The Imagination of the Child: Response to Graeme Whiting

“What caused me mental health issues was not from reading Harry Potter or Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, but that my school refused to have me assessed for dyslexia and thus having little to no support with my reading. I felt stupid and belittled by teachers and fellow students. It’s a horrible feeling when you know that you’re not stupid but people talk down to you like you’re lazy or ignorant because you hate reading and it takes you twice as long as other people.”

“I was very lucky that when I went back to college at 25 I was diagnosed as dyslexic and was given support in college and at university too. I had a fantastic English lecturer at college too who opened my eyes to Shakespeare and I found myself laughing heartily at the jokes within Romeo and Juliet that I would never have understood before. He also reignited my love of poetry which has lead me on to reading the likes of Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney, who I perhaps would have avoided in the past.”

Read more of this post by clicking the link below

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

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor Position in Literacy Education at Syracuse University

Information about a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at the Department of Reading and Language Arts at Syracuse University is posted below. The advertisement is taken directly from the from the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading listserv:

The Department of Reading and Language Arts in the School of Education at Syracuse University seeks a tenure track Assistant Professor in Literacy Education with a focus in intervention. Required qualifications: An earned doctorate, or completion of doctoral degree by August 2016, in literacy education, teacher education, learning sciences, curriculum and instruction, special education, educational psychology, or a related field with emphasis in literacy. The successful candidate will have prior college/university teaching experience and a minimum of 3 years teaching in K-12 classrooms or equivalent settings.

Preferred qualifications: Expertise is highly desired in areas such as intervention, literacy acquisition, coaching, and/or assessment. Also of interest is expertise in urban education, multicultural and multilingual education, inclusive schooling, and/or digital literacies. Individuals with experience in quantitative and/or mixed research methods are especially encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to diversity, social justice, and equity in working with students from underrepresented groups.

Responsibilities: The successful candidate will conduct and publish research as well as seek external funding. The candidate will teach field-based undergraduate and graduate literacy courses taken by students in the Literacy, Teaching English Language Learners, and Special Education programs and collaborate with other faculty. In addition, the
candidate will advise and mentor undergraduate and graduate students and engage in departmental, school, university and professional service.

Application Procedure: For a detailed position description and online instructions, go to (#072133). All applicants must attach a current CV, a letter of interest that includes discussion of research interests and teaching philosophy, contact information for three (3) letters of recommendation and two writing samples.

Review of applications begins November 30, 2015, and will continue until position is filled. Questions about the position should be sent by email to the Search Chair, Marcelle Haddix, at

Syracuse University is interested in candidates who have the communication skills and cross-cultural abilities to maximize their effectiveness with diverse groups of colleagues, students and community members. Women, military veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of other traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. Syracuse University is an equal opportunity employer, as well as a federal contractor required to take affirmative action on behalf of protected veterans.

Post-Doctoral Position at the Florida Center for Reading Research

Information about a postdoctoral research position at the Florida Center for Reading Research is posted below. The advertisement is taken directly from the from the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading listserv:

Reading for Understanding Projects

Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University

Christopher Lonigan and Beth Phillips are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join the Reading for Understanding project at FCRR. This is a multi-year, multi-study project funded by IES that is exploring longitudinal, assessment, and intervention-related research questions associated with the development and remediation of oral and reading comprehension of children from preschool- through middle-school-age children at risk for delays and difficulties associated with backgrounds of poverty.

The position will primarily involve (1) collaborating with faculty and other project personnel on data analyses and manuscript preparation with extant project data, and (2) developing and conducting investigations of novel secondary research questions.

A Ph.D. in Psychology, Education, Communication Disorders or related field is required. The ideal candidate will have broad knowledge of reading, language, and research in educational contexts. Candidates are expected to have experience with leading or collaborating on the production of peer-reviewed publications and to be familiar with multi-level analyses and use of relevant software programs (i.e., SPSS, SAS, MPLUS, R).

Interested individuals should email: (a) a cover letter describing your relevant experiences, skills, and future goals; (b) a CV; and (c) arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to Beth Phillips at Consideration of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is negotiable, but no earlier than December 1, 2015.

FSU is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. FSU’s Equal Opportunity Statement can be viewed at:

OPS employees are covered under the Affordable Care Act. OPS employees that meet certain criteria will be offered affordable health care coverage. For more information, please visit the following website regarding the Affordable Care Act,

Ghotit – Assistive Technology that Understands You

I was contacted by Ofer Chermesh, the CEO of Ghotit. He passed along some information about Ghotit, which is assistive technology meant to help people with dyslexia. Below is what he had to say about Ghotit.

Capture“Ghotit Real Writer and Reader 3 is a writing assistant technology for people with dyslexia and dysgraphia.

Ghotit writing assistance algorithms were uniquely developed to understand the text written by people with dyslexia and dysgraphia. Ghotit is used while writing (word prediction) or at the end of the writing process in order to correct spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. At the end of the writing process, the user can proofread the text using Ghotit text to speech.

Ghotit Real Writer and Reader 3 has many additional features that helps people with problematic writing to write freely and independently.Ghotit is available for Windows and Macintosh laptops or desktops and for Android smartphones or tablets.

 Video link:

Ghotit Dyslexia

Have you used Ghotit? Does it work for you?

–Rita W. El-Haddad

IWORDD – International Workshop on Reading and Developmental Dyslexia

On May 30th – June 1st, the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language is hosting IWORDD – International Workshop on Reading and Developmental Dyslexia. This 3-day workshop is divided into two parts which will focus on different theoretical and practical issues on dyslexia.

The first part of the workshop will be on May 30th-31st and is called “Theoretical Perspectives.” Theoretical Perspectives will consist of 6 main debates in the field of reading and dyslexia research. The topics are of central interest to many working in the field of dyslexia. The topics include  “Results and non-results in the neuroimaging of dyslexia,” “The nature of the visual deficits in developmental dyslexia,” and “Comorbidities associated with reading disabilities: a new window on the dyslexia phenotype” among others. Poster presentations and talks will be held in-between debates. Continue reading

Is OpenDyslexic Font Easier to Read for People with Dyslexia?

I initially discussed OpenDyslexic font in a previous post and linked to a couple of reviews. One of the reviews was by Mike James, a programmer with dyslexia. James stated that “…it was a relief to get back to a standard font” after trying it out.

It seems that James is not alone in his opinion. I received a critique of the font from a programmer with dyslexia. The programmer (who prefers not to have his name used) echoed James’ opinion. He felt the font was not useful for programming, but it could help with general reading if it were in large print. Continue reading