For over twenty years, Concept Northern have specialised in providing hardware, software and training to people with dyslexia and other learning challenges. Using assistive technology can have a transformative effect on people’s lives making literacy issues significantly more manageable.
But when Technical Director Andy Tasker searched for a widely-recognised qualification for learners to prove their literacy and business skills to employers, he found the marketplace wanting.
“People with dyslexia often find themselves excluded from the mainstream,” says Andy, “and it isn’t surprising that there was no SCQF-rated course available for them to show how they can achieve parity with their peers in the workplace. That’s why we designed, developed and produced our own SQA Customised Award. It’s called “Assistive Technology & Business Skills for Dyslexia.”
The Award is designed for young people at the beginning of their employment journey or for school pupils in S4 to S6 who want to develop workplace skills. Rated at an inclusive SCQF Level 5 and comprising 100 learning hours, it contains six comprehensive units. The first two concentrate on introducing the learner to two fundamental assistive-technology applications – Texthelp Read&Write and MatchWare MindView. These help individuals bridge their literacy and organisational barriers. The next unit covers the ubiquitous Microsoft Office applications including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Equipped with these essential software skills, learners are then guided through three further skill units, focusing on business reading and writing, time management and workplace communication.
“We looked at what dyslexic learners need to be able to do to succeed in the workplace,” says Andy, “and then we designed the award around that. Employers value SQA-approved qualifications and, for the first time, our unique Award helps learners prove that they’re ready to deliver results.”
Learning resources, including extensive video tutorials and interactive modules, are hosted on an industry-standard learning portal. Assessments include portfolio exercises, demonstrations and a final examination. Funding may be available for learners depending on individual circumstances.