TutoDYS : Supporting students with Dys in online environment during Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused rapid changes in educational systems and presented many different challenges for all students, including students with Dys.

According to UNESCO (2020) at least 1.5 billion students and their families have been affected by the school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The majority of the governments responded by declaring home-based quarantines and organising learning remotely, mostly online to ensure continuity of studying for students (Soriano-Ferrer et al., 2021). Nevertheless, according to UNESCO (2020), this did not address disruption in education for all students, especially students who are marginalised or disadvantaged in educational systems. Because of a lack of data, it is unclear how many students with Dys are receiving inadequate educational support as a result of the pandemic (UNESCO, 2020).

Learning of students with Dys in online and distance learning environments looks different depending on various factors such as the severity of the Dys, students’ age, availability and accessibility of online resources, and the amount of support from teachers, parents, and guardians. Moreover, students with specific learning disorders or disabilities are often provided with less help and inadequately prepared teachers during crisis situations such as Covid-19 outbreak (UNESCO, 2020). It can be expected that school closures, distance learning and confinement present particular challenges for students with Dys and they may be disproportionately affected by Covid-19 learning loss. (Soriano-Ferrer et al., 2021).

One of the barriers to education through online learning practices that UNESCO (2020) mentions is the lack of ICT knowledge and skills of teachers which leads to their unpreparedness to teach online and enable engagement of students; especially for students with Dys. However, at the moment there is no available data on special-education teachers’ digital skills (UNESCO, 2020).

Furthermore, school closures in Spain had a negative influence on students’ reading motivation and activity (Soriano-Ferrer et al., 2021). This highlights the need to support students with Dys during “atypical schooling conditions, just as it is well understood that such students should be well supported under more typical school conditions” (Soriano-Ferrer et al., 2021). Nevertheless, it is important to mention that research on the impact of Covid-19 on education of students with Dys and education overall is still emerging and there are existing gaps.

Online and high-tech-based learning platforms and resources need to be available and all students’ needs must be accommodated to ensure that learners are not left behind during school closures or when schools are open. In addition, more research is needed to enable a better understanding of the impact Covid-19 pandemic had on education and learning and to find ways how to appropriately address all possible negative impacts.

Different educational tools are available online for free and they can be used as tools for supporting online and distance learning. In our project TutoDYS, we will create an online LMS Platform to support Dys learners between the age of 6 and 12. The goal of the platform is to support Dys students in the development of basic skills through different learning modules: Reading-Writing-Speaking module, a module on STEM and a General Knowledge module. Teachers, students, and parents will be able to use the platform according to their needs, as a tool to support learning at home or as a complementary tool in classrooms. Stay tuned for more information!


UNESCO Bangkok. (2020, May 04). Empowering students with disabilities during the COVID- 19 crisis: https://bangkok.unesco.org/content/empowering-students-disabilities-during-Covid-19-crisis

Soriano-Ferrer, M., Morte-Soriano, M. R., Begeny, J., & Piedra-Martínez, E. (2021). Psychoeducational Challenges in Spanish Children With Dyslexia and Their Parents’ Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 2005.

Project website : https://tutodys.eu

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Our partners in this ambitious project are EDULOG (France), Euphoria (Italie), Les Apprimeurs (France), DABG (Sdruzhenie “Asociacia Dyslexia – Bulgarie) et Josip Matos PS (OSNOVNA SKOLA JOSIPA MATOSA – Croatie).


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