Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dyslexics using the iPhone as a reading aid

Interesting piece in the Guardian by a dyslexic who found the iPhone changed his life. He got an e-book app for his phone and loaded it up with classic novels he had never read because they were too intimidating. In a week he had paged right through the 1,000-page The Count of Monte Cristo. How did the iPhone help?
So why I had found it easier to read from my iPhone? First, an ordinary page of text is split into about four pages. The spacing seems generous and because of this I don't get lost on the page. Second, the handset's brightness makes it easier to take in words. "Many dyslexics have problems with 'crowding', where they're distracted by the words surrounding the word they're trying to read," says John Stein, Professor of Neuroscience at Oxford University and chair of the Dyslexia Research Trust. "When reading text on a small phone, you're reducing the crowding effect."
It also turns out that he isn't alone.
I was so impressed that I contacted the Dyslexia Society, where Sue Flohr, herself dyslexic, recounted how her iPhone had changed her life. She told me that many others share my experience reading books and the society is in talks with the government over making school textbooks available as eBooks. Flohr said that her iPhone has not only brought greater organisation to her life, it has greatly improved her sense of self-esteem. I share this sense and now see that when I proudly show off my iPhone to others it is not just a new bit of technology, but the centrepoint of my newly ordered life.
Wonder if it has had a similar impact on Steve Jobs, not only the inventor of the iPhone, but long rumored to be one of the world's most successful dyslexics. (Via Maud Newton)

No comments: