Writing Center Journal


In the field of writing center research there is a paucity of information regarding tutoring students with dyslexia. This comes as no surprise considering it is only in the last 50 years that there has been a conscious effort to include those who have exceptionalities in all areas of education. In addition to a lack of research and training there is another issue that arises with disclosing exceptionalities. Those studying dyslexia have found that students are hesitant to disclose their learning disability because of the stigma and feelings of differentiation from their peers (Brizee et al., 2012). The question then becomes how we prepare tutors so they may approach a diverse group of learners and feel they have the skills to work with any student without disclosing their disability. Part of implementing the Universal Design for Learning approach is preparing tutors to accommodate a range of learning disabilities, exceptionalities, and cultures. It is important for tutors to understand common characteristics of dyslexic writers and strategies for working with them. Effective strategies include repeating explicit instruction, emphasizing phonetics, and mind mapping/chunking information. This project is focused on helping secondary writing center tutors and faculty to feel they have enough knowledge about dyslexia to help students who choose not to disclose their disability and offer strategies that they may utilize when working with dyslexic students. Furthermore, this project affirms the importance of creating an equitable learning environment for all students who seek the support of a writing center.