How Technology Can Help (And Trouble) Workers With Dyslexia

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Between 5% and 12%of Europeans have dyslexia or an associated learning disorder, and for those who live with it, dyslexia continues to affect us in adulthood. Technology can be used to help children with dyslexia to work with their condition and develop ways to read and write. But unlike today’s dyslexic youth, adults with dyslexia don’t have any assistive technology specifically designed for them. In today’s online world, the space given by online communication and the speed at which online work-based communication happens can both help and hinder dyslexic adults. While word processors, spell-checkers, and online workspaces can benefit dyslexic adults, it can sometimes be overwhelming to receive information as quickly as it’s given in the ‘information age’.

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What is Dyslexia and how can Technology Help with its Symptoms?

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that results in reading and writing difficulties. Dyslexia is found in populations around the world, however rates can be particularly high in countries where the written language uses irregular spelling or features combinations of letters with different sound possibilities. English is full of these combinations (such as the ‘ou’ in cough and through) as well as different spellings that all make the same sound (such as the ‘o’ sound in stole, coal, and bowl). It is estimated that 15% of the U.S. population suffers from dyslexia.

Dyslexic people have chronic difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling. Despite being bright and motivated, a child with dyslexia will have great difficulty making connections between spoken and written language. Dyslexics may be intelligent and creative people but suffer from low self-esteem or anxiety brought on by their learning disability.

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