David Yue, 13 and Rishi Shridharan, 14 had an idea: To develop an app that would help dyslexic readers customize texts according to their needs. Along with other eighth graders at Rice Middle School in Plano, Texas, the duo developed the concept for the app, called Mind Glass, as part of a Verizon Innovative App Challenge. One of eight national winners, their reading app — which allows background colors and text fonts or sizes on web pages or mobile devices to be altered for the specific needs of an individual — will now be built by developers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Statistics suggest that nearly one in five students in the United States has some form of the reading disability, according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. Advocates say about 20 percent of students with a learning disability end up dropping out of high school.
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Other reading apps made for dyslexic readers include Dyslexia Quest, which features games that are designed to assess working memory, phonological awareness, processing speed, visual memory, auditory memory and sequencing skills. There’s also openWeb, an app used to make web browsing more readable via an open-source font that is designed to be highly comprehensible.