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If you are dyslexic or have other specific learning difficulties you may be eligible for ...
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SASC will hold its 6th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 11 June 2014 in central ...
View news itemADHD Guidance Issued
SASC issues guidance for assessment of ADHD.
View news itemUpdated Test Guidance issued September 2013
Updated Test Guidance issued September 2013, see SpLD Assessment page.
View news itemWoodcock-Reading Mastery Tests: 3rd Edition
Woodcock-Reading Mastery Tests: 3rd Edition (WRMT-III). Pearson. 5-75+ years STEC approve the revised edition of ...

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Students

SpLD assessment tools

The list of suitable tests for the assessment of specific learning difficulties (SpLD) in Higher Education is a key part of the National Assessment Framework for Applications for Disabled Students' Allowances. The purpose of the list is to promote quality and consistency in the Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) process.

STEC - SpLD Test Evaluation Committee

STEC serves to review this list periodically and consider new tests for inclusion.

STEC updated guidance and other relevant documents can be accessed from here. Updated guidance has been released, September 2013 and is downloadable from this page. Interim updates are below.

Please share this advice with colleagues and other stakeholders.

Maintaining test standards.

SASC advises it is best practice for assessors not to put examples from test papers of errors in reports at all. Advice for training and assessments should be to not state test items, but only give examples of types of errors being made. Assessors are also  reminded that working papers from assessments should not be made available as these could affect the standardisation of the test. [update issued August 2014]

TOMAL 2 [Test of Memory and Learning, 2nd edition]

All 5 subtests of the Attention/Concentration Index [ACI] should ideally be administered to enable a fully accurate composite to be calculated.  If for any reason a subtest score has been prorated it would be important for the assessor to clearly indicate in the report that the ACI score has been prorated and hence can only be used for a ‘statistical rather than a clinical purpose’ (TOMAL2 p.59).  The manual (p.59) also states ‘Although composites scores that contain a prorated value may be profiled, a specific prorated subtest standard score should neither be profiled nor taken as a reflection of an examinee’s memory performance on the subtest the prorated score represent.’ Consequently, we would not recommend that the individual subtest prorated score is documented in the report. [update issued August 2014]

Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence® - Second Edition (WASI®-II)  The WASI II is acceptable for DSA assessments in all areas the WASI I was listed. The WASI II is an updated version of the assessment battery. The WASI I is still acceptable as long as the forms are available.

Woodcock-Reading Mastery Tests: 3rd Edition (WRMT-III).  Pearson. 5-75+ years

STEC approve the revised edition of this test battery with the following cautionary note:

 

In the absence of the publishers/importers providing (a) a re-standardisation to accommodate UK culture and normative standards and (b) guidance/substituted materials on word/picture/phrase substitutions for Americanisms and other cultural features, STEC advises users to apply the necessary caution when administering the test.  Notwithstanding this point, it is STEC’s view that it considers this test useful and appropriate to administer for the purposes intended.

STEC response to recent debate about WRIT

The purpose of an ability test is to eliminate general learning difficulties and to examine potential – the WRIT can do both. A comparison between the WRIT and the WAIS is not particularly helpful as Verbal Analogies and Similarities are not measuring the same thing. Most people using the WRIT are well aware that there is some cultural bias as the test was not developed in the UK.

Tests don't diagnose, people do'. An assessment is a differential diagnosis which uses a battery of tests to come to a conclusion about strengths and weaknesses and does not rely on any individual test for a diagnosis. Specialist Dyslexia Assessors do not only rely on the WRIT scores or a working memory deficit to make a diagnosis of dyslexia. They use data from other tests and take into account the verbal abilities of the student throughout the whole assessment process, noting receptive and expressive language skills. The assessment will also look at difficulties with working memory, phonological weakness and speed of processing, literacy weaknesses and specific skills associated with reading and writing. Additional testing may be carried out if supplementary evidence is required.

Terms of Reference and Minutes of STEC meetings are accessible from the downloads page.