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January 2008

MacWorld Conference & Expo 2008

January 14-18th Expo only 15th-18

Macintosh is naturally 'dyslexic friendly'. Maybe that's because Steve Jobs the developer is dyslexic himself. I always rave about Apple with good reason. It's simple, logical, and easy to use, and it gets better every year! The products get better every year. This year we found many products that enhance the dyslexic user. Go to MacWorldExpo and see all the vendors. IDG puts on a good show.

 

John Lennon Video!! See it at MacWorldExpo

What a fun and inspiring day for schools and it's free!
Teachers take advantage of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. Many dyslexics are drawn to the arts, including John Lennon. Although they don't talk about John Lennon's dyslexia, the bus is a non-profit, mobile recording studio outfitted with traditional musical instruments as well as current technological advances. The Bus has provided free hands-on programs to hundreds of high schools, colleges, Boys and Girls Clubs, music festivals, concerts, conventions and community organizations. See this video clip at MacWorld 2007 about the bus and visit their website. http://www.LennonBus.org

[see John Lennon Video!!]

 

December 2007

IDA Conference Dallas, Texas

In a nutshell the IDA Internation Dyslexia Association Conference is the recourse for resources of clinically tested methods to help multi-sensory students. My first symposium, first speaker Gordon F. Sherman, PhD, gave me much hope for the language of dyslexics future in Education. Educators of the future are looking at the assets dyslexics have and working with there strengths.... hallelujah!! The last day of the conference, so I will be reporting soon my findings and elaborate on the must see event. http://www.interdys.org/AnnualConference.htm

 

Excellent resource for students Dyslexia College has resources for: Computer programs, Essay writing, Reading difficult books, Giving presentations, Concentration, Time scheduling, Acronyms, Organization, working methods, Taking notes, Exams, Support for dyslexic students, For teachers, Dyslexia and stress, Discussion Forum & Newsletters. http://www.dyslexia-college.com/

 

Dyslexic Friendly Product Reviews.

Send us your programs and products and we will write a review on it's educational and dyslexic friendly ease of use. We feature products that are dyslexic friendly. If we like them, and think it would benefit our community, we will give you a complimentary link on our "Awesome Resources" page. We have thousands of visitors from all over the world, from educators to, students, and adults looking for answers to complement their unique needs. Solutions that are in harmony with ADD, learning disabilities, freethinkers and Dyslexia.

 

Free on Line: Spelling & Text to Speech! By Stacy Poulos

Being a avid dyslexic and often times having a hard time choosing the correct word in a spell check, I don't always have the time to get a third party to correct my spelling before it goes out to a client or published in print or on the web.

Spelling
Go to google.com and type in your word, if it is spelt wrong it will ask you if you really meant this... then they will give you an alternate word. Well if you are dyslexic like I am, your still not sure it's correct. Sometimes google will find sites with the word spelt wrong, so to check you can go through the second step...
Text to Speech
There are a lot of options in programs to have your computer to read to you and we have a few links on our resource page. Microsoft has a program that is amazing, you speak into a microphone and it will type for you, even read back to you. But here's a hot tip, on the goto: ATT has an on line program you can type into, you can even pick different NATURAL voices and languages to read back to you. You can copy and paste a 300 character limit paragraph and have it read back to you. I'm always amazed how many errors I catch by having my work read back to me. On line, Text to Speech, check this out!....

On line Text to Speech

http://www.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php

 

What are dyslexic friendly products? By Stacy Poulos
In my opinion any product you use should enhance your capabilities with out having to go through an extensive learning curve. That goes for anyone. What company wants to pay huge amounts of money to put all their employees through speciality training? Not to mention they have to pay them hourly to go through it. In my professional experience as a media expert, I have worked with hundreds of companies. From large companies such as Kraft Foods with thousands of employees to small companies with only a few employees, and sometimes a big turn over. These companies as well as individualize appreciate 'ease of use'. Most professionals are just that, professionals at what they do, and they are good at what they do. They are not computer programmers and don't even want to know what a 'directory' is, or what a 'gigabit' is, or a 'refresh' button... what the heck is that? and why do I have to do it?. Blah, blah, blah. So. I commission anyone who sells products of any sort to take the extra time to keep it simple and visual. Make your amazing products, then sit back and re-design it with simplicity in mind. You can always have an advanced mode. Once people start to uses a product often, eventually they explore to learn more. ADD and dyslexics just want to get to the point. Icons most the time, are better than words. It took Microsoft a long time to get on the simplicity/icon based ban wagon but a PC's are looking a lot like a Mac now. Better yet accompany the icons with words is even better yet. So here are some important tips on developing programs...
 
Quick Start Guides
Can your potential user start using your product with out going into great detail? Have a quick start guide that gets them started without compromising the product. One that gives them instant results. The functioning product should excite the user to want to utilize all the functions.

Icons, Words and Illustrations.
Logical icons are easier to find and explore. I like to explore a products with out having to read the directions. Then I like to look further into the greater functionality.

Logic, Logic, Logic.
Make it logical! Have someone go over it with basic common sense. Technical people tend to put to much of the "middle part" in. Show me what the end results should look like, then the steps to get there. Most dyslexics have strong common sense and can figure things out without directions, just show us where to find it and what it should look like. We would rather explore things then --read the directions.
 
Bullet Points, Not Paragraphs.
You can have directions in details but you should start off with bullet points and short descriptions. When it comes to computer based stuff, make screen prints of all the functions then and what it does.
See more with teaching dyslexics...

 

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