Over the years we have worked with many students with dyslexia. In its simplest form, the condition is characterised by trouble with reading; either text or numbers often, in the words of one of our students, ‘just jump around on the page’.
Can we take the stigma out of dyslexia please? The people we have trained are bright, intelligent and articulate they just have trouble with reading. To the uninformed trainer, the student may come across as lazy, or careless, not trying hard enough/uncommitted to the task in hand. The impression of ‘zoning out’ or ‘a daydreamer’ can be frustrating to us as trainers so we must always look to see if there’s an underlying reason.
During the time a student is training with us, we are learning to notice signs, for example, I was marking the chartwork paper of the Yachtmaster exam and saw that the candidate had drawn the tidal line arrows in the opposite direction, yet all indications from the rest of his work showed an understanding of the concept. It was like a red flag going up and we were able to assist the candidate further by providing more time in the remainder of his studies.
During the build of our website we chose a specific font (sans serif and evenly spaced) for easier reading; we avoid justification in our text as it creates uneven spaces between letters and words; we choose bold rather than italic when we wish to emphasis a particular word or sentence. Within the classroom environment we try to avoid using a plain white background and provide information sheets on a recycled buff-coloured paper to be easier on the eye. Any information sheets we provide are carefully prepared using short sentences with minimum technical language.
We include a lot of hands-on learning, visual aids and video to take the emphasis away from any text heavy teaching. We provide ‘sea through’ coloured folders that can be used as a filter over normal paper (we’ve found that the colour yellow works well).
Now we have successfully moved into our new location we can now provide alternative training areas: should the need arise, we can split groups into smaller, specialised units providing a unique instructor that will run the shorebased courses at a different pace.
Dyslexia is an invisible disability and we can be more effective as trainers if you talk to us about your own personal experience and how we can best help you. We won’t know what’s best for you as the condition affects everyone in different ways, but what we have done is a lot of research about how we can best prepare for you on a general level. We will always prefer to speak with you privately and discreetly so please make time to meet with us, in advance if possible.
Allow us to help you and being open with us about any learning difficulty will ensure we are best prepared to make your student experience a positive one.
Aigua Sea School #itsallaboutyou
C/d’Espartero 8, 07014 Palma
Tel: +34 871 230 373