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razia daudjee 778 316 8152

desn 410 deborah shackleton & gilly mah

a thesis proposal & visual brief





This document summarizes the information gathered by Razia Daudjee, a fourth year student completing her Communication Design undergraduate thesis at Emily Carr University of Art + Design from 2012 to 2013. The thesis project is undertaken independently and engages in design research and methods, modelling, prototype iterations and presentations. The project is broken down to four main phases — a secondary research phase, primary research phase, an ideation / prototyping / modelling phase, a user testing phase, and lastly, a final development of prototype phase. The final deliverables comprise of a testable prototype and a creation of presentation and promotion materials. The project is focused on designing for people with dyslexia. Specifically, the project looks at how communication design can contribute to making text, ideas, and concepts found in the english language more accessible in forms that are understandable to a person with dyslexia in the form of a book or printed piece. Using a user centered design approach, the project will revolve around the needs of people with dyslexia to create an outcome that is innovative and beneficial. The research findings to date include topics on the science behind dyslexia, the different learning methods of people with dyslexia, primary research examining strengths and weaknesses of people with dyslexia, existing products, services, and systems currently in the marketplace, guidelines for creating accessible text design, design methodologies whilst

designing for dyslexia, and lastly quantitative research pertaining to age, income, education, ethnicity. Further qualitative information such as lifestyles, interests and learning methods, are needed pertaining to people with dyslexia and the ways they compensate for their reading disability. The discovery of qualitative information will be initiated through primary research that will comprise of interview and co-creation sessions. The triangulated approach of mixing qualitative and quantitative material will enable the validity of research findings and will support the creation of a printed book for people with dyslexia that is user-centered in both form and function.

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The graduation project that I plan to pursue during the allotted 15-week period is on the learning and reading difficulties of people with dyslexia. For a lot of people the everyday tasks and activities of reading a newspaper, ordering from a menu or following instructions on a package is simple, but for people with dyslexia these activities are a huge obstacle because of their reading difficulties. As a communication designer, I find this topic interesting because I see it as an opportunity to make design innovations and information design more accessible—not just for the average learner but also for people with learning limitations. According to Statistics Canada, in 2006, 631, 000 Canadians aged 15 and older and 121 080 children aged 5-14 reported having a learning limitation such as attention problems, hyperactivity and dyslexia. (“Facts on Learning Limitations”). There is no clear way to define what dyslexia is and the condition continues to puzzle many scientists and researchers. According to Shaywitz et al. n the article titled ““Neural Systems for Compensation and Persistence: Young Adult Outcome of Childhood Reading Disability”, dyslexia is characterized by an unexpected difficulty in reading in children and in adults who otherwise possess the intelligence and motivation considered necessary for accurate and fluent reading (25). In the same article, Shaywitz et al. continues on to argue that part of the problem is also the way the English language system has been designed and its deficit in phonology —the ability to access the underlying sound structure of words. As a whole, the reading barriers of dyslexics provide an opportunity for designers to investigate the accessibility of design.


the reading barriers of dyslexics provide an opportunity for designers to investigate the accessibility of design.

To improve access to ideas expressed in print form, designers need to consider reading as a design problem. In print design, most of the research has focused on users of average reading ability whilst the needs of individuals with reading limitations dyslexia in this case have not been fully addressed. In my project, I intend to show how communication design, specifically in the areas of print design can improve text accessibility for developmental dyslexics who are young adults through typography, and information visualization design. By designing information and systems for people with reading and learning limitations, designers can create a world that is inclusive for all kinds of people.

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The research pertaining to my topic of designing for dyslexia varies and is broken down into different kinds of topics so as to cover all the unfamiliar and grey areas. The secondary research includes topics such as the science behind dyslexia, design methodologies – specifically accessible design and inclusive design, project precedents and existing successful and unsuccessful products, services, and systems currently in the market place, and lastly quantitative information on the primary and secondary audience. In summary, the secondary research reveals a strong need for more designers creating innovative ways of creating accessibility of text using information design and typography for people with dyslexia. Books such as The Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis and Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally E. Shaywitz, reveals how most people with dyslexia are visual learners. Moreover, an analysis of case studies of existing products in the market show elements that are successful and unsuccessful.

Refer to appendix a, page 19 for the literature review and annotated bibliography.



