Presentation on Adult Assessment

Uncover your strengths
Overview – Adult Assessments
Why do adults get assessed?
Context of assessments
Some definitions
How are assessments done?
Assessment reports
Some info on DysGuise
Why Do Adults Get An Assessment?
For Study:
Understand obstacles to learning (including other
Access support for learning/exam arrangements
Why Do Adults Get An Assessment?
For Work :
Understand difficulties with work tasks
Access support/reasonable adjustments
Why Do Adults Get An Assessment?
Out of curiosity:
Self-awareness and understanding
The Wider Context
Exam regulations
Work demands
Equality Act (2010)
Other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)
Exam Arrangements - SQA
Scottish Qualifications Authority – eg linguistic
support; supervised rest breaks; extra time –
includes evidence of:
Disability/additional needs and the impact on
teaching and learning (could include an assessment)
Need for current support (from subject teachers)
Need for particular arrangement(s)
Confirmation that candidate has agreed to the
Exam Arrangements - JCQ
(English system) Joint Council for Qualifications –
(reader/scribe; prompter; room alone; supervised
rest breaks); extra time – evidence of
“impairment which has a substantial and long-term
adverse effect, giving rise to persistent and significant
difficulties” AND
at least one speed SS of 84 or less;
or (exceptionally) at least two speed SS between 85 and 89;
or (very rarely) scores of 90-94 plus formal evidence of
disability (assessment needed)
Equality Act (2010)
Unlawful to discriminate against a person with a
‘protected characteristic’
‘Disability’ is a protected characteristic
‘Disability’ means having
“a physical or mental impairment which has
a substantial and long-term adverse effect on
that person's ability to carry out normal dayto-day activities.” (emphasis added)
Equality Act (2010) continued…
‘Substantial’ means more than minor or trivial
‘long-term’ means has lasted – or is likely to
last – at least 12 months
‘Normal day-to-day activities’ – there is no
definitive list. The 1995 Disability
Discrimination Act included ‘memory or ability
to concentrate, learn or understand’
Equality Act (2010) continued…
Guidance re ‘Normal day-to-day activities’ –
“things people do on a regular or daily basis
including “reading and writing, having a
conversation or using the telephone”
Equality Act (2010) continued…
Guidance re ‘Normal day-to-day activities’ –
“general work-related activities, and study
and education-related activities, such as
interacting with colleagues, following
instructions, using a computer, driving,
carrying out interviews, preparing written
documents, and keeping to a timetable or a
shift pattern”
Equality Act (2010) continued…
Guidance on interpretation of the Equality Act
can be found here:
Spectrum of Difficulties
Auditory /
Definitions - Dyslexia
“Dyslexia can be described as a continuum of
difficulties in learning to read, write and/or
spell, which persist despite the provision of
appropriate learning opportunities. These
difficulties often do not reflect an individual's
cognitive abilities and may not be typical of
performance in other areas.” (italics added)
Scottish Government (2012)
Definitions - Dyslexia
“Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily
affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent
word reading and spelling.
…Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties
in phonological awareness, verbal memory and
verbal processing speed.
…Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual
abilities.” (italics added)
British Dyslexia Association (2007)
Definition - Dyscalculia
“It is a condition that affects the ability to acquire
arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have
difficulty understanding simple number concepts,
lack an intuitive grasp of numbers and have
problems learning number facts and procedures.
Even if they do produce a correct answer or use a
correct method, they may do so mechanically and
without confidence.” (italics added)
Department for Education and Skills (2001)
Definition - Dyspraxia
“Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), also
known as Dyspraxia in the UK, is a common
disorder affecting fine or gross motor co-ordination
in children and adults…. may present with
difficulties with self-care, writing, typing …cooccurring difficulties… include social and emotional
difficulties as well as problems with time
management, planning and personal
organisation.” (italics added)
UK Working Definition (2012)
Definition - Dysgraphia
Difficulties in handwriting:
Neatness of writing (including copying); can also
affect drawing
Difficulties with fine motor movements; might be able
to form letters but is very slow
Spelling errors, particularly in free writing; might be
able to copy text accurately and at reasonable speed
How are assessments done?
Cognitive, ‘closed’ (‘intelligence’) tests (WISC IV,
Attainment tests – learned skills eg spelling,
reading etc (incl WIAT, WRAT, TOWRE, DASH,
CTOPP, GORT, Beery-Buktenica)
Qualitative analysis (discussions with candidate,
analysis of approach, errors)
Why are assessments done like this?
Cognitive tests give scores for verbal
comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working
memory, processing speed, and an overall ‘IQ’
Uneven profile shows if any of the cognitive
abilities are adversely affecting the overall score
Attainment tests can be compared to the results
expected on the basis of cognitive tests
Why are assessments done like this?
Focus is on finding the person’s strengths, so
that a strategy can be found to help with any
Weaker areas can shed light on the reasons a
person has been having difficulties
Candidate is being compared with
himself/herself as well as with others in age
Wechsler Intelligence Scales
Verbal Comprehension
Perceptual Reasoning
Working Memory
Processing Speed
Percentile Confidence
90 111-125
79 103-119
81- 97
High average
High average
Low average
Low average
Attainment tests – cognitive dimension
Phonological processing - nuts & bolts of
Naming speed
Working memory
Metacognitive factors – knowing how you
Automaticity - fluency of skills
Behavioural Dimension
Pattern of errors in reading and spelling
Inaccuracies in copying
Writing difficulties
Avoidance of writing, reading etc
Time-management difficulties
Needs more time to complete work
Discrepancies in performances across different
Assessment Reports
Comply with latest best practice guidance
(SpLD Working Group; SASC; Patoss)
All sub-test and category scores provided,
along with a description of tests used
Interpretation of scores
Assessment Reports continued
Recommendations – for the individual, his or
her workplace/place of learning (where
Must be:
done in the context of a full risk assessment
agreed collaboratively
reviewed as needs change over time
Could help all workers
Study support and exam arrangements
Adjust the environment/the work tasks
Improve the individual’s skills
Recommendations: study and exams
Help with structuring work
Notes/slides in advance of class
Extra time
Use of laptop/access to reader/scribe
Disabled Students’ Allowance:
Recommendations: environment/tasks
Allow use of strategies already developed
Workload planning
Extra time
Recommendations: environment/tasks
Use of laptop/assistive software:
Microsoft Ease of Access (via control panel)
Inspiration (mind mapping):
Read & Write Gold:
Recommendations: environment/tasks
Access to Work:
Recommendations: improve skills
Working memory training – CogMed
Evidence-based; improves memory and insight
Done through CogMed coach
Available through DysGuise
Recommendations: improve skills
Done through CogMed coach
Available through DysGuise
CogMed demonstration available on YouTube:
About DysGuise Ltd
Testing for specific learning difficulties
(dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia)
Director: Dr Jennie Guise
Principal Advisor: Dr Gavin Reid:
Educational Consultant: Moira Thomson
About DysGuise Ltd, cont’d
Office: Hanover Street, Edinburgh
Consulting rooms: Glasgow, Stirling, Ayr
12 trained Associates across Scotland
Full cognitive assessment focusing on
uncovering strengths and providing targeted
strategies for teaching and learning, and work
For further information:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: (0131) 629 8269

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