Irish start-up launches online toolkit for learners with dyslexia

3 Jul 2020827 Views

Kevin Cogan, founder and CEO of Dyslex.ie. Image: Dyslex.ie

Dyslex.ie has launched an online platform that aims to maximise reading speed for learners with dyslexia.

This week, social enterprise start-up Dyslex.ie launched its online platform, which has been backed by Enterprise Ireland, that aims to support learners with dyslexia.

Dyslex.ie provides learners with online tools to help them maximise reading speed and minimise errors. Users on the platform begin by competing a survey to identify their form of dyslexia and how best to accommodate their needs. The platform then gathers the information to tailor its software to support the user.

Dyslex.ie was set up by Dublin City University (DCU) computer science student Kevin Cogan, who realised there was a lack of online tools to support the dyslexic community.

According to the Dyslexia Association of Ireland, dyslexia affects approximately one in 10 people in the country and is one of the most common learning difficulties.

Setting up Dyslex.ie

Cogan’s start-up has already received funding from Enterprise Ireland and the Social Innovation Fund, and won Citi’s Pathways to Progress programme. It was part of the winning Enactus DCU team this year, and will go on to represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup later in the year.

Dylsex.ie is now available online as an add-on to web browsers, and is offering a 10-week free trial period. Cogan hopes to offer the services through an annual subscription later on, with specific rates available for schools, businesses and personal use.

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Individual plans will start from €2 per month, with school subscriptions available from €6 annually. Dyslex.ie aims to make its technology available to all Irish universities for free, in recognition of the challenges remote learning will create for many students.

“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,” Cogan said.

Resources and tools

Through his research, Cogan found that there were limited resources and materials to support people with dyslexia in Ireland, so he 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,” he said. “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 is more than just a software, instead it is a community helping each other to thrive and prosper while embracing our unique differences.”

Rosie Bissett, CEO of Dyslexia Association of Ireland, added: “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.”

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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