Helping regular people understand the life of dyslexic friends and family
A tool for helping relatives and interested parties to understand life with dyslexia
Thesis project description
The thesis is currently marked as just 1 student but ideally I will find 1 or 2 more to join me on this endeavour.
The core inspiration for this comes from the games and simulations intended to let typical people experience what it's like to have autism. An example of these would be Autismity.
Dyslexia is generally treated less severely than for example autism and we already have various tools to aid dyslexic people deal with education and more, so providing a tool, game or simulation for actually experiencing dyslexia is intriguing to me, in part because multiple of my friends happen to have dyslexia themselves. Given that I have autism myself, some of the issues these people struggle with are things I can identify with too.
The very incomplete idea I have currently, and am very willing to modify to a large extent, would be a game with various little tasks to do. Finding the correct word for a sentence or needing to spell something either from memory or audio cues - naturally with these aspects being distorted to match the experience of dyslexia in some fashion.
The motivating factor for me here really is in providing a gateway for non-dyslexic people to understand what their dyslexic counterparts are going through and, ideally, help foster more understanding and spark creativity to alleviate these issues better in today's world.
Managerial value of the research
Optimistically, the resultant product will not only be a significant support and teaching aid for the friends and family of dyslexic people but might be used by educational institutions, organisations and the medical and therapeutic sectors to better understand dyslexia and serve to create better tools to aid these people. Ideally, it would change how nations consider people with dyslexia and how to help them become more productive members of society via more fulfilling education and jobs.
Supporting such a cause, and being part of the development being such a significant tool, can provide business opportunities with companies in many sectors and help improve life for as many as 20% of the population.
Research topic motivation
In multiple places, I've learned of games to let the player experience autism. That there are many other disabilities with comparable impact on people's lives that are overlooked made me want to provide some kind of support. Dyslexia specifically was chosen as some of my friends live with this condition, and I personally have wondered about the exact nature of their struggles, as I imagine many others have too. In some ways, this is a very selfish motivation to understand my friends better but I also want to help many other people in a similar situation: how can I best help this person with dyslexia? In what way exactly are they struggling and how can this be lessened or remedied?
Why collaborate with us
As a Games student, I have a varied perspective on games, games design and development to create the kind of software in question. My connection to people with dyslexia gives me easy contacts for questions, interviews and more as well as a drive and motivation many other software developers would lack for this project. My own autism lets me reflect and understand on the struggles in a way a neurotypical person would not be able to. It also allows deep focus while working on a task and a strong desire for a strong structure of many aspects of the project including deadlines. I also have a very good understanding of myself and my limits such as when to scale a project down or take breaks to avoid mentally crashing.
Hopefully, I would have 1-2 other students on the project with me that I have worked with previously with similarly strong backgrounds and who can help allocate more time to data gathering and data processing while having a simlarly strong motivation.
12 to 15 weeks.
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