If you, your family or your close friends haven’t been touched by someone with dyslexia it may be easy to underestimate how widespread it is.
But around 10 to 15 per cent of people worldwide have dyslexia or another learning difficulty.
More people in the UK have dyslexia than you probably think
And in the UK that figures stands at around 15 per cent, which means that one in every 6.7 people in this country have dyslexia or another learning difficulty.
According to UK Government statistics people with disabilities are around half as likely to hold a degree-level qualification compared to non-disabled people.
And just under 15 per cent of working age disabled people hold degree-level qualifications compared to nearly 30 per cent of working age non-disabled people.
Dyslexia often goes undiagnosed for many students
Significant numbers of students with dyslexia also go undiagnosed for all or part of their time studying at university, which puts them at risk of life-long literacy and social exclusion.
Just ask our CEO and Founder Ross Linnett. He only found out he has dyslexia by chance when a fellow students spotted some of the symptoms when they were working together on a group project.
According to statistics from the Higher Education Funding Council for England there were more than 44,000 UK-students with a known disability studying full-time first degree courses in 2015-16.
The most common type of disability is a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia.
In 2015-16, nearly half of those students with a known disability who started a higher education programme had a specific learning difficulty.
Technology can help
Up-to-date information should be accessible no matter what device your students are using or what language they speak.
If it’s not, your students who have dyslexia and similar learning difficulties will struggle to study and achieve their full potential at your university.
For example, can all of your students access all of the important content on your university’s website and academic intranet sites?
Thanks to assistive technology such as text to speech software and speech to text software your students can get the support they need.
And then there’s Recite Me, which is similar to alternative assistive technology software programmes, but with a much wider range of features.
Recite Me is perfect for students who have dyslexia
Institutions like Cranfield University already use cloud-based accessibility software Recite Me to assist students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties and disabilities.
It offers students a great option to have text from any website read-aloud to them.
And it also gives students the option of downloading and saving any written web content as an MP3 file.
This means they can listen to it on any PC or mobile device, where and when they want to.
Recite Me also has a number of other great features that help students with dyslexia.
It lets students choose the exact colour contrast between the text and background by letting them pick the combination of font colour and background colour that works best for them.
It also lets users change the font type and size, zoom in on any part of a webpage, plus it has a spell-checker and a fully integrated dictionary and thesaurus.
If you want to ensure you’re supporting your students with dyslexia by making your academic web content more accessible book a free trial for your university now or check out our web accessibility scanner.