Handbook / Unit briefs

These are sometimes visually and linguistically complex, open to misinterpretation and stress/anxiety; reading heavy; centred on a white western core culture.

They may not support the needs of those with learning difficulties (SpLDs), international students (IS) or widening participation (WP) students.

© Matthew Tizzard


  • Simplify.
  • Consider words that might have culturally diverse meanings; either replace or include in a glossary. You may find ‘The A to Z of Alternative Words’ guide useful (www.plainenglish.co.uk).
  • Design against the British Dyslexia Association style guide (www.bdadyslexia.org.uk).
  • Place text near relevant pictures or diagrams.
  • Check ‘readability’ score (https://readability-score.com).
  • Check that the reading list is (a) graded for importance, (b) key chapters are indicated, (c) as many texts as possible can be read on line.
  • Consider alternatives to reading, e.g. online resources including film and video.
  • Check images and texts are culturally diverse, e.g. are LGBTQ+ people, a range of ages and global cultures represented. It may be useful to think about the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act (2010).
  • Use tinted paper. (Cream, buff, grey are recommended.)