Digital assistive and universal design tools for those with reading or writing disabilities
Submitted by David J. Rosen on June 20, 2018 - 6:09pm
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This discussion focuses on digital assistive and universal design technologies for those with reading and writing disabilities. I have been interested in the topic for some time, but both the recent Defining Reading discussion on LINCS, in which some believe our definition of reading needs to be broadened to include getting meaning from text using technology, and this Wired article by writer Lisa Wood Shapiro, The End of Dyslexia, have prompted me to post the topic now.
In the article, Shapiro talks about her experiences as a writer who is also dyslexic and what has enabled her to have a writing career. The answer, in a word, is "technology." She has included a short video with the article that covers some of what she has written about, and that might be a good way of introducing her story to adult learners who may not be able to easily read her article. Including the video, incidentally, is a great example of universal design. I watched it after reading the article, and it reinforced what I had read and also gave me more visual information about the environments she had described in words. Someone else might watch it to get meaning they could not get by reading it in traditional ways. In an early part of the article she writes about her liberating experience with grammarly, a free spell checking and grammar checking software that I am familiar with, but not in the way that dyslexic adults have used it.
I am interested, and I hope you are, too, in learning about other assistive or universal design technologies that have enabled adults with reading or writing disabilities to read and communicate in writing.
Please share examples of software you have used yourself as an adult learner or teacher of adults with reading or writing disabilities, that you believe have been helpful. If you read about these and have questions, ask them, and I hope whoever has posted information, or someone with Internet search skills and a little time, might answer your questions.
I am posting this to several LINCS groups because, if the discussion proceeds, it could be useful to others who are not working primarily with people who have reading and writing disabilities, but who may have some students who could benefit.
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group