BUSINESS Management graduate Jennifer Sleet has been sharing her experiences of dyslexia with Boyzone’s Shane Lynch for a Channel 5 documentary series which will air this Autumn.
22-year-old Jennifer was approached by the makers of My Secret Past after finding out she was Dyslexic and Dyspraxic at a Dyslexia screening a month before she graduated from MMU in July.
The programme involves former boyband member Shane Lynch, who found out he was dyslexic six years ago, speaking to other people with Dyslexia about their experiences.
The makers particularly wanted to talk to Jennifer to see how she was coping with her recent diagnosis and how it was impacting her life.
“It was actually one of my friends who suggested I went for a screening, I had been asking her to proofread my essays, and she thought something might be up.
“None of my teachers at school had noticed it, despite the fact I have always struggled with reading and when I was diagnosed so many things started to make sense, my IQ is actually really high but problems with spelling were bringing it down.
“I’d tell anyone who thinks they might be dyslexic to go and get screened, I struggled for years, I would avoid doing things like taking lecture notes and doing a lot of reading, but there is a lot of help out there, and even just knowing why certain things are difficult helps.”
MMU provides dyslexia screening for any student who thinks they may be dyslexic, which can be booked through the Learner Development Service.
Once a student has a diagnosis they attend an appointment with an educational psychologist for a full assessment.
This is then used to draw up a personal learning plan and discuss the specific support available from the university, and any entitlement to Disabled Students’ Allowances, which the student may be able to claim.
“Unfortunately it was a bit late for me, as I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in the final month of my degree, but it helped a bit, I got a laptop, colour overlay and 25% extra time on my last exams so it was definitely worth me speaking to the University about it,” Jennifer added.
Students who already have a diagnosis of dyslexia should make a personal learning plan appointment with the Learner Development Service to make sure they have the correct support during their time at university.
Steve Lee of the Learner Development Service said, “We were really pleased to be able to help Jennifer, even though her specific learning difficulties were not identified until very late in her course.
“We would echo Jennifer’s advice for students who feel they might have dyslexia to contact the Learner Development Service for advice as early as possible. In addition to the internal support that we arranged for Jennifer, we can also help students to apply for externally funded support through Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). As the application process for DSAs can take several months, it is very important to start this process early.
“There is clear evidence that students accessing disability support are better able to achieve their full potential at university. If students are unclear whether they are eligible for support, they should contact us for advice. We are available to take queries from current and prospective students throughout the year.”
There are advice centres in the new Business School & Student Hub on the All Saints campus in Manchester (telephone 0161 247 3491 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) and on the Crewe campus in Cheshire (telephone 0161 247 5725 or e-mail email@example.com). Full contact details and further information concerning our services can be found on the website:
Manchester Metropolitan University is a leading university for the professions and a powerful driver of the North West economy.
The University educates and trains large numbers of the region’s legal and business professionals, scientists, engineers, teachers, health workers and creative professionals. It enjoys an excellent reputation for teaching and applied research and is a recognised innovator in partnership working with its local communities. The University is currently investing almost £300 million in its estate and facilities.
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