An example of how some readers with Irlen Syndrome experience text.
I took time during the Christmas break to go over the learning materials and the notes from a recent Irlen Syndrome course I undertook in October and November 2012 (I am still awaiting feedback on whether I have passed it to become an approved screener). In turn I took to the internet and gathered together, amongst other things, some interesting facts about the human eye.
>> Your eye can distinguish 500 different shades of light and 10million variations in hue / colour.
>> Your eye has the potential to see a candlelight from 14 miles away.
>> Your eye blinks an average of 27000 times per day and 4.2million times a year.
>> People generally read text 25% slower on an ICT screen compared to print.
>> Concentrated sight requires about half of the brain's pathways.
>> Your eyesight is divided between peripheral vision - designed to track movement with roots in our evolutionary past, and central vision - designed to focus on detail and a defining part of our make-up as homosapiens.
>> Males are reported to be typically more able to distinguish finer detail than females.
>> 20/20 vision is normal vision, not higher than average vision.
>> A fingerprint has 40 different unique-to-you characteristics whereas an iris has 256 unique-to-you characteristics, hence the growing use of iris scans for security purposes.
>> 80% of visual impairment worldwide are avoidable or curable - a leading charity working to alleviate these problems is Sightsavers International.
I think it is important in creating training around SEN / SpLD that we maintain a sense of wonder. Over the next few days I intend to share online the training presentation I will be using to cascade information about Irlen Syndrome (also known variously as Scotopic Sensitivity, Visual Stress, Visual Processing Difficulties and Visual Dyslexia) back to colleagues within my setting. So if this is a field of interest or an area of concern in your own setting, then please do stay tuned...