Dyslexic tales

Needs Assessment

Friday 9th November 2012

Well I have had my Needs Assessment top-up which, for those of you who don’t know, is when the student support analyse what you need to keep pace with everyone else.

So what was the verdict?

  • Well luckily they have upped the amount of time I get with a support worker checking my spelling etc. I already get an hour but that’s only enough time to look through half of what I’m producing at the moment. There is smoke coming off this keyboard!
  • I also get 2 hours with an organiser and support person, but this is more to keep the anxiety levels down. I do get extreme reactions, one of which is that after a lecture I can feel that I’m just not good enough and unless I can talk it through it can hang around like some murky cloud.
  • I will also be getting some technical equipment – a computer, printer etc and a dictaphone. No more missing lecture notes – it’s the author names I never catch or if I catch them I can’t spell them, then when I look back I can’t read what I wrote.
  • I’m getting two bits of software as well:
  1. Dragon Naturally Speak – thank goodness! I can’t type. In fact it is the worst thing that I can do. If I look at the page, the screen and the keyboard I just get lost. So I’m forever trying to find my place. It means that 1000 words can take 3 hours to type. BUT dragon will let me tell my computer the story and it will type. Hopefully I will catch up with the work and not have a stack of stories waiting to be typed up. The assessor (a really nice woman called Sarah) also said that I can plug-in my dictaphone and it will type up the lecture! Wow!
  2. Inspiration – this is a clever bit of software… It allows you to work on a mind map and then transfers it into a list that automatically becomes a plan for your story. For someone who can sometimes write the story but not necessarily in the right order, it’s great.

So with this help I should be able to stop running around like a headless chicken trying to juggle stories and get them ready on time (and not half an hour before the lecture is about to start). The down side is that I can see this taking a month or so to set up, but at least it will be there to help for the next term, which is even heavier on the assignments than this!


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