Does a small screen, like an ipod, make reading easier for dyslexics?

Credit: Gerd Altman 
A Cambridge based astrophysicist thinks the answer is yes. According to the Boston Globe, Dr. Michael Schneps just completed a study that examined the use of handheld devices for reading by high school students.

The study showed that reading on a small screen “reduced inefficiencies in the ways students eyes flitted across the page.” Reading on the small screen allowed dyslexics to read faster and without losing any compression of the text. Dr Schneps, who has dyslexia, started this study after he found reading easier on his smart phone.

Dr Schneps is the Director of the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. In recent years, his research focused on the effects of learning disabilities on the ability to learn science. He is currently studying differences in how people with and without dyslexia read. In this research, he is using visual tracking methods and electrodes to monitor reading in the study participants.


In prior studies, Dr Schneps found that people with dyslexia were better at reading “low spacial frequency scenes.” This research indicates that people with dyslexia may do well in careers that involve processing blurred images such as radiology or astronomy.

The study, Reinventing Reading: E­‐Reader Formats Facilitate Reading in Those Who Struggle, is not yet published.

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©Mary M Conneely T/A Advocacy in Action

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