How to Succeed with Specific Learning Difficulties at College and University: A Review

Dr Rob Hillier, Senior Lecturer and Year One Co-ordinator of BA Graphics at the Norwich University of the Arts, and creator of dyslexia-friendly font Sylexiad, has recently reviewed Amanda Kirby’s new book How to Succeed with Specific Learning Difficulties  at College and University, published next month as part of our Human Horizons series. He has kindly allowed us to reproduce his review in full here on our blog.

Read his review in full below, or click here to read Amanda Kirby’s top tips for starting at university:

With a week to go before the arrival of the undergraduate Year One cohort at Norwich University of the Arts, this book serves as a timely reminder of the challenges facing those students, particularly those with specific learning conditions. Amanda Kirby offers such students (and their parents), some clear and comprehensive advice about coping with what can often be a mystifying, intimidating and daunting experience.

She writes in an uncomplicated and succinct manner offering practical advice across a wide range of potential issues including organisational skills, independent living, study skills, socialising and preparing for the workplace.  Kirby understands her audience well and the breadth of sound advice she offers is impressive. Her writing style is always matter-of-fact and never condescending. This unambiguous delivery is supported by clear texts that often take the form of bullet-pointed lists and a simple page layout design that uses an appropriately large and well-leaded typeface.

The non-linear nature of the lists, the purposefully un-academic tone of the text and the visually friendly and warm typographic style makes the information Kirby has to impart easy to access not only for readers with specific learning conditions, but, I would argue, for all undergraduate starters. I will therefore be recommending the book to my colleagues involved in the NUA peer assisted learning scheme, student support and those academics involved in the delivery of the Year One undergraduate programme.

Many thanks to Dr Hillier for allowing us to reproduce his review here in full.

How to Succeed with Specific Learning Difficulties at College and University is published next month in paperback and as an e-book. Specially designed in a dyslexia-friendly typeface, it contains links to useful resources for students with specific learning difficulties.



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