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Support when studying with an SpLD 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

Have you told us your support needs? If not, you can see how to do this on Telling the OU about your disability. If you've already shared this information with us you'll be able to see it on your student profile. Make sure your student profile explains what you find difficult and the areas where you need support. Have a preliminary discussion with your tutor and request things that will help you.

To check the accessible formats available on a module go to your module website and look under the Resources section for a link to Downloads. You can also check the accessibility statement for your module in the online prospectus.

To find out more about the support we can offer take a look at adjustments available by study elements. There's also 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.

Exam arrangements

For more information on how to get extra support for exams, see Exam arrangements for disabled students. Make your exam arrangements in good time as we’ll need documentary evidence (such as an assessment report) to support your request.

Residential school

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.

If you can't go to residential school in person, there may be an online school which meets the same core learning requirements for your module.

Last updated 2 months ago