Many designers have created accessible design for the disabled, which is not something new. For example, accessible design is seen in architecture, where ramps are designed for people with wheelchairs or strollers. Ramps are also designed in BC’s Translink busses to create accessibility for people with wheelchairs or baby strollers. As a designer, wanting to create accessible design is a call to social responsibility in the interest of designing an inclusive place for everyone. Many designers have focused on physical factors of ergonomics and usability when creating accessible design for the disabled, however, I want to explore what it means to create accessible design for information, concepts and ideas for dyslexic people. Many people with dyslexia struggle to find meaning in the concepts and ideas found in print. For my project, I will be specifically looking at information seen in print and how it can be made more accessible to people with dyslexia by combining typography and information visualization.

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The intent of the project is to find out how dyslexic teenagers use their strengths to compensate for their reading disability and to use the observations and findings to design a book that will work as a learning tool for concepts that are difficult to understand in the English language, the book will approach the topics in a manner that will be accessible to a person with dyslexia in terms of typeface, font size, and visuals. The project will aim to design a system of visuals that will be consistant in nature to create understanding for different english language concepts. The visuals will combine words and print production techniques to integrate an interactive experience within a printed form. The research project, with the reb ethics approval, will attempt to facilitate interviews and co-creation sessions with young adults who have dyslexia. In the interviews and co-creation sessions I will document, for example: how students take notes, make up text and what devices they use to aid their reading. With the media consent form approval from the participants, I will audio record the interview and take photographs of the findings. All the information in my research will be anonymous and will not contain any names, or personal information to protect the privacy of the participants’ privacy.

Refer to appendix c page 25 for ethics plan and documentation



The project will appeal to teenagers who are currently schooling. This age group is ideal because they encounter different kinds of information and concepts daily. The final design will be a printed piece in the form of a book that will work as a learning tool for concepts that are difficult to understand in the English language. The book will consist of several topics and sections, for example it will attempt to illustrate concepts such as prepositions, sequencing and directions using bold and dynamic typography, and cues from data visualisation, and print and production techniques. A system of visualisation or metaphor will be designed to create a consistant learning approach. The book will consist of a sans serif typography that is bold and dynamic and large enough for the needs of a person with dyslexia. The colour palette will communicate a vibrant energy but will not use jarring or bright colours for the ease of reading for the communicated audience. The project will consider sustainable alternatives in its production and lifecycle. The paper and material used for the book will be a matte coating and will be thick enough so as to prevent the other side from showing through and creating distractions. The background for the paper will not be white as to prevent the eyes from jarring. Refer to moodboard for the visual aesthetic, tone and mood for the book.

Refer to appendix d, page 47 for a sustainability analysis and appendix e & f, page 49 and 51 for ideation, moodboard and sketching

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The primary audience that the book design will appeal to is people who currently have dyslexia. The secondary audience comprises of people who are not directly affected by dyslexia but know people that have dyslexia. The primary audience will range from females and males who have dyslexia between the ages of 13–18 and are currently enrolled in some form of schooling or education. Their educational knowledge is similar to the other people in the same range, the only difference is that they have difficulties in learning and reading the forms of English language. Some also have difficulties with attention and organization. Most of them come from average income families and are currently living with their parents, single parents or have moved out for college/university. Their spoken and written language is primarily English, and thus have problems reading the English language. Their geographic region of their home and workplace is Vancouver, BC. The primary and secondary audience will interact with the proposed book design by using it as a guidebook to help them and those around them with visualized abstract concepts that are normally difficult for a person with dyslexia to understand. The book will be In the form of a printed book to make it accessible for everyone. Observing the target primary and secondary audience will allow me to create a human centered design outcome where the audience/user experience is the priority.

