Learning Disabilities & Dyslexia Support

Ketso is a great tool for supporting people with learning disabilities. Designed to incorporate multiple intelligences, Ketso supports different ways of learning: Visual, Audio, Reading & writing, Kinaesthetic (VARK). In particular, our new Mini Ketso is a great tool for people with learning difficulties to organise and develop their thinking.

A striking finding from evaluation of Ketso at The University of Manchester, with feedback from 291 students at all levels of the university,  showed that all students registered as having an unseen disability reported their experience of Ketso as useful, with none reporting their experience of Ketso as ‘not very’ or ‘not’ useful.

Read the full report here.

Feedback from students with learning disabilities using Ketso includes:

  • Easy to think of your own ideas / suggestions & explain without becoming confused or losing trains of thought
  • It was good to talk about these ideas with others and in a very structured way
  • Was easy / clear to use, made ideas easy to read
  • Visually easy & logical
  • This is a really useful tool, much better than just talking round a table. All mapped out in front of you
  • It was good to talk about these ideas with others and in a very structured way

 “An energizing and empowering resource to invite or encourage the student to become actively engaged with their study support or learning strategies”.  Access Summit Learning Disability Coach



Ketso has received positive feedback from undergraduate students with dyslexia at the University of Manchester, who have used Ketso in their learning process - as illustrated in the following quotes:

“I like the fact it is so visual, you can really see your ideas and the links between them and other people’s ideas. It helps to see that other people have similar ideas to you as well! I like the way you can move the ideas around, it makes it practical and is more inviting than a list.”

“Having a leaf there on the felt helps with short-term memory, I can engage better with others as I can still see the ideas down on the table”.

“I don’t feel intimidated, because the leaves aren’t too big, and I don’t feel I have to write a lot. I can build up my ideas in small parts and I can draw as well as write. I can even ask my neighbour to write an idea for me if I can’t spell it.”

An advantage of using Ketso as a means of engagement in classes with mixed learning abilities is that it helps all students to become more engaged, and is not perceived as a tool just for those with learning disabilities. it can be seen as embedded inclusive education. The value of the tool for students without learning disabilities is shown in the following comment from a student's reflective learning journal:

“The toolkit enabled me to feel content that my own and everyone else’s ideas were being heard and considered. In past experiences of group work, I have often taken a backseat in group discussion as other more outspoken characters tend to hold the discussion. Using Ketso, it is also possible to set aside individual thinking time and sharing time. This further enabled me to develop my thought process so that I could express my ideas more readily within the group. I enjoyed Ketso as I felt it gave everyone a higher sense of equality.”

In a workshop with members of the West Yorkshire Dyslexia Tutor Forum and a separate workshop for  Association of Dyslexia Specialists in Higher Education second North West regional group meeting, 338 ideas were developed about how to best support students with dyslexia. A lot of discussion centred on the need for a culture change and shifts in attitude towards learning approaches that both support students with dyslexia and help all students learn better (such as mind mapping). Ideas that were highlighted as key included:

What works well:

  • Mind-mapping
  • Experimental learning
  • Empathy
  • Regular report back
  • Supportive environment

Future possibilities:

  • More time for training staff
  • Dyslexia group problem solving (creative)
  • Role models
  • Picture packs
  • Using technology
  • Alternative forms of assessment
  • Awards training
  • Share knowledge of new stuff

Key challenges:

  • Resources - money, equipment, time staff
  • Some use it [learning disabilities] as a 'get out' clause
  • Sensitivity needed to students with Special Learning needs
  • Attitudes

The full set of results can be downloaded here.