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Students Anouk and Jord work to help dyslexic students

Published on 26-01-2023 11:49
According to article 26 of the Human Rights, everyone has the right to accessible education. Yet this is not always obvious. This year, two students will be committed to improve the situation of dyslexic students at the Faculty of Science.
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Anouk Kreuger (second-year Master's Forensic Science student, BSc. Biomedical Sciences) and Jord Muffels (second-year GRAPPA and commissioner of education of NSA) were awarded a budget for their idea developed during the Master's elective course Science Connect, within the Professional Skills learning trajectory. The aim of the campaign is to make students and teachers aware of the impact of text fonts and layouts of documents, especially during exams. They are guided in this effort by the Student Impact Center (SIC).

Anouk and Jord explain their plans: “It is a well-known fact; as soon as the regular time is over in exams, everyone gets up to hand in their papers and have a small conversation with the teachers or fellow students. But what people often do not realize is that it influences students with dyslexia. They are entitled to have extra time, but due to the buzz, they cannot effectively make use of it. The half hour may become only fifteen minutes. How can we still support students with dyslexia? We have a simple solution: make the format of the exam dyslexia-friendly.” 

Dyslexia friendly format

“Research conducted by 'Nederlands Kwaliteitsinstituut Dyslexia' (NKD) and 'Expertise Centrum Inclusief Onderwijs' (ECIO) has shown that there is a dyslexia friendly format that improves reading comprehension and is therefore more sufficient than extra time alone. This format consists of a certain font, size and the use of spacing  and white lines. The use of this format improves reading comprehension and also reduces the level of stress that is experienced by students. With our project we want to raise awareness among both students and teachers that this simple solution can lead to a big impact for many students (~900 students at the Faculty of Science, according to the exam office). This period we will therefore start a campaign to raise awareness. After all, we are convinced that with small changes a lot of help can still be offered.”

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If you want to participate in their research, please fill in the surveyExternal link. For any questions or remarks, don't hesitate to contact them at a.kreuger@uva.nlExternal link or j.muffels@uva.nlExternal link.