Supporting students with literacy learning difficulties

Access strategies, tools and information you can use to help your students.

Tuesday, 24 October 2023 at 10:00 pm
A teacher assisting a primary school-aged child a his desk.

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. The month marks a good time to familiarise yourself with the literacy learning difficulties resources available on the Diverse Learners Hub website.

The hub is an initiative of the $1.6 billion Disability Inclusion reform. It provides teacher resources to support diverse learners, including students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Hub resources include strategies, tools and information to boost your knowledge and skills and help your students reach their goals. 

Diverse learners include students with characteristics associated with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyscalculia. 

According to Auspeld’s 2019 Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Practical Guide, on average, there are 4 or 5 diverse learners in every mainstream classroom

What is the difference between a learning difficulty or disability?

‘Learning difficulty’ is an umbrella term to describe difficulty some students experience with learning because of a variety of reasons, such as disability, illness or living in out-of-home care.

Students with a learning difficulty may be unable to access the curriculum through high-quality instruction alone. However, with tailored support, these students can close the gap between themselves and their peers. 

For teachers, understanding why a student may be experiencing difficulties while learning is an important first step to help them access the curriculum. 

Learning disabilities are a subset of learning difficulties and are classified as congenital, neurological differences, which include specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia.

What is dyslexia? 

Central features of dyslexia include difficulties with accurate or fluent word decoding, reading and spelling. These difficulties persist as dyslexia is a lifelong condition. However, students with dyslexia can learn to read with fluency and accuracy given intensive, evidence-based intervention over extended periods.

Support on offer at the hub 

The Diverse Learners Hub includes guidance on how to identify and support students who have learning difficulties in literacy. The hub includes a regional coaching workforce who can support school leaders to embed inclusive practices for diverse learners in their schools.

These online tools and resourcesincluding SPELD SA’s new suite of decodable readers, will help you to support students with learning difficulties.

The hub also provides resources on Supporting students with language difficulties. The guidance and resources will help all students develop language skills and are essential for students with language and learning difficulties. 

Language skills are critical to all areas of student learning and wellbeing.

Professional development

Teachers from Victorian government schools can access free professional learning, including:

If you are a teacher in a mainstream Victorian school, you can also apply for the Graduate Certificate in Education (Learning Difficulties)

Applications for Round 3 of this tertiary study program open on Monday 5 February 2024. 

Video case studies

The hub has produced a series of case studies, featuring schools that have exemplary practices in supporting diverse learners. Check out the case studies to learn about how: 

Find out more

For more information, refer to:

For further enquiries, contact Grant McKell, manager, Diverse Learners Hub, Inclusive Education Division: