5 Ways to Create a Dyslexia Friendly Classroom

#1in5 students in the classroom struggle with dyslexia. Their difficulties with the written word are just the beginning of the trials they face in the classroom. Students with dyslexia are much more likely to have anxiety, depression, and school aversion due to their daily difficulties. Here are some easy ways to make your classroom more friendly to students with dyslexia:

  1. Refresh Your Accommodation Knowledge: Students with dyslexia can be supported in many different ways in the classroom information on accommodations is becoming more widespread. Check sites like Understood.Org for new information on accommodations like these infographics on auditory processing accommodations and testing accommodations
  2. Allow for Whole Class Accommodations: Students with dyslexia are often provided accommodations to support their learning like receiving extended time on tests, access to audiobooks, using dictation apps/software. But students report not using accommodations because they further single out students who are already feeling different. Consider making accommodations that would help students apply to all students. Remove time limits from tests for all students. Provide audiobook access to all students and provide a common space for them to listen to their books in addition to reading them. 
  3. Provide Opportunities to Show Strengths: Students with dyslexia often have strengths in areas like public speaking, art, sports, and leadership. Provide lots of opportunities for them to show their strengths in class.
  4. Invite Empathy Presentations: Many students with dyslexia would jump at the chance to tell their peers about their struggles and own the conversation about their disability. Consider inviting students to present on something they are struggling with. Students with dyslexia are likely to share their difficulties and will get to hear other students share their difficulties...making them realize they are not as alone or different as they thought.
  5. Create Dyslexia Friendly Homework Policies: Students with dyslexia may take 5 times as long to finish a worksheet. Allow students with dyslexia to finish half the problems (as long as they show they understand the concept) on a math sheet. Or...assign a project for them to do at home to practice concepts in a hands-on way. 

In the end, creating a dyslexia-friendly classroom means creating a classroom that is friendly to all students. Are there ways you make your classroom dyslexia-friendly that's not on this list? Leave a comment below!