Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Making Reading Real

Aida Suarez Gonzalez, PhD

Competition Sponsor: UK Research and Innovation

What is the problem I am solving?
How would you feel if, while reading this text, letters and words started merging or disappearing, making your reading impossible, and you knew there was nothing you could do to recover your reading ability? Frightening. Devastating. That is precisely the experience of millions of people in the world who have had a stroke or live with neurodegenerative conditions affecting the back of the brain – the area that controls vision.
Science cannot repair a damaged brain, but in my research, I found a way to manipulate the text displayed in a reader device to compensate for this brain damage and make reading possible again. My idea is to convert these manipulation techniques into a commercially viable app to bring reading back to the lives of people with brain injury.
What are the key benefits of this innovation?
This app will:
1) fill a global gap in healthcare, since no other assistive readers exist for people with neurological conditions,
2) be universally available, free of charge, across all operating systems and web-browsers so no one with access to the internet will face barriers to use it,
3) have customized settings to suit the type and severity of neurological impairment,
4) operate in any language, that is, give millions of people in the world the opportunity to read again, and
5) my international implementation plan will make the reading app widely recognised in healthcare and rehabilitation settings worldwide.”

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