Dyslexia Consultancy Malvern
Professionals working in the justice system need to take account of Specific Processing & Learning Difficulties for a number of reasons:
The rehabilitation of offenders can be compromised if dyslexia and related SpLDs are not taken into account.
Awareness Training for NOMS and prison education staff is important.
What support is there?
Although people with SpLDs are usually entitled to reasonable adjustments in courts and tribunals (in line with the Equality Act 2010) these measures may not be in place due to a lack of knowledge on behalf of solicitors.
Coping with Courts & Tribunals is designed to guide you through the justice system, outlining what support is available and how to access it. There is also a printer-friendly version. Hard copies can be requested via this website or from Dyslexia Assessment & Consultancy. This Guide was revised in 2014.
Appropriate Adults, Intermediaries, McKenzie Friends and Advocates can all play a role in supporting people with SpLDs in police and court settings. People with disabilities are allowed to bring a support worker, relative or friend to their hearing - information at Directgov. Unfortunately, adults with SpLDs are often unable to access support and may not appear to be disabled. As a result they may be greatly disadvantaged and can face discrimination and even miscarriages of justice.
Full information for justice sector staff is laid out in the guide below:
Accommodating Specific Learning Difficulties in Hearings - Melanie Jameson, rev 2014
Releasing the Potential of Offenders with Dyslexia & related Specific Learning Difficulties - Melanie Jameson 2014
KIWIs are an innovative approach to proving consistent information on Specific Learning Difficulties across the justice sector. The acronym stands for:
Probation Information Sheets - Melanie Jameson, 2000
Disabilities and the Equal Treatment Bench Book
The Equal Treatment Bench Book, produced for the judiciary, includes updated guidance on SpLDs. This is found within the section on mental disabilities, specific learning difficulties and mental capacity. See pages 7–10, sections 40–56.
Individual SpLDs are listed within the Disabilities Glossary, from page 19 in the section on physical disabilities.