Refer to appendix h page 57 for an persona profiles



This research project merges illustration, typography, and information design to examine how English language concepts that are difficult for a person with dyslexia to read can be easier to understand, visually. The project will use design methodologies such as accessible design, inclusive design and human centered design to design an outcome that will useful for people with dyslexia and will aid them with their reading. The language, typestyles, visuals, and information will be simple and clear to enhance understanding for people with dyslexia. Greater accessibility is achieved in print form to the targeted audience. Print form provides tactility and interactivity and does not require electronic components in order to function. There are no physical barriers that would obstruct how a person with dyslexia would use the book. The book will be layed out in a simple but well organised manner that would achieve learning purposes. P A G E 10



The market research for products that have been designed to help dyslexia vary, such as: interactive games, typeface design and physical learning tools. Below are existing products that have similar ideas and elements to my proposed project. dyslexie – a typeface designed by christian boer

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Dyslexie is a typeface design that eases readability for dyslexics. It is proved to be effective because of the extra visual weight that is added to the bottom halves of the letters. According to Boer, this helps pin the letters to the baseline (see appendix for visuals). “woodblocks in a box” by gertrude wong Wong, a recent graduate of George Brown College’s School of Design in Toronto, was a finalist in the Environmental Graphics and Packaging category for her project Designing for Dyslexics. She designed a series of tactile teaching aids to help dyslexic children learn the alphabet. The kit includes candy powders, sweet for consonants and sour for vowels. Children can pour the powders into the wooden tray to draw the letters and then taste them. A series of hardcover booklets contain sand paper cutouts of upper and lower case letters that children can trace with their fingers. What works in this design outcome is the tactility of the kit that allows children to use the sense of touch to create understanding.

“tiblo” by sumit pandey and swati srivastava Tiblo is an interactive game developed by Sumit Pandey and Swati Srivastava to help dyslexic kids become more facile with words, letters, and phonemes by “connecting” them physically like puzzle pieces. “dyslexia” by anne leeds “Dyslexia” is a physical game that has the idea of a puzzle game. It’s set up like one of those picture puzzles that’s missing a piece and you slide the individual pieces around to unscramble the image. The white box represents a page. The black puzzle pieces are the letterforms “b,” “d,” “p,” and “q,” which are all the same shape flopped in different directions. The main idea, is that as you move the puzzle pieces around, you replicate an early reading experience.

The market research shows a range of different products all functioning as a forms of learning tools to help people with dyslexia in reading, organisational, and word recognition skills. In addition, the market shows a need in more accessible ways of creating understanding for people with dyslexia - such as the use of printed forms. By designing a book that is interactive in nature, a new kind of learning experience for people with dyslexia is achieved.

Refer to appendix g, page 53 for a visual description of mentioned precedents and market research.

“pokathot” interactive memory game by theunis synman Pokathot
Interactive memory game that exercises sequencing and working
memory. Using a flash-card system,
the players are challenged to replicate the dot-patterns displayed; as
the level of difficulty increases,the player is excercises their working
memory by manipulating lexico cognition App by pappy gmbh Lexico-Cognition is an App to develop language understanding, vocabulary building, cognitive, memory and auditory skills in a playful way. It includes puzzle like games to help children learn comparison, prepositions, locations, and directions.

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FEASIBILITY A consideration of the factors that may influence the success of my project is as follows: production: a sufficient budget for creating prototypes, sufficient time to explore the best possible outcome for the book and adequate resources for creating content for the book will create a successful book design.

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audience response: Current indicators of audience receptivity to the intended book design is positive and there seems to be a need for a guidebook that will function as a tool to help people with dyslexia visualize difficult concepts in the English language. research: Vast research studies have been carried out in the topic of dyslexia and learning approaches. Some well known researchers include Sally E. Shaywitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia, Ron Davis, author of The Gift of Dyslexia and Joy Leonard Skyes, author of dissertation from Carnegie Mellon titled “Reading, Design and Comprehension�. Many designers have used these research studies to develop different solutions and approaches to help people with dyslexia read with ease. These solutions range from interactive games, reading rulers, and designing typefaces. The availability of precedents and research provides a possibility in validating findings in my design process and solution.



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Understand how people with dyslexia use their strengths to compensate for their reading disability. Practice accessible design in book design Successfully design a book that will be visually attractive and useful that can be used as a learning tool for someone with a language based learning disability. Improve my written, oral and visual presentation skills. Become more adept at using illustrator & Indesign program. Stretch my knowledge of book design and take meaningful risks.

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Deborah Shackleton —Faculty Supervisor Emily Carr University of Art and Design 1399 Jonston Street, Vancouver, BC.

