HomeaccommodationMy Personal Ranking of Assistive Technology for Dyslexia

Reading can be hard for those of us with dyslexia. Even as a highly compensated adult, I struggle with certain formats and fonts. That said, I still love reading, and I think I always will.

While nothing will replace traditional books, I’ve found myself reading more ebooks recently. They’re more affordable, and the Kindle app makes it easy to customize things like font size, spacing, and color scheme. Since acquiring a tablet, courtesy of a pretty awesome online Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal and a loved one’s generosity, I’ve noticed a distinct difference in ease of reading on my three devices.

Here’s my ease of reading ranking for what I’m fortunate to have.

Wow. My tablet’s camera isn’t all that great. Anyway,
this is a sample of what the Kindle app looks on my phone.
The phone’s screen is much clearer than the picture,
though.

#3 – Smart Phone
I’m actually very fond of my smart phone. Because it’s so compact, it makes reading on the go a possibility without needing to haul books around, but because the screen is so small, it makes reading a bit of a challenge, especially when the larger font size is taken into account.

I find myself getting frustrated, because I have to interrupt my reading flow so many times to get to the next screen.

That said, I do like using it to listen to audio books. I can carry it around with me as I clean or go for a run, sometimes use voice commands (if I can remember what they are), and the program I use keeps my place when I need to stop it to do something else.

#2 – Laptop

Looking at this picture, I realize reflections can be a
problem with this screen. They’re usually not that bad,
though.

I think one of my barriers to reading on my laptop may be psychological. I use it mostly for online
correspondences and writing, so I’ve grown to associate it more with work than anything else. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, but reading for pleasure on it has grown to be a struggle.

My weird mental tricks aside, as far as the formatting and customization go, it’s not too bad. The screen is nice and wide, which helps minimize crowding, and I can set it to whatever font, size and color scheme I like.

As portable as the laptop is, though, I still end up needing to stay relatively upright and stationary when reading. I’m one of those people who tends to fidget when reading, so I wonder if I get sensory hungry or something when my brain’s occupied.

The other issue I have is the whole distractibility factor. The urge to check e-mails or social media is always right there, because it’s so easy to switch windows.

I listen to audio books on it from time to time, too, but since it’s just big enough to be annoying to carry around, the battery life isn’t what it used to be, and I need a wireless mouse to operate it, thanks to a non-functioning touch pad, I only tend to listen to them in my office.

That’s ok, though. Audio books are good for when I’m making jewelry, sewing, knitting or doing some more arcane craft related task.

#1 – Tablet

So much easier.


Granted, I’ve only been using the tablet for around a week, but it has made reading so much easier! It’s very portable, so I can take it with me into other parts of the house, and highly customizable. The screen is also a pretty decent size, at just over 10 inches wide. It’s big enough to allow a fair amount of medium/large text without being awkward to hold. Since I haven’t installed much by way of social media on it, distractibility isn’t as much of an issue as it is with the laptop.

There’s also something about just using my finger to switch windows and use the swipe keyboard that makes it easier to operate than the point/click/type involved with my laptop.

It’s also proven itself helpful with research and keeping writing notes. Yesterday’s entry, for example, was researched on the tablet. As I wrote it, I pulled up the pages I’d bookmarked to double check the info, as well as to cite them at the end of the entry.

I used a cloud program called Dropbox to send the web addresses to my laptop, so I could just copy-paste them into the entry.

It also helps that I feel all kinds of futuristic when I access information so quickly and easily on the tablet while in the midst of writing something. We may not be in the Star Trek years yet, but that thing makes me feel like we’re getting close.

I am currently on the hunt for a decent handwriting app to help with my fiction editing process.

In the end, I use each of these devices to support my personal LD needs. In addition to communication, I use a schedule/calender app to keep myself on track on my phone, along with the camera to help me remember/document things, a list app for shopping/blog ideas/book lists and several other apps to help with other issues. My laptop is for writing, networking, file storage and research. So far, the tablet has been used for reading, research and as a secondary screen for writing.

While I can certainly live without the smart phone and tablet, now that I’m fortunate enough to have them, I’ve noticed my life has gotten quite a bit easier.

What are some of your favorite accomodative devices?

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