It took a long time for Ken Ritchie to discover he had dyslexia. In fact it was his wife, an occupational therapist, who first realised that he might have a learning impairment.
By that stage Ken was well into adulthood, had a well-established career, including working in middle management for Goodman Fielder, and had plans to study for qualifications that he hoped would eventually take him into sports management. But without the right help that goal would be almost impossible.
Disability Information and Support (DI&S) was able to arrange a learning assessment for Ken which confirmed he indeed did have dyslexia. This opened the doors to a range of support for him.
"I get a note-taker for lectures and for assignments I get a proofreader which is pretty invaluable."
Ken also receives electronic versions of his textbooks and is able to use TextHelp software to assist him with his reading and writing.
"When I started I had reading and comprehension skills at about 11 year-old level. I couldn't do study without this help."
While still reliant on these electronic aids his reading and writing skills have improved as a result of using them.
Ken has also found lecturers in his department extremely helpful. For example, one of his papers was taking place in a lecture theatre with extremely bad acoustics and that made it hard for him to hear and record what the lecturer was saying.
"I approached the lecturer about whether it could be podcast and he began doing it from the next lecture. Now I am able to follow a link and get the podcast off a website."
At test and exam time Ken is also able to organise a reader and writer through DI&S.
Thanks to all this help, and a lot of hard work by Ken, he is now well through a double degree majoring in Marketing and Management. He is well on his way to achieving his goal of a career in sports management.
Students must seek permission to record lectures and if approved they can only record for the purposes of private study or research.