Loughborough University Study Support Service
Joan Knight from the Loughborough University Study Support Service reflects
We are delighted to be recognised for this aDShe award and really believe that it is because of the strength of the way we work as a team as the specialist tutors and administrators work closely together to support each other to support students. The team (including administrators) meet regularly to share and develop multi-sensory resources – which are then shared widely with aDShe colleagues. This has included contributing to an art exhibition about diversity. The team members encourage each other to be creative but also share with each other any theoretical texts we find. We frequently ask each other’s advice on how best to support individual students. All tutors (and the admin team) put the student at the centre of their work and frequently help the student advocate for their rights from academics – the most reason example being (successfully) working hard to enable a student to get useful and dyslexia-appropriate feedback from an exam.
What others say
The tutors and admin team work closely to develop knowledge and skills, advocate for and put the student at the centre of their work. Members of the team contribute to their institution’s disability and neurodiversity awareness training for academics, delivering workshops about learning/teaching/supporting students. The admin officers voluntarily undertook dyslexia/neurodiversity training, going on to adapt communication styles and create visual aids for study support and display. Specialist tutors have developed quality CPD for colleagues and regularly contribute to aDShe conferences, workshops and regional group meetings across the country. Team members created and delivered an innovative workshop series for students using mindfulness techniques alongside specialist study skills. The team meets regularly to develop multisensory resources which are shared widely with aDShe colleagues and in 2013 the team created and hosted an aDShe day about neurodiversity, mental health and study support. Individually and collectively they have published: “Navigating the Essay (colour coding)” in Journal of Writing in Creative Practice; “Hang Out the Writing (kinaesthetic planning tools)” for Dyslexia Review (also used in European-wide training); Mindfulness for Study; using Executive Function model for supporting students and editing team for aDShe’s journal.