The current social distancing situation that we’re experiencing has brought its challenges to us all and we wish our clients and business partners well during this difficult time.
Over the last few months, many people were faced with the challenge of not being able to attend a face to face assessment with an educational psychologist for a formal diagnosis.
Many people decided to utilise our QuickScreen Dyslexia Test due to its particularly comprehensive and proven functionality as an online screening tool. We have continued to upgrade our test to make it even more able to support dyslexic adults while assessments may continue to be delayed, or indeed not be accessible to everyone.
Evidence for Exam Boards and DSAs (Disabled Students’ Allowances)
Here at QS Dyslexia Tests / Pico Education, we have been approached by universities, public organisations and individuals who have asked if our QuickScreen dyslexia test can be used as evidence to present to various exam boards and for DSAs (Disabled Students’ Allowances).
We’ve been working hard to extend the functionality and reporting of our tests to make them even more powerful in the absence of a diagnosis from an educational psychologist.
Tutors and other support professionals will certainly find the new and improved, comprehensive dyslexia testing/screening reports (from both our QuickScan and QuickScreen products for organisations) to be useful additional documents for inclusion in the Statement of Need they compile for their individual students/staff.
- made a couple of changes to QuickScreen, which will make it more inclusive (see more below)
- incorporated at least some of the key elements of relevant background and family incidence into our online tests
- further refined our reports and will soon be launching a Table of Results in response to University requests (see more below)
And don’t forget:
- the QuickScreen Dyslexia Test and QuickScan Dyslexia Questionnaire are both BDA Assured products. The British Dyslexia Association has assessed the products and, in its opinion, promotes them as “being effective at identifying or supporting dyslexia if used as intended, are based on generally accepted and well-established science.”
- if neurodiversity is on your mind, our QuickScan Questionnaire /Screening Tool is able to help by showing indicators of dyslexia, dyspraxia, visual stress/sensitivity, English as a second language and difficulty with numbers.
“Hi Dr Walker, thank you so much for the dyslexia test certificate you have sent me. The Construction Skills Certificate Scheme have accepted it. I have my test next week and they said they will help me. Many thanks.”
What does the SASC say?
The SASC (SpLD Assessment Standards Committee) has released a paper about the limitations around in-person assessements resulting from COVID-19.
This states that where an assessment is required urgently, interim evaluations of need may be possible and “it should be regarded as essential to undertake …. the administration of screening questionnaires that can provide additional diagnostic information.”
They do not provide a ‘diagnosis’, but do provide “an evaluation of need together with some useful indicators of strength and weakness based on the taking of a detailed background history, the admistration of a diagnostic questionnaire and the administration of a limited range of tests.”
Table of Results – coming soon
In response to requests from our university client base, we are currently upgrading the QuickScreen test so that the report will also provide a Table of Results.
This will be based on the data and research carried out by Pico Education in the last 5 years. It will offer adult level ability and performance quotients and percentile rankings and will also provide detailed results on a number of key literacy aspects – such as reading speed, reading comprehension, spontaneous spelling levels, accuracy and speed of processing.
This upgrade is based on the research projects carried out with university students in recent years. It will therefore be more than an initial screener, but obviously not a diagnosis such as a full assessment. But it is anticipated that it will make a useful contribution, especially in cases where a moderate or strong dyslexia result has been shown in our research to be very accurate.
Whilst our tests have so far been a one off measure of current performance, which meant that mainly those with a ‘functional dyslexia’ were identified, QuickScreen will also highlight those who would be described as ‘largely compensated’. These are adults who may or may not have been assessed previously, and who have always found literacy a bit of a problem area, but thanks to full time study and the use of strategies have made gains in levels of literacy. This upgrade will better reflect the assessment process and will enable fuller inclusion.
We do recognise that even with high levels of compensation – a person with dyslexia is still at risk. They are likely to encounter unexpected moments of under-performance and difficulties in numerous situations that cannot all be predicted in a one-off assessment. Therefore these likely fluctuations in performance will now be addressed so that they can be accommodated both in an academic and an employment setting.
Our research and improvements to our products are a key part of our continuous commitment to those with dyslexia.
Our dyslexia tests
We have two dyslexia tests available:
- QuickScreen for individuals or organisations – a very thorough online dyslexia test / screening tool for young people and adults aged 17+
- QuickScan for individuals or organisations– an established online dyslexia questionnaire / screening tool to help indicate dyslexia, which is appropriate for those aged 14+
Lastly stay safe, stay healthy and remain positive.
Dr D. Walker