Before completing her degree in English and History and Theory of Art at The University of Kent at Canterbury and her PGCE at Christ Church College, Norma worked in research and personnel management. Since being in the educational sector, she has worked in a range of environments, including teaching foreign students and adults learning English as a second language, Year 6 pupils in mainstream school, of whom a high proportion had special educational needs, and lecturing at GCSE and A level in FE to adults and students with severe and complex disabilities. For six years, she taught at a specialist school for pupils with severe dyslexia and associated conditions of dyspraxia, ASD, ADHD.
Norma was the Dyslexia Adviser and also Specialist Tutor at the University of Kent at Canterbury. She was also Head of the Dyslexia Unit at a Sixth Form College where her responsibilities included diagnostic testing for pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), mentoring students with Asperger’s Syndrome and other disorders, and overseeing Sixth form transfers to FE/HE institutions. Norma also ran staff development days and workshops for parents, and was involved in the LADS trials for Hull University involving the evaluation and monitoring of a computerised SpLDs screening program, for students aged 16+, and later a further project involving the analysis of control groups for a computer screening program for adult dyslexics in Higher Education.
Prior to setting up and running Iona Kent and South East, a DSA-QAG Accredited Assessment Centre, Norma assessed disabled students in HE for numerous London Universities, including the University of Westminster, Imperial College, Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music and The Open University. She was also a QAG Auditor for other Assessment Centres.
Norma founded the DSA Forum SE in 2005 for students, parents, teachers and other professionals and DSA stakeholders supporting disabled students in education. The inauguration of the DSA Forum SE bi-annual Educational Conference followed in 2008, working with AimHigher, local Schools, FE and HE providers and other organisations such as National Autistic Society (AS); Rethink and Mind Mental Health Charities; RNIB/Action for the Blind; Dyslexia East Kent Support (DEKs); Working with Dyslexia and The Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS).
Norma regularly provides educational assistance and guidance and her time and expertise, pro-bono, within the education domain. Input includes interview panels for disability staff; DSA talks in schools, colleges and organisations and consultancy on Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) for specialist support and strategies, assistive technology and software strategies. Where necessary, assessments for students with no DSA funding have been provided.