Gilly MahInstructor —Faculty Supervisor Emily Carr University of Art and Design 1399 Jonston Street, Vancouver, BC. P A G E 15



Description of Task

Estimated Fee

project brief + proposal


printing + binding costs

design secondary research


sources from the internet + library

initial sketches and prototypes


prototypes on paper + screen

development of prototypes


costs for printed prototype

revision of prototype


printed prototype

production of final working prototype





printed and bound for presentation

total estimated cost:



phase 1 secondary research on project themes phase 2 development of chosen theme and work on project proposal and REB materials phase 3 Due date for project proposal + visual brief, with REB materials phase 4 prepare interview & co-creation materials for primary research phase 5 Analyse findings from primary and secondary research phase 6 begin design development and early prototype iterations phase 7 Further development of prototype phase 8 Test prototype with participants phase 9 Refine prototype phase 10 Testable prototype and final presentations

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APPENDIX A Literature Review

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design implications for dyslexia Dyslexia when viewed through the eyes of design is an accessibility problem because it is where information and concepts in text are not made available in the forms that are understood by a dyslexic person. According to Shawn Lawton Henry, author of Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Through Design, accessibility means, “making user interfaces perceivable, operatable, and understandable for people with a wide range of abilities” (27). Today, The amount of publicly available information on accessibility laws, and accessible and universal design is rapidly growing, however, there is still room for intervention when it comes to making text more accessible to people with dyslexia. In an article titled “Reading, Design and Comprehension”, “The success or failure of helping a person with a disorder like dyslexia to read lies not only in how their brain works, but also in how information is presented. Essentially, the information must be accessible to the dyslexic’s way of reading” (Leonard, Joy Skyes). scientific reasoning behind dyslexia In order for designers to start designing for dyslexics, they must first understand and observe how dyslexics learn to compensate for their disability in their everyday lives. Additionally, understanding how reading works within the brain can also help understand dyslexia. The process of reading is not a simple one —according to Sally Shaywitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia, reading is made of two processes: decoding and comprehension. Moreover, the language system is a hierarchical structure made up of four parts: phonology, semantics, syntax, and discourse. Phonology is the ability to construct and untangle a word based on its elemental parts – for example

system, prevents dyslexic readers from decoding words effectively, thus causing confusion with similar sounding words, or swapping letters inside a word to form a new word (42). In her same book, Shaywitz mentions that reading is more difficult than speaking for dyslexics —and anyone in general— because speaking is natural and reading is not – it is man made (52). An important issue that English language gives rise to are words that do not have a visual meaning which cause a blank image in a dyslexics mind. According to Ronald D. Davis, author of The Gift of Dyslexia, words that represent the relationships among concepts and ideas in text are some of the most difficult for dyslexics to decode (Davis, 12). Words like “that” “the”, and “at” do not invoke images in our minds. Dyslexics have trouble reading due to the fact that the words that communicate relationships among concepts are difficult to visualize (Davis, 12). visual abilities in dyslexics It is important to note that even though dyslexics have a phonologic weakness for decoding, their higher abilities of comprehension, reasoning and syntax are intact and are not affected. In fact, many dyslexics are found to have visual-spatial abilities and talents that help them compensate for their reading disability. A study titled, “Dyslexia linked to talent: Global Visual-Spatial ability” supports this claim: “In two investigations, [an association was found] between dyslexia and speed of recognition of impossible figures, a global visual-spatial task. This finding suggests that dyslexia is associated with a particular type of visual-spatial talent—enhanced ability to process visual-spatial information globally (holistically) rather than locally (part by part) (von Karolyi,

Winner et al.). In another article titled “An eye for the unusual: creative thinking in dyslexics” results from an investigation between developmental dyslexia and creative talents showed that “dyslexic adults presented consistent evidence of greater creativity in tasks requiring novelty or insight and more innovative styles of thinking; in contrast, dyslexic primary and secondary school children performed on a level with their non-dyslexic peers on a test which involved making drawings from a number of different shapes” (Everatt, J., Steffert, B. and Smythe, I.). Many dyslexics find using methods that combine words and images. In the book titled Dyslexia and Learning Style: Practitioner’s Handbook, Tilly Mortimore describes the use of concept maps as one of the teaching tools for dyslexics, with this method, the ideas are not spelled out verbally rather, the emphasis is placed on the ability of the brain to make connections. This method shows the whole of a topic and is not necessarily orderly or sequential which is helpful for dyslexics that have trouble with sequencing (23). case studies: designing for dyslexia For designers, bringing together words and images is not new with the topic of information visualization. How can designers use cues from this method to create a similar approach for an audience with dyslexia? Oliver West, a visual thinking specialist offers insight into visual thinking techniques that can be used for people who cannot process words and the act of reading. His Footnotes Technique uses drawn images to communicate thoughts on a grid. Pictures can be drawn in any sequence and the idea is to create a map of information with-

