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Re: [school-discuss] Home school for dyslexic students

First - thanks a bunch for the information Laura and Zor.  I am already checking it out.

Responding to this message . . . 

1.  Distributions - Sam is working currently on a computer that has Musix on it.  Firefox has the Click Speak addon which does a respectable text-to-speech and WriteType uses Espeak.  It  has a wide variety of graphics, music, and video apps that I hope to include in his education.

I am also considering using Sugar (One Laptop Per Child OS) occasionally too.  They have some dyslexia friendly apps and are always working toward greater accessibility.  I don't have Sugar as a hard drive installation, but have Sugar On a Stick (live USB).

2.  Talking about games for dyslexic kids . . . . this is not open source but I wish it were . . . Sam really loves playing Minecraft on his Xbox.  He wears a headset and talks with the other players.  Minecraft is a building game.

Lots of online games have live texting type chat.  Doesn't do much for a dyslexic kid.  Live online audio chat would be fabulous.  Could we add that to open source games?

Both of my kids were Gcompris, TuxPaint, and Supertux fans as they were growing up.  I have not kept up with what is out there for middle school and high school kids.

Thanks again - marilyn

On 09.10.2012 06:01pm, LM wrote:

I'll throw out one more idea on the topic and perhaps we can do some
brainstorming.  There are some Linux distributions for visually
disabled users.  Perhaps some of their tools or even the entire
distributions would be useful for dyslexic users too.

At one point, I did some checking into what it would take to make
systems more user friendly for visually disabled users.  Didn't get
very far.  I did find a discussion on the possibility of enabling INX
(an all command line distribution) for visually impaired users.  I
believe there was a mention of using command line tools and doing a
tee to espeak.  I found a FreeBSD podcast by a blind user on how he
worked with FreeBSD.  There's also a mailing list for visually
impaired users.  I remember posting a few questions to it at one
point.  I had read from certain sources that it was easier to take a
command line/console based system and make them accessible.  However,
when I asked questions on the mailing list, some of the users found
certain GUI based applications even easier to work with than the
command line ones.  It would be nice to check into some of the
techniques these types of distributions use and see how easy it would
be to enable.  Would really like to see an article at the Schoolforge
wiki on tips for making applications and operating systems more
friendly for those with visual (or other) impairments.

I'm also curious if there have been any studies on dyslexia and
learning through games.  What types of games would be the most
effective from an educational sense?  I've been looking at the code
for some Open Source SDL based educational games.  It might not be
that hard to add a few system calls to espeak in the games or play
some wave files with voices recorded.  Most games are already enabled
with sound effects.  Why not add some words in as well?  I can't help
wondering how many Open Source games already out there might be easy
to make a few code modifications to in order to reach a wider
audience.  If anyone's interested in discussing or pursuing this
further, I'd certainly be happy to look at the code for some Open
Source applications and see what it might take to make some changes to
them that could make them more user-friendly for users with

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