Student with dyslexia.jseliger2 (image modified). Creative Commons.

3 Apps to Help Students Navigate Life with Dyslexia

Understanding the frustrations of dyslexia and helping dyslexic students navigate the complexities of distorted text.

Experiencing the struggles of students with disabilities is a powerful way to gain insight and understanding into their daily challenges and frustrations. While most of us have some knowledge of dyslexia, a recent CNN article sharing Victor Widell’s dyslexic reading simulation offers us a fascinating glimpse into this jumbled world. With statistics showing that one in ten people are affected by dyslexia, having the tools and strategies to help dyslexic students visually process text can be life-changing for them. These 3 apps can help students navigate a clearer next chapter on their educational journeys.

Dyslexia Quest — This interactive game from Netty Learning touches on six common learning abilities that can be affected by dyslexia. The three different levels offered can appeal to users of different ages and/or allow students to accept the challenges of increasing difficulty. The report generated from gameplay gives all stakeholders a glimpse at the areas where a student struggles most. This can help direct the focus of strategies and tools that can best help a student find success. This is a single-user app with a $3.99 price tag. It can prove to be invaluable for a student struggling to understand their disability, and the Netty Learning website offers a host of resources for parents and teachers of students with dyslexia.

Tints: Dyslexia Friendly Reading — Helping dyslexic students find reading strategies that work can be life-changing. With this new app, users are able to try out changing the background tint to modify contrast and using a slide ruler that allows users to track the lines across the page/screen. This is an electronic variation of the reading rulers that can be purchased to help students keep their place while reading. If the app version improves the student’s ability to follow and comprehend text, then purchasing the tangible reading tool is a great next step for unlocking any text in book form. The free app offers chapter selections of several novels for students aged 8 to teen try out these modifications and content for parents/teachers. In app purchases can be made to unlock the entire text for each of the seven books that are currently available.

Web Reader — Text to Speech- For students with dyslexia, focusing on web-based text can be an arduous task. By using Web Reader, students can highlight any and all text found on a web page to hear the content. For older students that need to spend a lot of time researching, this can be quite the time-saver. By donning headphones or popping in some earbuds, dyslexic students are able to keep up with classmates when using the web for research and information gathering. This is a great tool for school, home, and future life usage. At only $1.99, unlocking the world of text for a struggling reader is well worth the investment.

Unfortunately, there isn’t an app that can cure dyslexia, but there are apps and strategies to help students manage the daily struggles associated with it. The dyslexia font created by Dutch designer Christian Boer has the amazing ability to transform text into a more dyslexic-friendly design. For those situation where a new font can’t be applied, it’s important to offer students other strategies coupled with an understanding of how to cope with the specific areas where dyslexia affects their learning. With these 3 apps, teachers can offer dyslexic students a new pathway for finding success.


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