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out worrying about the order it needs to go. The Footnotes technique can be used for spelling grid, note taking grid or a memory aid. Just like the quote “a picture can tell a thousand words”, West describes how “A picture can holistically symbolise a piece of information without needing any sequencing at all”. With his visualization method, West has seen a lot of positive results – “I regularly work with students helping them to plan 8,000 word dissertations without requiring any written work at all other than a synopsis. One picture might represent 30 words, or even 3000. It will not be readable, but the student knows what it is all about.” (West). Another case study shows a typeface design that eases readability for dyslexics. Dyslexie, a typeface designed by Christian Boer, is proved to be effective because of the extra visual weight that is added to the bottom halves of the letters. According to Boer, this helps pin the letters to the baseline (“A Typeface Designed To Help Dyslexics Read”).

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Lastly, a design project that uses words and visuals to create meaning is found in Renee Seward’s project titled “Reading by Design: Visualizing Phonemic Sound for Dyslexic Readers 9-11 Years Old”. A UC assistant professor of digital design, Renee Seward developed a toolkit to help educators assist children with dyslexia more effectively through “deemphasizing the 26 letters of the alphabet and emphasizing the 44 common sounds of the English language” her toolkit helps children with dyslexia make a quick connection between a sound and the letter representing a sound through visuals. For example, with the touch of a mouse, letter “p,” will morph to display common items associated with the “puh” sound such as peach, peppermint, pie, pea and piano

(“Design vs. Dyslexia”). By using the principles of human-centered design, the wealth of information on accessible design, past precedents and the science of reading, I believe that designers can create a more inclusive world by transforming textual information into something that is more transparent and meaningful for people with Dyslexia.


APPENDIX B Annotated Bibliography

Davis, Ronald D. The Gift of Dyslexia. New York: Perigee Book, 1997. Print. With his book, Ronald Davis presents a positive and optimistic attitude for people with dyslexia and erases common stereotypical associations of dyslexic people. The book is insightful because it shows how dyslexic people have many strengths and talents that compensate for their reading disability. “Design vs. Dyslexia: UC Innovation Promises New Hope for Children with Dyslexia (w/ Video).” Phys Org. Phys Org, 26 Jan. 2010. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <>. An article on Renee Seward’s design project for dyslexics titled: “Reading by Design”, that introduces an educating toolkit for dyslexic children. The article explains how the toolkit works, and why it is effective. The source is useful to my research project because it is an example of a precedent design project for dyslexia. It helps me see how other designers have designed for dyslexia and what their outcomes have been. Everatt, John, Beverley Steffert, and Ian Smythe. “An Eye for the Unusual: Creative Thinking in Dyslexics.” Dyslexia 5.1 (1999): 2846. Wiley Online Library. Web. 12 Sept. 2012. < (SICI)1099-0909(199903)5:1%3C28::AIDDYS126%3E3.0.CO;2-K/abstract>. This article describes a series of studies investigating the relationship between developmental dyslexia and creative talents. The article is useful to my research topic as it provides insights on the creative and visual-spatial abilities of dyslexics and how these

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talents compensate for their reading disability. “Facts on Learning Limitations.” Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada, 26 Feb. 2009. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <>. Statistics Canada provides information on audiences that is both quantitative and qualitative. This source provides me with factual information and gives me a quick overview of how big and local the problem I am researching is. Henry, Shawn Lawton. Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility throughout Design. United States:, 2007. Print. A book about how designers can make software, hardware, products, interfaces and services more accessible to people with disabilities. This book was helpful in my research because it provided insights on design and accessibility.

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“IDA Fact Sheets On Dyslexia and Related Language-Based Learning Disabilities.” The International Dyslexia Association. The International Dyslexia Association, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2012. <>. The International Dyslexia Association is the oldest non-profit international organization that facilitates various researches on the complex issues of dyslexia. Its website contains many articles and fact sheets that provide statistics and research information which is used to inform my thesis and design methodologies. Leonard, Joy Skyes. “Reading, Design and Comprehension: Improving Text Accessibility for People with Dyslexia through Interaction Design.”

