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Keynote manchester-Lizzie-Sherwood

Keynote manchester-Lizzie-Sherwood



First hand experience of the DSA assessment system. Presented at the iansyst DSA roadshow

First hand experience of the DSA assessment system. Presented at the iansyst DSA roadshow



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    Keynote manchester-Lizzie-Sherwood Keynote manchester-Lizzie-Sherwood Presentation Transcript

      10 June 2011
      Lizzie Sherwood
      Exeter Access Centre
    • My perspective on DSA
      Assessor best practice
      Matching technology to students’ needs
      Potential challenges faced
      Process frustrations
      Thought provoking queries on the DSA systems !!
    • Getting there !
      Teaching or medicine?
      Voluntary work with severely disabled children
      Trained to teach ESN(S) children
      Kept discovering children who did not fit
      Finding out more about Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
      Having children with different SpLDs
      Re-training about 12 years ago
    • Leads to a continuous
      awareness of needs
    • Why me ?
      Widest range of assessments
      40% Dyslexia
      25% Other SpLD mixtures
      10% Autistic Spectrum
      25% Physical and complex mixtures
    • 5 Years ago
      80% Dyslexia
      10% Other SpLD mixtures
      1% Autistic Spectrum
      9% Physical and complex mixtures
      18 year old female student
      Rectal atresia - a rare anorectal deformity
      Corrective hip surgery – now one leg is shorter than the other
      Lower limb deformity – feet / toes
      Hypomobility syndrome – low muscle tone / ligaments
      Hearing – deaf in right ear
      Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (as a result of sexual abuse)
      Anxiety / Depression
      Immature 18 year old male student
      • Blind in right eye
      • Asperger Syndrome
      • Specific Learning Difficulties
      • Spatial / orientation problems
      • Anxiety – fear of being attacked
    • Do I need to prioritise one disability more than another to provide the best range of support?
      Deaf and Dyslexic students
      Access Unit for Deaf and Disabled Students - Bristol
      BSL – gives rise to specific literacy problems
      different to those of typical Dyslexic students.
      You need to understand the linguistic structure of BSL
      to differentiate what is a typical BSL related problem
      and what could be Dyslexia.
    • Assessor best practice
      Sharing specialist knowledge
      Making friends at SFE
      Inviting suppliers to give personal training
      E-mailing a person
      4-6 training sessions
      Product knowledge
      Improving products
    • textHELP Read&Write GOLD
      Listening to proposed new voices and giving feedback
      Attending regional feedback sessions and explaining how student REALLY use the software
      Suggesting improvements
      Improved dictionary
    • Improved Dictionary
      Christine Maxwell
      Dictionary ofPurrfikt
      Perfect Spelling(Revised Edition)
      ISBN 1-84299-281-3
    • Assessor best practice
      Listen carefully to HOW the student explains an issue
      – this is not a TEST !
      Explain the process of what happens once the interview is over
      Can often pick up another concern, even another disability
      Students relax and tell you more
      Process helpsheet
    • DSA Application Process
    • Can be a confusing process
      More information needs to be given to students in FE Colleges and Sixth Forms
      Having copies of all the documents available well in advance of the start of term (4 months)
      Having student mentors who can give support and advice to fellow students
      Photocopy ABSOLUTELY everything sent as documents go missing very easily
    • TOP TIPS
      Remember that TWO SpLDs and / or additional / multiple disabilities substantially compounds the difficulty experienced
      Learning from students - they know a lot about their own difficulties, which is particularly useful if it is something unusual
      More pro-active students often have brilliant solutions that are not expensive and are not on equipment lists
    • What is this?
    • Can you remember ?
    • Matching technology to student need
      My dyslexia is just who I am, I have no memory, my organisation is poor and my handwriting is awful ! I’m really excited about my course as I get to work on farms here and abroad.
      My reading is fine – its slow but I allow for that I like to take my time and in the legal profession you need to read everything a least twice anyhow – I’m best at talking and I listen well, which is why I want to be a barrister.
      By the time I was 8 years old I could program in 4 languages and I work in all formats. I’ve chosen a 4 year course that allows for this.
    • What’s in a name?
      Does it matter what the SpLD is called as long as the support given is appropriate?
    • Super-Specific SpLDs
      Working Memory problems
      The ability to hold and manipulate information in the mind over a short period of time. Working memory provides a mental notebook for storing information used in the course of our everyday lives. Either our juggling fails because there is too much information or, most likely, a minor distraction results in a complete loss of the poorly stored information.
      e.g. Mental arithmetic; taking in directions
      Need to make ‘units of information’ more meaningful.
      It is a processing deficit rather than a specific literacy problem.
      Working Memory and Learning – University of York
      Susan Gathercole and Tracy Packiam Alloway
    • Potential challenges
      Finding out about the facilities available at a specific University during vacations
      Considering what are ‘reasonable’ adjustments
      Convincing the ‘independent thinking’ student that they need more support than they consider essential
    • Process frustrations
      e-mailing SFE and just getting a computer generated reply
      Indicating a ‘preferred quote’ with well-reasoned evidence to support the choice and having it ignored by SFE
      Not always knowing which quote has been chosen
    • Thought provoking queries on DSA systems !
    • Thought provoking queries on DSA systems !
      A student books an assessment at his nearest centre. He tells Assessor 1 he already has a modern, high-spec, fully functioning laptop, so he gets a tailor-made quote allowing for this. Then he hears that another centre gives more generous ‘packages’ heedless of equipment already owned. He books in, he does not say he has already had an assessment. Assessor 2 recommends a new laptop as well as other appropriate support.
      SFE will only pay for one assessment.
    • Thought provoking queries on DSA systems !
      Everyone has a laptop these days – or gets one when they go to University.
      Therefore, Dyslexic students only need additional bits of software, a digital recorder and some specialist study support.
    • Thought provoking queries on DSA systems !
      Students have been known to sell-on their DSA equipment via e-bay !
      How would you deal with is ?
      Do we have a duty to recover the goods ?
      Should the student be penalised ?
    • Conclusions
      Every disabled student deserves a well-reasoned objective assessment
      It is the professional (impartial) balance achieved between the assessor and SFE that makes this a fair system
      A problem shared is often a problem solved !
    • Recommended Reading
      That’s the Way I Think – David Grant – Routledge Dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD explained - ISBN 978-0-415-56464-9
      The Passionate Mind – Wendy Lawson – JKP
      How People with Autism Learn
      - ISBN 978-1-84905-121-7
      Aspergirls – Rudy Simone - JKP
      Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome
      - ISBN 978-1-84905-826-1
    • Contact Information
      Disability Advice
      Specialist Teacher Diagnostic Assessments