Provide the option of exam papers in Dyslexic-friendly format

Provide the option of exam papers in Dyslexic-friendly format

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Alexandra CASTLE started this petition to Department for Education and

Exam boards currently offer very limited format options for written papers and aside from SQA, none to specifically provide improved readability for dyslexics. AQA & JCQ have refused requests to address this, in spite of the latest JCQ Access arrangements (Sept21) limiting entitlement to alternative access arrangements.

With an estimated 10% of the population with this learning disability, a reasonable adjustment should already be offered by all exam boards of exam papers in a format designed to observe measures to improve accessibility for dyslexics as per the British Dyslexia Association Dyslexia Friendly Style Guide (bdadyslexia.org.uk). Input could be sought from other authorities who are experts on dyslexia such as dyslexic-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke (www.barringtonstoke.co.uk) and numerous academic studies as well as Dyslexia Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority who already offer format options to improve dyslexic access including double-line spacing and alternative fonts.  If a dyslexic-friendly format is not provided as a reasonable access arrangement by ALL UK exam boards, then the standard formatting of exam papers should be designed to meet published accessibility guidelines, designing to W3C Accessibility Standards (www.w3.org) as a minimum, which specifies line spacing of at least 1.5 which would also aid those not yet diagnosed.   

There is minimal cost to the exam boards providing this adjustment, it is easy to deliver and it could substantially improve educational outcomes as studies show it improves both reading speed and comprehension.  It is a normal way of accessing text for many students, including my daughter who sits GCSEs this year.  However in spite of requests since last year, has still to date been declined.

The above image is a real example of the terrible formatting of written text in GCSE papers that students must read under time pressure.  If you think this would be easier to read with adjustments such as increased line and word spacing (as per one of the image updates below), then please sign, comment and share to support Dyslexic-friendly formatting having to be offered by all exam boards.  NOTE: This petition was sent to Ofqual and JCQ on Monday 4th October 2021 to mark the start of Dyslexia Awareness Week but remains open for further comments & signatures.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!
At 15,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!