The latest BRITE seminar looked at the topic of screening for Specific Literacy Difficulties. During this one-day event, 24 delegates from across Scotland explored the range of tools available, and investigated best practice when collating information and presenting it as evidence of need.
The packed event included presenters from Scottish further education colleges, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) and BRITE.
Representatives from Cardonald, Adam Smith and Inverness Colleges set the scene by sharing their experiences of using different systems, discussing both the benefits and the frustrations involved.
Presenters and delegates addressed the tensions that exist between a needs-led model and the requirement to have ‘evidence of disability’ which is rooted in a medical model. The group also looked at the context in which needs assessments take place – acknowledging the demands that exist from external bodies such as SQA, City and Guilds and SAAS.
There was active participation and contribution throughout the day from the whole group, who appreciated the clarity and openness from SAAS. Everyone agreed that there should be further dialogue to help improve the process for SAAS, needs assessors and, most importantly, students.
Overall, the focus was on good practice in sourcing and producing robust, credible evidence of dyslexia. The group was also reminded of the need for assessments to be student-centred, needs-led, and contextualised, fitting in with the BRITE Framework for Needs Assessment.
The BRITE Online Guide to Dyslexia provides a plain-talking introduction to the assessment process. The guide, which uses engaging images and video, is aimed at students and provides useful information as a voice-over.