Diss. Carnegie Mellon University, 2003. Google Scholar., 12 Sept. 2003. Web. 10 Sept. 2012. This article discusses how designers can make textual information more accessible to people who have language based learning disabilities, specifically dyslexia. The methodology and design research secondary sources used in this article deem useful and facilitate as a good precedent to my research theme and topic. Mortimore, Tilly. Dyslexia and Learning Style: A Practitioner’s Handbook. London: Whurr, 2003. Print. In his book, Tilly Mortimore discusses the different learning styles of dyslexic children and students and how teachers should adapt to the students learning style instead of the other way. This book is useful because it presents insights on how varied the symptoms of dyslexia and the differences between dyslexic people. “Oliver West - Visual Thinking Specialist.” Oliver West Footnotes Technique. Oliver West, 2009. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <>. Oliver West, a visual thinking specialist offers insight into visual thinking techniques that can be used for people who cannot process words and the act of reading. His Footnotes Technique uses drawn images to communicate thoughts on a grid. This source is useful to my research because it acts as a precedent and allows me to see what works in his method and what can be improved on.

Pavelus, John. “Dyslexie, A Typeface Designed To Help Dyslexics Read.” Co.Design. Co.Design, n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www.fastcodesign. com/1664561/dyslexie-a-typeface-designed-tomake-reading-easier-for-dyslexic-people>. This article presents a case study on Christian Boer’s typeface design for Dsyelxia called Dyslexie. The article explains why and how the typeface is effective. The information is relevant to my research project because it acts as a precedent project and allows me to appreciate his methodology, process and outcome. Shaywitz, Sally E, et al. “Neural Systems for Compensation and Persistence: Young Adult Outcome of Childhood Reading Disability.” Biological Psychiatry 54.1 (2003): 25-33. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://www.sciencedirect. com/science/article/pii/S000632230201836X>. This article presents a study that examines how two groups of young adults who were poor readers as children differed from nonimpaired readers and distinguishing the compensated from persistently poor readers that might account for their different outcomes. The article is helpful because it hightlights the science of how reading takes place in the brain and why dyslexics have a difficult time reading. Shaywitz, Sally E. Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2003. Print. In her book ‘Overcoming Dyslexia’, Sally E Shaywitz, presents to the readers all the basics about dyslexia and the science behind the process of

reading. An important discovery in her book is that dyslexia is a learning based disability and not a visual problem as many think. As a designer who is new to dyslexia, the basic information that this book provides informs my design research and methods. Von Károlyi, Catya, Ellen Winner, Wendy Gray, and Gordon F. Sherman. “Dyslexia Linked to Talent: Global Visual-spatial Ability.” Brain and Language 85.3 (2003): 427-31. Web. 12 Sept. 2012. <http://www.sciencedirect. com/science/article/pii/S0093934X0300052X>. This article describes studies that have reported superior, inferior, and average levels of visualspatial abilities associated with dyslexia. In addition, it presents two investigations between dyslexia and visual recognition. This research is useful to me as a communication designer because it provides an opportunity to use the visual abilities of dyslexics as a solution for accessible print design for dyslexia.

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Navigating the ethics of human research

Certificate of Completion This document certifies that


Razia Daudjee


has completed the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans Course on Research Ethics (TCPS 2: CORE) Date of Issue:

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29 September, 2011

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APPENDIX C Ethics Application

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

What is your reading experience with printed text? What kind of learner are you? (visual, au ditory etc) If you are visual, in what ways do you use your visual abilities? Do you draw / keep a notebook or a sketchbook? What kind of concepts do you visualize? What are some challenges you face when you are reading text? For example is the font size too small, no imagery, distract ing backgrounds? How do you take notes? For example â&#x20AC;&#x201C; do you mark up text, use recording audio device? When you encounter a trigger word in text what do you do?


