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Irlen Centre

What does Irlen Centre at Glyndŵr University do?

The Irlen Centre at Glyndŵr University provides diagnostic assessments, advice, guidance and a specialist service to people with Irlen Syndrome attending higher education. We prescribe and provide specialist filters/lenses for students who are eligible for the Disabled Students' Allowance. The evaluations carried out by the centre lead to the provision of the specialist lenses which are accessible to students via DSA funding.

Our team of certified screeners have a wide knowledge of the screening process using individual screening methods they use coloured overlays to identify and minimise the difficulties associated with Irlen Syndrome.

Our team of accredited diagnosticians have knowledge, experience and expertise in the diagnostic process in order to provide students with the specific specialist individual filters/lenses to suit their spectral needs.

The centre has excellent facilities for the evaluation of Irlen Syndrome. These include the initial screening process which initially identifies the difficulties associated with Irlen Syndrome. A detailed evaluation is carried out by using a specialised specific lens kit which is used to identify the individual filter in order to precisely suit their specific needs.

There may be a combination of a variety of tints before the correct one is identified to reduce or eliminate the visual-perceptual difficulties and light sensitivity difficulties associated with Irlen Syndrome.

Assessments undertaken by the centre are independent of all manufacturers and suppliers of coloured tinted lenses, and the centre provides unbiased, individualised recommendations for appropriate individual needs. Students can make an informed choice to suit their needs from the range of many different filters/lenses available to them.

What is Irlen Syndrome?

People with Irlen Syndrome (Scotopic Sensitivity) have problems with visual perception. It is the brain that interprets the visual information which is then seen by the individual.
Research indicates that 12-15% of the population suffers from Irlen Syndrome. Many people will only experience slight problems, others may find it hard to learn and study.

Reading may be a problem due to the print on the page being distorted the longer they read. They experience tiredness and/or eye strain these may become itchy or watery; these problems may generate headaches or in severe cases nausea. Also, computers and bright lighting conditions such as fluorescent lighting may be uncomfortable for them to work or study under.

Irlen Syndrome can be associated with other learning problems such as dyslexia or ADD/HD, many people who have dyslexia may also be suffering from Irlen Syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

Light sensitivity

Problems with glare, fluorescent lights, sunlight, and/or night driving. Difficulty in concentrating or working under bright lighting conditions.

Problems with contrast

Difficulty reading from white paper. The page may be too bright or uncomfortable to look at.

Problems with print

Some people experience print distortions such as blurring moving or shaking when reading from a white background for a period of time.

Restricted Reading Span

Inability to read several words at one time. Difficulties with reading ahead and tracking along a line of print making it impossible to skim ahead or speed read.

Lack of Attention

Difficulties concentrating when reading or doing course work. Taking frequent breaks and looking away from the page are necessary to aid concentration levels. May become tired and fidgety.

Poor Depth Perception

Inability to judge distances or spatial relationships between objects. May have problems with walking up or down stairs or bump into table edges or door jams.

Irlen Self Test

Access our online self-test form to see if you have problems associated with Irlen® Syndrome:

Irlen Self Test Form


How do I get assessed for Irlen Syndrome?

The Irlen centre at Glyndŵr University only provides evaluations for students in Higher Education who are in receipt of the Disabled Students' Allowance.

How long will the assessment take?

The appointment is likely to take between 2 and 2.5 hours.

Do I have to prepare for the assessment?

It will be helpful if, before the Assessment appointment, you think carefully about the particular difficulties you are experiencing for example;

  • headaches, eyestrain or difficulties with reading or the computer screen
  • glare from OHPs, Powerpoint or the printed page

What happens at the assessment?

A specialist lens kit will be used in order to identify the correct filter, and every lens chosen would be for the individual only, and cannot be used by anyone else. It may be that a few lenses are identified in order to suit the individual’s specific needs.

Can I be tested for Irlen Syndrome at the opticians?

No, only trained Irlen® Diagnosticians are able to provide specialised filters for Irlen Syndrome. While opticians are able to provide tinted lenses, they will not be Irlen filters.

Will the tint be the same as the overlay colour?

No the overlay is an acetate which can be placed over the page to minimise the problems with the printed page. Precision tinted filters are worn as glasses and identified only after the diagnostic assessment.

Do I have to pay for the assessment?

No, the assessment and the lenses will be funded through your DSA allowance. This will be organised through the Irlen Centre at Glyndŵr University.

Do I have to provide frames or glasses?

If you wear glasses:

  • an up to date prescription is required
  • your glasses would be sent away for tinting

If you do not wear glasses:

  • an up to date eye test will be required
  • tinted lenses will be provided

The lenses can then be taken to an optician and fitted into frames. You will have to pay for the frames.

How long will I have to wait for my glasses/lenses?

Usually around three to four weeks.

Contact Us

The Irlen Centre consists of a team of three accredited diagnosticians and a number of certified screeners. The whole team are able to carry out initial screening for Irlen Syndrome and the three diagnosticians provide an evaluation which will lead to the provision of individual spectral filters.

In the first instance please contact Pat Howell – Lead Irlen Diagnostician with any queries.
Tel: 01978 294456

Alternatively, you can contact the team via any of the following methods:

In Person

We are situated on the 3rd Floor (a lift is available) of the Edward Llwyd Building on the main Glyndŵr University Plas Coch Campus. Our reception is open during the following times:
Monday to Thursday - 9.30am to 4.30pm
Friday - 9.30am to 1pm

Find us no 24 Glyndŵr University campus map

By Telephone

Outside opening hours, an answering machine service is available. Our telephone number is 01978 294456 and messages will normally be responded to within one working day.

By Email

Our email address is

By Post

Our postal address is:
Irlen Centre Glyndŵr University,
Student Services PP22s,
Plas Coch Campus,
Mold Road,
LL11 2AW





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