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Disability History Month: My experience as a student with dyslexia

Mary Copsey, your Vice President for the Faculty of Business and Law, shares her experiences as a student with dyslexia!

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Mary Copsey is your Vice President for the Faculty of Business and Law. Find out more about Mary and what she is doing to support you as a student here or email her at



Hi everyone!    


My name is Mary Copsey and I am the elected Vice President of the Business and Law Faculty. I have been studying a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management as well as working towards my CIPD membership.


I was diagnosed with dyslexia towards the end of my first year of university. Dyslexia is recognised as a disability under the Equality Act 2010.  If you are a student who has been diagnosed with dyslexia you may be entitled to Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). You can apply for DSA through Student Finance and all you need is an up-to-date dyslexia report.


Having dyslexia as a student

As a student, my dyslexia had impacted my reading speed, spelling, and typing. For example, sometimes words jumble when I am typing (the cat is blue might look like ‘hte cta si bleu’). My disability can also impact the way I read text. Certain colours I find harder to read, such as reds and yellows. Even reading black text on white paper can make the words blur or jumble together. Throughout the years, I have used green-coloured overlays on my textbooks and used a coloured ruler on my laptop to make the screen less harsh to read from.


As dyslexia would often impact my academic writing, it was in my best interest to book in extra workshops with Study Skills Plus to help improve my academic writing. You can also speak to your lecture or course leader. I would highly recommend this as they can provide you with extra support; for example, printing your lecture notes on green paper. Having dyslexia also means you are entitled to extra time on exams which means you can work to the best of your ability.


Other techniques I found that helped me have been printing off my assignment briefs and breaking them down into sections, asking lots of clarifying questions and creating multiple assignment drafts. Consistently editing my work helps me to produce high quality academic assignments.


'Perspective of a Dyslexic', a video created by recent ARU graduate, Nusrat Chauman, to show the difficulties being dyslexic can present.


What support does ARU Students’ Union provide?


What support does ARU (the university) provide?



I love having dyslexia!

I actually do! My disability has enhanced my passion and increased my drive to succeed in achieving my 1st class honours degree, and has opened up job opportunities. It has also pushed me to perform to the best of my ability. I think it is always important to remember no matter what your disability is you can achieve anything if you want it!



Mary is currently working on a Carers’ Awareness campaign and is also actively engaged in the Disability Awareness Month activities. Find out more about how to get involved in these activities, and other Campaigns here.



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