Aids for Dyslexia are Important Supporters of Life and Learning – Experiences of Finnish People with Dyslexia

Tiina Veijola, Kaarina Määttä, Satu Uusiautti, Tanja Äärelä

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to analyze the availability and usability of aids for dyslexia according to the experiences of people with dyslexia. This was a qualitative study in which people with dyslexia were asked to participate by filling out a qualitative survey. The analysis followed the principles of qualitative content analysis method. Participants (N=11) were 15-65-year-old Finnish people with diagnosed dyslexia who use aids for dyslexia regularly. The purpose of this study was to answer the following research questions: (1) How do the people with dyslexia describe the importance of the aids for dyslexia in their everyday life and learning?; (2) Which aids for dyslexia do the people with dyslexia consider the most usable and beneficial?; and (3) What challenges have the people with dyslexia faced when using aids for dyslexia? According to the findings, aids for dyslexia were considered irreplaceably important and supported everyday life in numerous ways. The participants reported that they used aids in many areas of life, such as in school, work, and leisure. The most usable aids were computers (especially word processing soft wares), tablets, and smart phones. Most of the participants had used one or more of them. The biggest challenges were the expensiveness of aids and difficulties in learning to use aids. As the knowledge about dyslexia and number of diagnoses increase, new studies on the possible aids and their developmental needs are required. Versatile aids can provide personal help and support the coping of people with dyslexia in many areas of life. Furthermore, the study showed that, based on the participants’ experiences, more attention should be paid on the product development of aids for dyslexia in the future.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v5i4.8573

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