After learning about the challenge dyslexia poses to learners, I decided to volunteer as a Math Tutor and Program Organizer at the Dream School Foundation in Bangalore (in April 2015). There, I tutored socio-economically disadvantaged children that had reading disabilities or other learning difficulties, coordinated overall tutoring efforts, provided training to new tutors, and conducted review sessions with those involved in the program.
After revisiting prior mobile development knowledge, I decided to program my own app, DyslexiaMate (link:http://bit.ly/keethu2) in June 2016. DyslexiaMate includes a keyboard extension with customizable text features that could potentially improve readability. This is in addition to the app’s in-built browser with text-to-speech and speech-to-text functionalities. To aid users with text in hard copy, the camera feature is used to take a photo, the text-to-speech function is put to use again to narrate the text.
Upon moving to the US in September 2016, I continued to develop the app. During the process, I also decided to join the Support Peer Support Program (under Easter Seals Goodwill),at the Leonardo, where I matched “peer members” to “peer evaluators” and tracked members’ progress. I have also developed more learning apps (link:http://bit.ly/keethu1)
Last month, I had the opportunity to call a student I’d initially tutored. Words cannot describe how I felt when she thanked me, and told me the app had opened up a whole new world for her, having attained the necessary skills and confidence to rise above her reading disability.