Hull University

The Learning Support (SpLD) Team at the University of Hull is comprised of 3 full time SpLD Tutors and one Part-Time SpLD Adviser. This adviser role is a recent addition to the team, and over the last year we have worked together to further understand and address the experiences and needs of our SpLD students. At Hull we offer screening for SpLDs to all students and applicants, and support the students through the process of confirmation, providing adjustments and specialist tutor support. Over the last year we have worked in partnership with students to launch an SpLD Community, facilitating opportunities for students to connect including regular meetings online, as well as online discussions, and surveys to share experience and advice. We have also created a comprehensive online module which informs students ‘what to expect’ from each step of the identification process and sharing advice and experiences from other SpLD students, to enable those on the journey to feel connected and supported. We have re-designed the SpLD VLE site to be an accessible and welcoming virtual home for SpLD students, including tips and advice from tutors and other SpLD students, and the addition of a reading list. The team have achieved all this on top of the surge in demand for support and screening throughout the pandemic, and we are very proud to accept this award: Bob, Emily, Isobel and Nicola.

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) 

“Recognising the work of a department or team working in further/higher education and their contribution to the promotion, support, diagnosis or recognition of dyslexia and the support of dyslexic students”  

It is a rare moment when the people who are at the coalface of sudden and unplanned changes get recognition for their efforts and successes. And that’s exactly where we are with Central’s Dyslexia Support team with this award for our group of VL tutors. Our tutors conduct themselves as if they were in-service staff with a dedication and passion for their students and their work and a willingness to go that extra mile. Our service to our students transitioned from face-to-face to virtual support without any break in sessions. Complex paperwork and learning new virtual formats were taken in their stride; space was found at home to work with students confidentially and professionally. And more than this, the context of our conservatoire-university meant that our students were facing unprecedented challenges as subjects which were never designed for non-face-to-face encounters, suddenly had to morph, or else would be paused for the entirety of lockdown. This placed unprecedented stress on curriculum delivery and a ‘learningverse’ that was the antithesis of conducive to many neurodivergent learners whose talents and skills and future careers are predicated on the live encounter. Our VL tutors met the multitude of challenges maintaining the excellent standard that has become the hallmark of the Service as well as delivering staff training to the entire School on the neurodivergent student experience of studying in a neurotypically structured higher education environment. We thank them for their collegiality and positive spirit in the face of extreme challenges; our students thank them for their dedication and grace.  

Tanya and Pauline are very proud to accept this award on behalf of the Central Team:  Cheri, Christina, Debs, Fran, Kate and Leslie, as well as our recently welcomed tutors: Henri, Kamila, Richard and Shirley.

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