyperactivity): Ability to concentrate (listening skills).
Your previous learning experiences will help you to know what works for you. To provide evidence of your specific learning difficulty and identify your study needs, you can take a diagnostic assessment.
Getting the right resources for you
Make sure your student profile explains what you as an individual find difficult and the areas where you require support. Have a preliminary discussion with your tutor and request things that might help you.
To check the accessible formats available on a module go to the module website from StudentHome and look under the Resources heading for a link to Downloads. You could also look up your module in the online prospectus.
You can also take a look at adjustments available by study elements to see what we can offer you. There are a range of study skills booklets available to students.
Support from tutors
At the start of your module discuss with your tutor how you prefer to learn and what might help you. This could include using a portable recorder during tutorials instead of writing notes, arranging an extra individual tutorial if required or agreeing extra time to help you complete an assignment. If you struggle during your studies your tutor can help you get back on track. You can find their contact details in Contact the OU.
You may need individual arrangements for your exam such as extra time or rest breaks.
During exams, try to use the same method of producing written work as you do for assignments. If you're used to producing work using a computer with additional spellchecking or grammar software ask to do this in your exams too.
Make your exam arrangements in good time as we’ll need documentary evidence (such as an assessment report) to support your request.
If your module has a compulsory residential school we’ll work with you to make your stay beneficial and effective. Discuss disability support at residential school with an adviser as early in your module as possible to give us enough time to make arrangements.
An online school, which meets the same core learning requirements may be available so you can fulfil the module requirements if you can't go to residential school in person.