Due to the extended visual span dyslexics have, focusing on a text that’s spread out is difficult. But when the text is formatted in narrow columns, then people are forced to focus on a smaller visual span, thus increasing their reading comprehension. The idea for the application came from a realization by Dr. Matthew Schneps, a Harvard astrophysicist who happens to be dyslexic. He gradually became aware that it was easier for him to understand text that he read on the small screen of his smartphone, than it was reading the same text on paper.
Research was then carried out to examine whether people with reading disabilities could benefit from the use of handheld electronic devices. The results are yet to be published, but it is expected that the study will confirm dyslexics’ experiences; that a device restricting their visual span can considerably help them focus their attention on reading.
Marc Slater, managing director of 7 Speed Reading™ reported today: “We already have the technology, all we need is the perfect mobile app for it. We recommend building one from the several existing software applications for speed reading, to accelerate the process a bit more. Building upon the existing knowledge of speed reading will enable app designers to come up with an effective, smart application, helping the thousands of dyslexic people out there.”
He concluded by saying, “We don’t know what will go into this new app, what we do know for sure is that vertical reading will be favored, as it tends to facilitate reading for dyslexics.” The Span-Limiting Tactile Reinforcement method is another considered intervention to be used in this app, as it has been shown to facilitate reading for students with dyslexia, in the research led by Dr. Schneps.
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