New online resource for those with dyslexia launched today
A new social enterprise start-up, Dyslex.ie, was officially launched today in Ireland. The platform, which provides learners with dyslexia with online tools that will help them to maximise reading speed and minimise errors, is now available online and is offering a free ten-week trial for all users.
The innovative platform carries out an initial survey with the user to identify their form of dyslexia and how best to accommodate their needs. The information gathered is then used to tailor the software to best support the user, applying features and alterations which will support more accurate reading for that person.
According to the Dyslexia Association of Ireland, dyslexia affects approximately one in ten people in this country. It is one of the most common learning difficulties and makes it harder for some people to learn, read, write, or spell. Recognising a lack of online tools to support the dyslexic community, Kevin Cogan, a Computer Science student in Dublin City University came up with the idea of Dyslex.ie.
The start-up has already achieved significant attention and funding after succeeding securing funding from Enterprise Ireland, the Social Innovation Fund and from winning Citibank’s Pathways to Progress programme. Dyslex.ie was also a leading project in Enactus DCU which placed first at this year’s Enactus National Competition. Dyslex.ie, along with Enactus DCU, will go on to represent Ireland at this year's Enactus World Cup in September.
The software is currently available to download as an add-on to a web-browser for a ten-week free-trial period. The start-up will then offer its services via an annual subscription charge with specific rates available for schools, corporates, and personal use.
Kevin Cogan, CEO and founder of Dyslex.ie said, “Dyslex.ie is more than just a software, instead it is a community helping each other to thrive and prosper while embracing our unique differences. While dyslexia does not get as much attention as other disabilities it can be seriously debilitating for a student and can affect their confidence for later life. Many students and adult learners are too embarrassed to admit they have dyslexia and instead do not put themselves forward for courses or positions that they deem too language-focused.”
“After initial research, it became apparent that there was limited resources and material available to support people with dyslexia in Ireland. I wanted to change this so I began looking into how technology could help this group of people. The end result is this intuitive and automatic software that is suitable for all ages and abilities. It includes many easy-to-use features such as changing the size and colour of the page you are reading, the amount of words on a line, the background colour, and it even highlights the line you are reading so you don’t lose track of where you are reading from.”
“Dyslex.ie has already received great support and endorsements as part of the 2020 winning DCU Enactus team and through Enterprise Ireland and Citibank’s start-up programmes and we are currently looking into other avenues for funding and partnerships.”
“We are really excited now to be at the stage to officially launch it online as a social enterprise start-up and we look forward to working with organisations such as the Dyslexia Association of Ireland to ensure everyone who requires this service can access it.”
Rosie Bissett CEO Dyslexia Association of Ireland said, “Dyslexia is a major challenge for around half a million people in Ireland but with the right support, learners can enhance their reading and writing abilities and achieve their full potential. Developments in technology provide essential support to learners with dyslexia and in a changing educational landscape, it is terrific to see young students working to develop online tools to empower this community and help raise wider awareness of dyslexia.”