Following on from the blog of yesterday, I receive an email which raises something that have been a concern of mine for some time. With permission (thanks, A) I quote the following "I have found that people with dyslexia are given the technology to help them, but not given support on how to use it. I was give a number of things to help me, but was "NOT" shown how to use it and a few other dyslexics have told me the same thing. To me this is just a waste of money, because if you cannot use it, because you have not been shown or can work it out for yourself, you do not use it. I think this needs highlighting too." So the question is not just where is the support, but what is effective support, and how do you ensure the right support is given to each individual? Clearly, a standard one-off technology needs assessment is not the right answer.
In iSHeds (www.isheds.eu), a project supporting dyslexic students in university in the Balkan countries (Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania), the "solution" has been to develop e-learning for both those supporting dyslexic students and the students themselves. Of course it cannot cover all aspects, but in a region where currently there is nothing, it offers a starting point, a kind of lifeline, to many who would otherwise have nothing. The irony is that those Balkans students could end up with more support available than what many students currently receive across the UK.
The iSheds material is, apparently, due to be available in about a month, and will be in English as well as the languages mentioned. And it will all be free. However, the concept mapping tool developed as part of the project is already available at www.ikonmap.com