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Digital help for dyslexics

For people with writing or reading difficulties, mobile phones, tablets, and scanners can provide assistance. It may come as a surprise that some of the most useful aids are already installed on mobile devices.

Lukihäiriö.
Image: Milla Vahtila / Yle

It's estimated that 5 to 10 percent of the Finnish population suffers from dyslexia.

While many people are familiar with spell- and grammar-check, few are aware that speech can easily be turned into text or vice versa. Additional enhancement aids, such as pen scanners and wireless speakers can also easily be added to mobile devices at little cost.

According to Pauli Sarsama, an accessibility aid expert with the Centre for Assistive Technology and Tools, "Students know how to use the Internet but are often unfamiliar with accessibility features."

Lassi Ajalin is one of those students.

He says the efficiency of his IT studies has "increased tenfold" since he started photographing study materials instead of taking notes. "It took so much time and energy to write notes," he adds.

Following the new non-discrimination act that stepped into effect at the beginning of the year, Sarsama says Finnish universities have quickly embraced the change and been in touch with the Centre to find out what type of tools can help in the learning process. 

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