Date: September 29, 2012 Project Title: Text Accessibility for Dyslexic Students Principal Investigator: Razia Daudjee Tel: 778 316 8152, Email: Emily Carr University of Art and Design 1399 Jonston Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3R9 Faculty of Design Faculty Supervisor: Deborah Shackleton and Gilly Mah Emails: and

INVITATION You are invited to participate in a design research study. The purpose of this study is to observe and find how students with dyslexia compensate for their reading disability and how text can be made more accessible to dyslexic students. This research has been reviewed and been given ethics clearance through the REB. WHAT’S INVOLVED As a participant, you will be asked to answer questions in an interview and participate in a co-creation activity regarding reading text – what reading techniques are preferred, how text is visually organised, how notes are taken. Participation will take approximately 30 – 45 minutes of your time. POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND RISKS Possible benefits of participation include giving designers an opportunity to make print design more accessible to dyslexic students, thus creating a more inclusive world. There are no known or anticipated risks associated with participation in this study. CONFIDENTIALITY After the interview has been completed, I will strive to send you a copy of the transcript to give you an opportunity to confirm the accuracy of our conversation and to add or clarify any points that you wish. All the information in my research will be annoymized and anonymous and will not contain any names, or personal information to protect your privacy. At the conclusion of the research project, the confidential data collected during this research, including your contact information, will be securely stored at Emily Carr University for 5 years, after which time it will be

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destroyed in a secure manner. Access to this data will be restricted to myself, Razia Daudjee and the Faculty Supervisors, Deborah Shackleton and Gilly Mah. VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION Participation in this study is voluntary. If you wish, you may decline to answer any questions or participate in any component of the study. Further, you may decide to withdraw from this study at any time, or to request withdrawal of your data. You may do so without any penalty or loss of benefits to which you are entitled. PUBLICATION OF RESULTS Results of this study may be published in Emily Carr Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website (, or In the Emily Carr Design Research Journal The Current. In any publication, data will be presented in aggregate forms. Quotations from interviews or surveys will not be attributed to you without your permission. Images of you will not be published without your permission. Feedback about this study will be available through Razia Daudjee (, and the Faculty Supervisors -Deborah Shackleton ( and Gilly Mah ( Feedback will be available after the semester finishes on December 13th, 2012. CONTACT INFORMATION AND ETHICS CLEARANCE If you have any questions about this study or require further information, please contact the Principal Investigator [or the Faculty Supervisor, where applicable] using the contact information provided above. This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Research Ethics Board at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design [insert ECU-REB # and date of full approval]. If you have any comments or concerns, please contact REB Assistant, Lois Klassen at P A G E 45

Name: Signature: Date: Thank you for your assistance in this project.


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Sustainability Analysis

strategy The book best serves the needs of people with dyslexia, it employs an effective message, fulfills the objectives, serves multiple purposes of educating and creating an accessible form for dyslexic people and has limited environmental impact throughout its lifecycle. execution The book uses recycled materials, is easy to recycle, and maximizes space on the press sheet because it is printed two sides. In addition, the book uses interactive print methods using die-cuts, embossing, and different folds rather than additional ink. production The book is produced using local vendors and sourced materials, it minimizes transport and shipping, and uses vendors that use renewable energy printer The book can proof on screen, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t require film; it can go for digital to plate, and manages waste responsibly. paper The paper used for the book is smaller and lighter mostly, contains post consumer waste fibre (PCW), and is recycled. The book will try and use tree fibers such as hemp or bamboo.

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Packaging The book will consider alternative binding or tabs such as Japanese binding that uses the use of string instead. It does not require secondary and

tertiary containers and does not contain toxic substances such as PVC inks Inks will not be metallic or fluorescent inks, the book will consider vegetable and soy-based inks and will not require a protective surface coating post Press The book limits the use of staples, and avoids foil stamping, thermography, and lamination. distribution The book will not be distributed and will be produced for grad project purposes only. end-of-useful life The book can be recycled, and can be reused.

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Moodboard for Project Design Criteria

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Early Ideation and Sketching

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Visual Description of Precedents and existing products


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figure 1.0 “Dsylexie” a typeface for dyslexics by Christian Boer figure 2.0 Renee Seward’s electronic project, titled “Reading by Design: Visualizing Phonemic Sound for Dyslexic Readers 9-11 Years Old”. figure 3.0 Gertrude Wong’s “Woodblocks in a Box” thesis project for Dyslexic Children.

