Friday, 16 November 2012

Lots of Children in Need

Blog Children in need
About 10 million adults in the UK are functionally Illiterate. They are unable to read official forms properly, newspapers, even medicine bottles.
Today, at school there will be  1 in 5 children who when they are adult still not be able to read properly.
That is over 1,200,000 of our children in school today
Why is this still true?
My work has been to study this for the last 28 years.   For the last 14 years, using computers to work out what is controlling how well young people and adults read. Before the computer you had to read what you were given. The clever people could cope with small fonts. The people in the lower sets, the less successful often needed big print but were still slow readers.
Using a computer to you can choose
·         your font size.
·         how bright the background is.
·         the colour of the background.
It is possible to calculate exactly what will allow people to get their maximum reading performance. I and my colleagues are working with people of all ages at Universities, colleges but rarely in schools. There are ways of precisely fitting a computer screen to your eyes. When you do you will read more efficiently, faster, more fluently.
Having to use one size of font in examinations, and in printed material disables millions of people in this country and elsewhere.
If in the Olympics everyone had to run in size 8 shoes, different people would win. It would be a stupid rule., The same for reading, one size does NOT fit all..
From our data (over 12,000 people) we think around 4000000 (4 million) of the children in school today would read and write more easily on grey paper
Now that is an easy one. It would cost nothing!
 It can be even better but that might cost a little bit, but nothing compared to how much our children and adults lose out. Also we spend millions and millions of pounds on probably unnecessary reading support in schools at the moment. An example of further improvement is below. 

The same text is printed on a cyan background,and a magenta background ,

To find out more read the rest of the Blog. Click at the top and Join it and take part. If you found one of the  colours useful/easier  or your children ask them to have a go. Listen to them. This can be so easily dealt with on a computer. 
The cost to this country is minimal virtually free. The cost to your child of not doing it could be many thousands of pounds in lost opportunities. Please take part in making things better for millions and probably yourself.

As a final point around 25%  of our school children should be wearing spectacles. In a study I have done recently it is more like 11% 1 That means around  14% ( over 1,000,000) are in school today unable to properly see books, exam papers or board properly using an old technology. We need our schools to be glasses friendly.

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