This project is the result of a 2 weeks research on Dyslexia and an investigation into how design can create a system in which individuals with dyslexia can create their own connection with language. To do that, I started by researching Dyslexia and the platforms that have been specifically designed for dyslexic individuals.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called a reading disability, dyslexia is a result of individual differences in areas of the brain that process language. (Mayo Clinic, 2022)
My first approach was to learn more about Dyslexia and identify the occasions in which design can create an opportunity for expression and innovation with dyslexic individuals. Through my research, I realized that Dyslexia is a learning difference originating from our Neurological process or it could be traced back to our cognitive process and how we decode words and letters.
Based on these findings, designers have designed several typefaces specifically for individuals with Dyslexia to help them decode the letters more efficiently and speed up their reading process.
Furthermore, I tried to research online platforms that have been designed for individuals with Dyslexia. What I have realized was almost all of these platforms were designed with the goal of helping Dyslexic individuals (mostly focusing on children) to overcome their literacy difficulty.
Unlike existing platforms, my approach is to change this perspective of “Helping” and “Overcoming Dyslexia”. Through this project, I’m trying to encourage those who have dyslexia to create their own relationship with language, and I think it starts by stopping labeling Dyslexia as a “Disability” or “Disorder”. My goal is to empower dyslexic individuals to share their methods and experiences regarding dyslexia, and hopefully, a system that will result in designing a platform based on their rules and process.
Although this was a 2 weeks project, I had the opportunity to connect with HDL (Health Design Lab) at Emily Carr University and find some resources for the next steps. However, there are numerous aspects that I have not considered regarding Dyslexia. Not only do I lack knowledge from phenomenological aspects, but also there is much design-related research that I have not considered for this project. Moving forward, I’m hoping to learn more about Dyslexia from both dyslexic individuals and health experts.