[SLED] Second Life dyslexia

Eloise Pasteur eloisepasteur at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 06:29:22 PDT 2007

I guess google was feeling perverse and spam filtered the original  
message, thanks for repeating it Gavin, as well as splashing my name  
on it!


I should point out that I'm hard of hearing and don't use voice. All  
my comments refer to SL and text chat rather than voice.

Of course it's impossible to say SL helps (or hinders) all dyslexic  
people, but I've worked closely with several in SL, and am supporting  
someone who is dyslexic in SL for both SL and RL learning.

For those 50% of dyslexic learners who also have Irlen-Myers syndrome  
(or SSS if you prefer), and find a benefit from coloured filters etc.  
the ability in preferences to change text colour seems to help a lot.  
If only we could apply it to the IMs too.

Many dyslexic learners carry their fears about bad spelling with  
them, and these need to be allayed, but in most groups, whether  
learners or not, spelling is often not great, which helps them relax.  
It does, however, make their disability rather more visible than it  
otherwise is, which can be an issue.

In terms of receiving information, I've found every dyslexic learner  
I've worked with finds, often to their surprise, that text works  
really well. They don't bother about taking notes, they know that's  
being done for them, and they actually read what's being said. The  
teacher breaks stuff down into smaller chunks and uses shorter words  
most of the time, which helps as well - when they do use jargon words  
the dyslexic learner gets to see them correctly spelt without having  
to ask for it, another boon. (I have a RL anecdote about being taught  
about blood clotting by someone with a really thick Irish accent.  
"Trombin" rather than "Thrombin" appeared in a lot of people's  
notes.) I always attribute this to the fact that, actually, when  
learning students routinely listen and write. Whilst dyslexic  
learners may or may not cope with the listening element well, they  
also struggle with the writing element compared to non-dyslexic  
learners. SL frees them from that, and they get time to read and  
comprehend short utterances, which enables them to engage in the  
class more fully.

Depending on your class, you may find also, I certainly have, that  
the 3D visual nature of SL works really well with your dyslexic  
learners. Classes where they build, explore etc. can often free the  
dyslexic learner in a way that is uncommon in a RL classroom. I was  
always sceptical of the drive from architecture firms to hire  
dyslexic people to design buildings, but about half the dyslexic  
learners I know take to building in SL like ducks to water and  
rapidly become very skillful in a variety of different modes of  
building and sculpture. The fact it's all free, and changes can be  
made very quickly seems to help, whereas expressing yourself in  
massive 3D structures IRL is both expensive and very time consuming.

Hope this helps.


On 3 Oct 2007, at 09:29, Gavin Dudeney wrote:

> Christine,
> Eloise Pasteur is certainly a person you'd want to talk to. If  
> she's busy
> and not getting time to read the list, then maybe look her up in- 
> world.
> Gavin
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Christine Finn
> Subject: [SLED] Second Life dyslexia
> I am interested to know Second Life is proving a help to students with
> dyslexia. Or, alternatively, if dyslexics find the Virtual World
> harder to work in.
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.488 / Virus Database: 269.13.39/1045 - Release Date:  
> 02/10/2007
> 18:43
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