Today there are thousands of people living in the UK who are unable to experience the joy of reading for one reason or another. Four percent of the population have severe dyslexia, and a further six percent experience mild to moderate symptoms. There are also those who are illiterate, blind or partially sighted – and this amounts to a large segment of the UK that may find reading to be a highly frustrating or even impossible task.
However, there are things that can be done to get more people reading. Technology can be instrumental in making this a reality and over the years it has continued to break down the physical, visual and cerebral barriers to reading, making the process more accessible and enjoyable for many.
Today’s technology is certainly revolutionising traditional reading methods. The use of e-readers, smartphones and tablets has become commonplace and the simple reconfiguration settings available on such devices, such as adjusting font sizes and colours, can make a world of difference to people with visual impairments or learning difficulties. Furthermore, simple assistive technology tools such as digital highlighters, scanning pens and text-to-speech programmes allow people who may struggle with the written word to absorb it regardless. Fortunately, the equipment needed to do so is readily available, inexpensive and intuitively designed.
One of the most important factors when it comes to unlocking the potential to read independently is that the there are a variety of technological options available to suit a diverse spectrum of individual needs. For technophobes and traditionalists, there are devices that work in collaboration with traditional dead tree books to make the content inside more accessible. Likewise, for people who love having the latest gadgets and gizmos, most literary content has caught up with the digital age and in some case, even supplanted conventional methods. Online articles and publications, digital editions of newspapers, e-books and a multitude of open source research materials are available on the internet and mobile platforms which means you’re never far away from a variety of reading options.
Finally, for people that have not attempted to read for a number of years, I encourage you to take a look at the technology available today and see whether there is something well suited to your needs. Try to find out what works for you and experiment with options available until you find something that does. In this day and age, no one should feel locked out of such a rewarding process, one that much of the population perhaps takes for granted. www.cpen.com