W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 2001

Re: Illustrating Guidelines

From: Lisa Seeman <seeman@netvision.net.il>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 08:41:52 +0200
Message-ID: <002201c0db77$cc9b60e0$0c95003e@seeman>
To: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>, "WAI" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
This is a long email, But I think we need to respond to the call for "hard

The first part of this email responds to what seems to be a misunderstanding
about what dyslexia is. It is not about making things easy but it is a
neurological condition that realities in some learning processes being
impaired or disabled wilst others are more advanced.

This email then discuses how dyslexic can learn, and how learning can be
made easier. Also with full references and "hard facts"

I then want to discuss the guidelines, and how this all fits together for
us. If you get board - just skip ahead to this bit. But get there.

It would seem, dyslexia is not a
problem, but a symptom of a problem. It
can come from any or all of the following courses. There  are of course many
other theories,
but these are the main academically respected ones.

All mainstream  credible research in behavioral neurology agree that
is a consequence of an altered neural substrate with a reduced synaptic
space, in the various regions of the brain which are responsible for the
reading process. fMRI scans (18, 19) have show that different subgroups of
dyslexia may exhibit under activity in any of the following areas: V5/M -
resulting in visual discriminatory problems (9, 15), auditory cortex -
resulting in low auditory discrimination skills (32), superior temporal
gyrus (Wernike's area) and striate cortex - resulting in a phoneme
processing problem (5, 22, 23 ), and the angular gyrus - coursing pore cross
modal associations (22, 24, 28, 30). The different schools of research have
championed the different neurological bases of dyslexia, and its resulting
subgroup of dyslexia.

OK a bit on each one:

 Auditory Discrimination
(main research - see Tallal et all (32) )
This body of research has shown that many dyslexics have defects in the left
auditory cortex (responsible for sound naming and identification) and
temporal processing.

It is in the auditory cortex that sound identification takes place.
In fRMI scans, dyslexics have shown reduced synaptic activity in this area.

Clinical trials have shown that skills can be enhanced by a computer-based
approach to tackle ‘phonemes’ - the individual sounds associated with words,
with recorded spoken words. The consonants are recorded louder while the
adjacent vowel is lengthened and its sounds softened. (For results of
clinical tests see Tallal et all 1998(33).)

Visual Recognition Skills
(main school of research  Livingstone (1993) and Martin and Lovegrove
1988)  )(see   9, 15)
Dyslexics have reduced synaptic activity in the V5 area.

V5 is part of the broader "magnocellular -- large cell -- system" that
processes fast-moving objects, and brightness contrasts. One interpretation
is that a specific magnocellular cell type develops abnormally in people
with dyslexia (3).

Games and animation used to train the synaptic pathways in the V5/M area,
will be governed by the following criteria. Adjustable flicker rate,
maintained at the lowest speed possible for the child's recognition
enhancement, adjustable brightness and contrast, and spatial frequency.
Colors will be superimposed on black and white images to maintain the
child's interest only, and emphasize the visual difference in shapes.

For results of clinical tests see (1)

Phoneme Processing

Main research from Shaymitz (1998) and Rumsy (1996), (see 5, 10,11, 14 –17)
 The language regions in the superior temporal gyrus (Wernike's area) and
striate cortex are found to underachieve in the dyslexic. These areas
response to simple phoneme processing tasks. (Areas that respond to more
complex language tasks, an anterior region, the IFG, displayed relative over
activation in dyslexics. )

Games involving nonsense words, rhyme, and sound manipulation will be
enhanced by special auditory effects: The consonants are recorded louder
while the adjacent vowel is lengthened and its sounds softened. All games
are carefully leveled by the complexity of the manipulations involved.
(For results of clinical tests see Ojemann 1989, Bertoncini et all 1989 ).

Cross-modal association
Main research from Leon (1996) and  Shaymitz (1998) (see 8, 22, 24, 28,30)

The angular gyrus, a brain region considered pivotal in carrying out
cross-modal (e.g., vision and language) associations necessary for reading,
is involved. The current findings of under activation in the angular gyrus
of dyslexic readers coincide with earlier studies of those who lost the
ability to read due to brain damage centered in that same area of the brain.

