Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Reducing the barriers to computer use for a Dyspraxic student ( Not a dyslexic student)

Reducing the barriers for a Dyspraxic student

I recently worked with a Dyspraxic student looking at ways to reduce the difficulties/ barriers she experiences with text/reading/writing.

The student has been diagnosed as Dyspraxic, not dyslexic. 

There appears to be visual processing components to the barriers that……………… experiences.

By optimising the following aspects of the computer screen we were able to reduce/remove these barriers.

Font size……Increase needed.

Screen brightness/ ambient lighting…..Reduction in ambient lighting and screen brightness.

Screen background ‘colour’….. Precise, slight reduction in green pixel brightness compared with red and blue.

These I believe compound  the issue of her convergence ‘difficulties at near’;   that are associated with her very strong correction for near vision  which probably leads to her needing to be too close to the screen/ text when reading/writing, as if she is ‘short-sighted’. 

The intermittent alternate monocular visual suppression which is the visual system’s response to this would exacerbate her dyspraxia. There would be an associated clumsiness when reading or for 30 seconds to a minute after reading as ‘distance judging for fine motor activities would be compromised. More demand would be made for accurate Cerebellar calculations in terms of muscle tone management.

The viewing distance is possibly not actually a direct association with the long sight correction but in order to ensure that the image size on her retinas is an appropriate to maximise her ‘visual attention span’.  Raising the font would increase the this optimal viewing distance, reduce the convergence/fusion problems and hence give rise to  increased fluency, reduced demand on working memory and increased reading stamina.

It is also likely that the substantially reduced ambient lighting (from the wraparound shades) will increase the pupil diameter, contributing to and assisting the reduced background brightness which allows optimisation of the edge detection data process.

There was a slight but precise adjustment to the ‘colour of the background which further contributed to the barrier reduction.

Please note each of these comments is based on measured responses to changes in the viewing parameters.

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