Connecting dyslexic learners Katherine Howey Adult Dyslexia Support Specialist and Tutor Founder, Adult Dyslexia Support Group

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  • Connecting dyslexic learners Katherine Howey Adult Dyslexia Support Specialist and Tutor Founder, Adult Dyslexia Support Group
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  • Presentation focus Overview of DyslexicBuddies design process Human/computer interaction considerations Lessons learned Demonstration Way forward
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  • About me Adult dyslexia support specialist and tutor Designs and teaches foundation courses for dyslexic learners entering FE/HE Previously consultant in human/computer interaction and disability issues for UK/EU consortia katherinehowey@o2.co.uk
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  • Adult Dyslexia Support Group Formed 2010 Voluntary and community group Supports adult dyslexic learners through Short courses Reading group Resource site Self-funding
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  • About DyslexicBuddies Specialist resource site, tightly focused on literacy skills acquisition Blog allows learners to provide feedback on the resources and teaching strategies and share experience Website developed by subgroup of ADSG volunteers over 18 month period Over 500 resource hours to date Project costs covered by funding from ADSHE Liz Ahrends Award 2012
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  • User profile From pre-literate to HE level Weak literacy skills spikey profile Various learning styles, varying in severity auditory, visual, kinesthetic
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  • User-Centered Design Evaluation of products, services and teaching strategies for dyslexic people rarely asks for the feedback of dyslexic people DyslexicBuddies recognises that dyslexics are the experts on their own dyslexia DyslexicBuddies puts dyslexics at the heart of its design process
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  • Design evolution Basic blog site Cheap but nasty Hotmail discussion group Not sufficiently transparent, too many clicks WordPress Free Primarily a blogging tool but can support a website with careful design
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  • Wordpress.com v.org WordPress.com Online content management system, easy to use, limited functionality Comes with a branded WordPress.com domain name eg dyslexicbuddies.wordpress.com WordPress.org Downloaded software installed locally, paired with a site hosted elsewhere on the web More advanced functionality Offers more options Both WordPress services are technically free, but the downloaded software is only usable if you pay for a custom domain name and web hosting
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  • Design 1 Basic Blog This site was difficult to use, unattractive and needed a subscription
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  • Design 2 Discussion Group Set up on Hotmail Users could send e-mails to each other and access a resources page Users needed to set up an e-mail account first Messages were displayed over several pages It was easy to get lost on the site High level of user frustration with site design
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  • Design 2 Discussion Group
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  • Design 2 Discussion Group Resource Page
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  • Design 2 Discussion Group Spelling Resource Template
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  • Design 3 WordPress.com Users were invited to submit ideas for site structure and navigation Users key usability requirements Simple clean design Image friendly Easy to navigate Uncluttered text, clear signposting
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  • Design 3 User concept About Us Welcome to DYSLEXIC FRIENDS Here to help DYSLEXIA DYSPRAXIA ASPERGERS SYNDROME AD(H)D Blog Click here to share your experiences and learning strategiessimple as thatlook forward to learning from one another! Links Calendar Events and Courses. Celebrating Achievement STUDY SKILLS MEMORY & ORGANISATION WRITING SPELLING READING
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  • Design 3 - WordPress
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  • Design 3 User feedback Designed as one long page Too crowded Difficult to navigate Too wordy, not enough visual and audio alternatives to the written word
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  • Design 4 Current version
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  • Design 4 User reactions More visually based Emphasis on multimedia options - audio, video and image resources Much clearer Simpler drop-down menu structure reduces clutter on screen and groups topics More elegant design Less to read on screen, straight to the point
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  • Website widgets We included a number of plug-ins in the light of user feedback and continue to monitor take up and relevance PayPal Donate Facebook For the future? Twitter ScanMe
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  • Accessibility Currently provide topic area on visual stress which advises on font size and customising colour Considering use of assistive technologies, eg, to allow users to view website as spoken text Is there a trade off between use of reading software and visual presentation of text for those with visual stress?
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  • Proposed development path Subject to fundraising, set up custom domain name and web hosting Seek to incorporate best practice and website accessibility guidelines more fully without compromising integrity of the site
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  • Contact information Contact us at if you want to add resources: dyslexicbuddies@outlook.com Or view the Website at: www.dyslexicbuddies.www.dyslexicbuddies.org.uk Or through the ADSHE website at www.adshe.org.uk
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  • Thank you