The ability to link visual stimuli to auditory interpretation can be
stimulated by Multimedia implementation of the coming together of these
separate disciplines. Activities are all carefully leveled to correlate the
child's current ability level.

Now let me try to explain what this means s in practical term and the
ability to learn.

Let us take someone with an impaired visual processing and memory V5/M25 -
They are being told to remember what a letter looks like, they can not. So
long as they are being told to read through the use of visual memory, you
might as well ask them to walk on the ceiling. They can not. They do not
have thoughs functions. They remain illiterate. Then comes multimodal
teaching. You tell child to make a v shaped vase out of clay. To feel the
point at the bottom. You have then associated the shape V with the word
vase. That is learning.
You can do this for each letter, but not for each word. Reading will never
be though word recognition for someone without a visual memory. But once
they have the ABC, they can read and write phonetically.
Now some dyslexics have a visual memory but no phononim processing skills.
They will need to recognize each word, and not learn phonetics.
Ok we get the picture. It ain't easy especially since many of use have all
the difrent subgroups.
Also remember that unless a student has had the right teaching method they
will be unable to learn to read.

However what is clear is that for dyslexics to learn difrent teaching
mechanisms must me used.

In terms of using multimedia. In teaching dyslexics it is referred to as
multimodal method of education. It is the recommended method to teach
dyslexic by every dyslexia association I have been in contact with (BDA CDA
LDA and the IDA) but if that is not enough then you can start reading
These teaching methods for LD persons in university are also recommended by
the dyslexia association, (37) and infact the most acclaimed schools for
dyslexia have e embraced multimodal teaching with excellent results (38).
This is no longer  about learning to read but about learning other
information in such a way that the language problems do not restrict you.
Dyslexic are advised to draw there thoughts out in a flow diagram or box
form before answering a essay question or writing a letter. That way they
can concentrate on the concepts and then separately concentrate on fitting
the idea to the words, writing the words, writing the words in the correct

In compression dyslexic are advised to read the words and then go back and
understand the content and then reread the words. slow but you get there.

Now the guidelines.
Dyslexia is a disabilty, therefore we have to address it.  That I think is
not debatable.

I think that I have proved that using multi modal and techniques such as
diagrammatic representations, will defiantly assist dyslexics follow and
access information . If there is any doubt on that then tell me and I look
up more facts.

But most dyslexics have not been diagnosed (especially if they are over the
age of 30) So if they have managed partial literacy though shear slog over
years, then diagrammatic representation will mean the difference between
being able to follow or access large pieces of complex information and not
being able to.

Many undiagnosed dyslexics drop out of society and into delinquency.
(http://www.etni.org.il/dyslexia2.htm)  (80% of homeless people who do not
have an addiction or psychiatric problem are learning disabled. 40%

Undiagnosed dyslexics have not been shown special coping methods such as
making a block diagram in your head or on a piece of paper while following a
comlexed instruction. They are in a much worse situation then I.

They do not know what benefits are available, they do not know public
information, unless someone bothers to tell them. They are intelligent, but
they can not get to information that will help them learn. They are not
blind, so have not learnt Braille and have never heard of screen readers.

Along comes widely and publicly available information sources with the
potential to all be in multimodal form. Please explain to me why ADA
entities and federal sites, and people who just want to include as many
people as they can, should ignore these millions?

