This is a translation of an article which appeared today in TICBeat.com in Spanish.
ForDyslexia Startup Offers Hope to Children with Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a very broad term defining a learning disability that impairs a person’s fluency or reading comprehension. Many people with dyslexia do not receive adequate tutoring because they cannot afford it, or cannot access a qualified tutor in their location, or they pay for tutoring that is not based on scientific research, and therefore, is not effective.
Behind an enormous and permanent smile, we find the founder and CEO of ForDyslexia, Kathryn Hart. Her eyes light up as she remembers how the idea emerged while she was playing with her 5-year-old daughter. The inspiration must have found her awake and working when she realized that this could be the secret sauce of her 5th entrepreneurial experience: the simplicity of mobile devices and their enormous market penetration combined with her extensive experience in the television industry as executive producer of Pocoyo, the widely acclaimed children’s series from Zinkia Entertainment for its educational value. With ForDyslexia, a project hatched from the Founder Institute in Madrid, Kathryn demonstrates that APPs are an easy and accessible way to help children who are struggling with reading.
Alphabetics, the first piece of a complete suite
ForDyslexia recently launched the first app of their collection the I Can Suite called Alphabetics. The I Can Suite, which promotes high self-esteem in those who are often daunted by letters on the page, will help children learn to read and write at an affordable price, which is good news for many families that cannot afford the cost of a qualified tutor, or may not even have trained tutors in their geographical location.
Alphabetics is a tool designed specifically to help young children (aged 3-6) learn the letters, their phonemes and how to write them. Presently it is available in English with plans to launch the Spanish version in May. Although I Can Alphabetics was designed specifically for the needs of children with dyslexia, it is an ideal app for any child learning the alphabet, or learning English as a second language. The multisensory approach to teaching is an engaging way for any child to acquire phonemic awareness, the first skill needed to read.
Alphabetics is now available for download from the AppStore and Google Play. Children will learn the name, sound and shape of each letter through a series of multisensory games. The complete alphabet is available for $2.99/2,79€.
Scientific support for ForDyslexia
In order to develop the I Can Suite and its apps, such as Alphabetics, Kathryn sought out one of the foremost authorities on dyslexia and brain imaging techniques, Dr. Guinevere Eden, Director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University Medical Center. Kathryn also got advice from other experts: Norma Garza (US Dept. of Education, Board Member Literate Nation, National Reading Panel), Vicki Myers (US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs), Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan (Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist, author of Esperanza Method), Dr. Bruce Pennington (Director of the University of Denver’s Developmental Neuropsychology Lab) and Dr. Barbara Wise (Developmental Psychologist, creator of Linguistic Remedies)
For the technical development and data architecture of the apps, ForDyslexia has partnered with Complex Labs, a Spanish company specialized in educational platforms.
For Dyslexia plans to deliver the rest of their apps of the I Can Suite to the market progressively throughout 2013.