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7. figure 4.0 “Tiblo” an interactive game by Sumit Pandey and Swati Srivastava that uses physical connection to help make words, letters and phenomes easier to remember, figure 5.0 “Pokathot” an interactive memory game by Theunis Synman. figure 6.0 “Dyslexia” a game that uses the idea of a puzzle to to form letters “b”, “d”, “p” and “q” while unscrammbling blocks. figure 7.0 “Lexico Cognition”, an App by Pappy Gmbh that includes puzzle like activities to illustrate english language concepts such as prepositions, directions, and shapes.

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APPENDIX H Persona Profiles


MARY LOVE SEEHAWK Teacher at a School for Dyslexia • 30 years old • single • has dyslexia • Independent School Teacher Certification and an Orton - Gillingham training certificate

Mary is very passionate about educating special needs children especially students with dyslexia. She always felt she had more of a connection with dyslexic students since she battled with dyslexia herself as a child. Her main goal as an instructor is to is to teach the students that even though they may have dyslexia or other language-processing difficulties, they are very capable young men and women with brilliant futures. She uses the Orton - Gillingham approach while teaching her students - which is a method that involves sound - symbol association, syllable instruction, phonology awarness, and multisensory instruction.

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she appreciates the various interactive games, learning tools and apps but wishes her students had more access to the wealth of information found in print books. She observes the creative and visual abilities in most of her kids and wants to cultivate that in her teaching methods.

KEY ATTRIBUTES • strong leadership skills • has a close connection with all of her students • always looking for new and innovative learning approaches for her students

TASKS • makes individual time for each of her students • teaches her students using multisensory and interactive ways

INFORMATION GOALS • seeks recent developments and publications of areas of interest • wants to make information found in various print books more accessible to her students • wants to cultivate the visual skills of her students as a learning approach


SARAH MITCHELL HAVANA Private Caretaker for a Dyslexic Student • 36 years old • married with two children • Has completed her Special Education Needs (SEN) certificate • Is especially interested in the different learning needs of the children and adults she works with at a community care aid facility.

Sarah loves taking care of special needs children. Since her training in Special Education Needs at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC, Sarah has worked with children and adults with autism, language learning disabilities, and attention disorders.


Recently, she has been working as a private caretaker / tutor for a dyslexic student who is in grade 8. The student is a very disengaged learner and does not want to engage in learning activities. She approaches her student with an encouraging attitude, boosting his confidence at all times.


She uses a multisensory approach with her her student - the use of sounds and interactivty found in ipad apps and the computer create a comfortable and a great learning environment for her student. In addition, Sarah has been helping her student with his school homework by showing him ways to visualise and organise the given information. Sarah is up to date with new books, learning approaches and constantly looks for new materials that can be useful in her caretaking career.

• interested in new communication approaches with her dylexic students • interested in information visualisation • likes keeping it simple and easy

• helps her students with school assignments outside of school • spends time learning approaches appropriate for individual students

INFORMATION GOALS • seeks recent developments and publications of areas of interest • likes material that is useful for her and useful for her students • appreciates research and new study for people with dyslexia.

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TOMMY CHEN Student who has a language learning disability • 17 years old • single • has a part time job at a local coffee shop • has dyslexia and sometimes tends to have symptoms of mild ADHD • loves drawing, painting, building geometric models and reading

Tommy Chen is an energetic young man. He is very passionate about a lot of things and dreams big about his future. Some of his interests include drawing figures, abstract watercolour painting, and reading. Even though he loves reading, he has a difficult time because of his language learning disability, or dyslexia.


Currently, he is preparing to start another school year at his Secondary school. He has doubts about how his studies will go but knows that he has the support of his parents and his close friend who is a personal tutor. Since he was a young kid, his parents always encouraged him to read a lot, and bought him books that were easy and accessible to read - such as books with large typeface and a lot of visuals. His favourite books are comic books because they are visual and short.


His part time job allows him to save money for more books and is always on the look out for a book that will ease his language disability - a book that is timeless and can be read over and over again.

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• loves reading but has difficulties • has the support of his parents • is on the lookout for books that will provide an accessible outlet for information - favourably with visuals.

• works part time to earn spending money • Getting ready for post secondary education

INFORMATION GOALS • seeks books that are meaningful, visual, and accessible • views books as a timeless way to receive infor mation