ALRA has launched a new element to its website; we have designed and implemented a new button which, when clicked, transforms all our website's content to a dyslexia-friendly version. This new change will ensure that our website better caters to the needs of students, staff and visitors to our website.
We are aware of the fact that nearly half of drama students are dyslexic and that the acting industry in general consists of a considerable number of dyslexic professionals. In fact, about 10% of the UK population is affected to some degree.
Dyslexia can bring about several challenges for individuals as, depending on the form, it can affect what they see, how they process information or their concentration when reading.
Dyslexia does not only affect reading and writing, but can also cause challenges with memory and coordination. We, however, do not like to view dyslexia as a disability, particularly as many successful actors in the industry who are dyslexic have attributed their creativity to this aspect of themselves.
According to Dyslexic Advantage, former Eastenders actress, Carol Harrison, found that her dyslexia contributed to her acting talents and made her better at her job because "instead of just saying the words, you have to feel them very, very deeply, take them inside of yourself, process them and bring them out again".
We also recognise that, whilst it has its strengths, the challenges dyslexia causes for individuals cannot be ignored. Thus, we take it as our responsibility to ensure that we do all we can to support our dyslexic students, staff and visitors, and it is for this reason that we chose to add this feature to the website.
Adrian Hall, Principal at ALRA, takes pride in this initiative and has said,
“We understand the Equality Act, and aim to ensure appropriate policies, processes and mechanisms are in place to cater for our students. We also aim to increase dyslexia awareness training and guidance for our staff”.
Moving forward, we hope this new feature will promote a more positive user experience for our web visitors each and every time they browse our website.