NPR logo

E-Readers Make Reading Easier For People Who Are Dyslexic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/225842905/225855287" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
E-Readers Make Reading Easier For People Who Are Dyslexic

Science

E-Readers Make Reading Easier For People Who Are Dyslexic

E-Readers Make Reading Easier For People Who Are Dyslexic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/225842905/225855287" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A study shows that e-readers help people with dyslexia comprehend text.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Here's another example of tech helping people. In this case, people who struggle with dyslexia. For some, the act of reading a book can be dispiriting. Just ask Matthew Schneps, he directs the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

MATTHEW SCHNEPS: I'll open the book and I'll start reading it. And then I'll very quickly realize, you know, I'm never going to get through this thing, and I just give up.

SIEGEL: But when Schneps reads on a small handheld device, like a smartphone...

SCHNEPS: I'm able to get through it and I'm able to read it with pleasure, and not the sense of dread that often accompanies my trying to read on paper.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And Schneps found he isn't alone. This isn't just anecdotal. Schneps has published a new study in the journal PLOS ONE. It shows that some people with dyslexia are able to read faster and comprehend more, using a small eReader. What's key, Schneps says, is displaying fewer words on the screen - maybe just two or three per line.

SCHNEPS: It's like blinders on a horse. You're kind of limiting the distractions around you and focusing on the words you're trying to read at the moment.

SIEGEL: Schneps cautions this won't work for all people with dyslexia. But with the ubiquity of smartphones, he says testing this out is just a tap or two away.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLOCK: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.