American Wordspeller

Below is some information that was sent to me about a phonetic dictionary called American Wordspeller:

American Wordspeller Android App Screen Shot

“The suggestion of a tearful 13 year old, brilliant dyslexic girl encouraged the development of the first, one-of-a-kind dyslexia dictionary, “Gabby’s Wordspeller & Phonetic Dictionary”. Now in its 8th year, this unique dictionary has been transformed into Apps and Books entitled, “American Wordspeller”.

This handy resource tool, written by Gabby’s mother, Diane Frank, is used in over 800 school districts and 20 countries for those who struggle with spelling. Not only does it generate the correct spelling for you no matter how misspelled the word is, but will also provide the definition, spelled out suffixes and prefixes as well as cross reference your word if it is spelled or sounds similar to another word such as ‘petal’, ‘pedal’ or ‘peddle’.

A usability study, performed by Dr. Luz Rello et al at Carnegie Melon University mentioned the App, ‘American Wordspeller & Phonetic Dictionary’ as an “…easily accessible mobile application for People with Dyslexia” in 2012.

Find your word by the way it sounds! Designed by and for genius dyslexics!”

Below is a demo of how to use this dictionary.

Have you used American Wordspeller? What do you think of it?

–Rita W. El-Haddad

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Facebook Page: “New York City Dyslexia Research – Brooklyn College:”

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Update: for information on our latest research project, click here

–Rita W. El-Haddad

Download the Free Dyslexia Toolkit!

The National Center for Learning Disabilities has just come out with its Dyslexia Toolkit. The toolkit is a free e-book that anyone can download. The goal of releasing the toolkit is to raise awareness, help you see warning signs of dyslexia in children and adults, as well as noting what you can do if you or someone you know may have dyslexia. Continue reading

Celebrities with Dyslexia Who Made it Big

As discussed in a previous post, Steven Spielberg recently revealed that he was diagnosed with dyslexia.

There are many other famous celebrities with dyslexia like Patrick Dempsey, Orlando Bloom, Whoopi Goldberg, and Cher.

Luchina Fisher gives us an overview of these celebrities, their difficulties, and their achievements in this ABC News article.

–Rita W. El-Haddad

OpenDyslexic Font

This review by Mike James of I Programmer discusses the potential benefit of a new font geared specifically for people with dyslexia. The font is called OpenDyslexic, it is free, and can be downloaded from this website. The font’s letters have “heavy-weighted bottoms” with the purpose of making the font easier to read. It is also supposed to help prevent letter-swapping and allow readers to more easily distinguish between letters.

Alphabet and Numbers in OpenDyslexic Font – Source

Mike James, a programmer with dyslexia, discusses his personal view of the font as well as how this could help the dyslexic community as a whole and programmers with dyslexia. James states that its benefits cannot truly be measured until there is some scientific testing, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Check out the review here as well as a report by BBC News

–Rita W. El-Haddad


OpenDyslexic Font Example – Source

How Kids Outsmart Learning Disabilities

Check out this article about how children with learning disabilities are able to succeed and learn to work through their difficulties and lead successful lives as adults. My favorite quote from the article: “It doesn’t come down to how gifted you are or how smart you are, but how much you want to get to where you want to go.” Thanks to LD Online for posting it on their Facebook Page and spreading the word about this great piece.

–Rita W. El-Haddad

Learning “Disabilities:” No Shame in the Name

A great piece by Sheldon H. Horowitz, E.D. about why there is no shame in having a learning disability. This was posted on the National  Center for Learning Disabilities and it goes into detail about how words like “differences” and “preferences” simply do not encompass what people with learning disabilities experience.

Check the post out here.

–Rita W. El-Haddad