Dyslexia Screening and Assessments

SpLD Support:

Students with dyslexia or other learning difficulties can access a range of support and equipment during their time at University. We would strongly advise you to disclose your difficulties to the Disability & Dyslexia Service at the earliest opportunity: this provides us with the opportunity to investigate your difficulties and needs, as well as put the relevant support in place.


Dyslexia is one of the most common Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD): some students arrive at University already diagnosed with dyslexia or another SpLD, such as dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome. However, some students get assessed whilst at University and discover that they have Specific Learning Difficulty, such as dyslexia.

One of our USW Bloggers, Charlie, has created a vlog about dealing with Dyslexia and the support available at university:


Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), also known as Dyspraxia in the UK, is a common disorder affecting fine or gross motor co-ordination in children and adults.
Individuals may vary in how their difficulties present; these may change over time depending on environmental demands and life experience. There may be a range of co-occurring difficulties which can also have serious negative impacts on daily life. These include social and emotional difficulties as well as problems with time management, planning and personal organisation.

Irlen Syndrome:

Irlen Syndrome is a specific type of perceptual difference that affects the way the brain processes visual information. It is not an optical problem.For those with Irlen Syndrome, the brain is unable to process full spectral light. This can result in:

  • A range of distortions in the environment.
  • A range of distortions on the printed page.
  • physical and behavioural symptoms.

Studies have shown that 12-15% of the population are affected by Irlen Syndrome.

An initial screening for Irlen will identify if you do have perceptual difficulties and you may be provided with one or more coloured overlays to eradicate the difficulties you may have when reading.

There are a number of Irlen practitioners across the UK information about which can be found here

Please note that initial screenings cost in the region of £45 which you will have to fund.

SpLD Screening & Assessments:

Many students encounter study difficulties whilst at University and discover that these are the result of a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD), such as dyslexia.

If you are a USW student and you suspect that you may have dyslexia or another SpLD / require an up to date assessment, the Disability & Dyslexia Service (DDS) can help to arrange an on site assessment with an appropriately qualified assessor. The Disability & Dyslexia Service works in partnership with the Dyscovery Centre who offer high quality diagnostic assessment services to USW students.

Step 1Complete the QuickScan Screener

QuickScan is a confidential Online Screener which can identify if you are displaying signs of dyslexia or other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs).

When you start you will be asked to provide an ID number – Please use your Student ID number.

The Quickscan screener takes approximately 20 minutes to complete: it is not a test and there are no right or wrong answers. When you have completed the QuickScan, you will receive immediate on-screen feedback. This will include information about your preferred learning style and whether you are displaying characteristics of Dyslexia or other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs).

If your feedback indicates characteristics of Dyslexia or other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) please make an appointment with a Disability Adviser to discuss your next steps.

Click on the link below to begin.

Complete the QuickScan Screener

Step 2 – Paying for a full Diagnostic Assessment

The cost of a diagnostic assessment within the University is £300.

If you wish to proceed, you should make an appointment to meet with a Disability Adviser who will discuss your assessment fee payment options and, if appropriate, assist you in applying for diagnostic funding from the Hardship Fund. The Hardship Fund is means-tested, i.e. an evaluation of your income against your expenditure will be made to determine if you are eligible for financial support.

You will need to bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

Statements for all bank and savings accounts for both you and your partner or spouse (if applicable), covering the periods:

Autumn Term: 31st July 2017 – 17th Sept 2017 (inclusive)
Spring Term: 13th Nov 2017 – 22rd Dec 2017 (inclusive)
Summer Term: 19th Feb 2018 – 30th Mar 2018 (inclusive)

You must annotate and explain any transfers into/out of these accounts if they are over £500. Information about any children and the benefits you receive must also be identified and bank statements or entitlement letters provided.

Step 3 – Diagnostic Assessment

Once confirmation of your diagnostic funding is received (or if you wish to self fund), an Adviser will complete a referral to the Dyscovery Centre (this may include your QuickScan screening results or information about an previous assessments you have undertaken).

Dyscovery Centre will then contact you to arrange your assessment appointment.

Your diagnostic assessment will take 2-3 hours and will be conducted by a suitably qualified specialist assessor, who is experienced in conducting assessments for learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.

Once the assessment report has been completed (approximately 2 weeks), your assessor will contact you to invite you in to discuss the findings of this report. The report will detail the results of the assessments you have undertaken and whether you have a Specific Learning Difficulty. The report will also highlight some of the support that would benefit you during your time at University.

A Disability Adviser will contact you to discuss the next steps once we receive a copy of your final report. This may include sending a copy of your diagnostic assessment report to your funding body to apply for Disabled Students Allowance