Hear are references, I got a bit feed up by the end, so ignore
inconsistencies of style. Thanks,
1. Bakker ,(1990) Neurophysiological Treatment of Dyslexia, Oxford
University Press,.
2. 2. A Galaburda,(1993) Dyslexia and Development: Neurobiological Aspects
of Extra-Ordinary Brains, ed., Harvard University Press, London.
3. Getting the Message Across, published by the Questions Publishing
Company, Birmingham, England, 1996, on behalf of the British Dyslexia
4. B Blachman  and L. Erlbaum.(1997) Foundations of Reading Acquisition and
Dyslexia: Implications for Early Intervention, ed.  Associates Publishers,
New Jersey,.
5.    S Shaywitz et all (1998)  Functional disruption in the organization of
the brain for reading in dyslexia . Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 95, pp.
6.  C. Njioktien ,(1998) Nuerological Arguments for a joint developmental
Dysphasia-Dyslexia syndrome
7.     M Snowling (1997) Dyslexia A Cognitive Developmental Perrspective,
Blackwell Massachusetts USA
8.    G Lyon and j. Rumsey,(1996) Neuroimaging a window to the neurological
foundations of learnng and behavior in children,  Pual Brooks 58-73
9. Eden, G. F., VanMeter, J. W., Rumsey, J. M., Maisog, J. M., Woods,R. P. &
Zeffiro, T. A. (1996) Nature (London) 382, 66–69.
10. Paulesu, E., Frith, U., Snowling, M., Gallagher, A., Morton,
J.,Frackowiak, R. S. J. & Frith, C. D. (1996) Brain 119, 143–157.
11. Rumsey, J. M., Nace, K., Donohue, B., Wise, D., Maisog, J. M.&
Andreason, P. (1997) Arch. Neurol. 54, 562–573.
12. Van Orden, G. C., Pennington, B. F. & Stone, G. O. (1990)Psychol. Rev.
97, 488–522.
13. Lukatela, G. & Turvey, M. T. (1994) J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 123,107–128.
14. Demonet, J. F., Price, C. Wise., R. & Frackowiak, R. S. J. (1994)Brain
117, 671–682.
15. Henderson, V. W. (1986) Brain Lang. 29, 119–133.
16. Petersen, S. E., Fox, P. T., Snyder, A. Z. & Raichle, M. E.
(1990)Science 249, 1041–1044.
17. Pugh, K., Shaywitz, B., Constable, R. T., Shaywitz, S., Skudlarski,
P., Fulbright, R., Bronen, R., Shankweiler, D., Katz, L., Fletcher,J. &
Gore, J. (1996) Brain 119, 1221–1238.
18. Friston, K. J., Ashburner, J., Frith, C. D., Poline, J.-B., Heather,J.
D. & Frackowiak, R. S. J. (1995) Human Brain Mapping 2, 165–189.
19. Talairach, J. & Tournoux, P. (1988) Coplanar Stereotaxic Atlas of the
Human Brain. Three-Dimensional Proportional System: An Approach to Cerebral
Imaging (Thieme, New York).
20. Bavelier, D., Corina, D., Jezzard, P., Padmanabhan, S., Clark, V. P.,
Karni, A., Prinster, A., Braun, A., Lalwani, A., Raus-checker, J. P. et al.
(1997) J. Cognitive Neurosci. 9, 664–686.
21. Woodcock, R. W. (1987) Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests, Revised (American
Guidance Service, Circle Pines, MI).
22. Black, S. E. & Behrmann, M. (1994) in Localization and Neuro-imaging in
Neuropsychology, ed. Kertesz, A. (Academic, New York), pp. 331–376.
23. Geschwind, N. (1965) Brain 88, 237–294.
24. Benson, D. F. (1994) The Neurology of Thinking (Oxford Univ. Press, New
25. Galaburda, A. M., Sherman, G. F., Rosen, G. D., Aboitiz, F. & Geschwind,
N. (1985) Ann. Neurol. 18, 222–233.
26. Geschwind, N. (1985) in Dyslexia: A Neuroscientific Approach to Clinical
Evaluation, eds. Duffy, F. H. & Geschwind, N. (Little, Brown, Boston), pp.
27. Shaywitz, B. A., Shaywitz, S. E., Pugh, K. R., Constable, R. T.,
Skudlarski, P., Fulbright, R. K., Bronen, R. T., Fletcher, J. M.,
Shankweiler, D. P., Katz, L. et al. (1995) Nature (London) 373, 607–609.
28. Dejerine, J. (1891) C. R. Societe du Biologie 43, 197–201.
29. Damasio, A. R. & Damasio, H. (1983) Neurology 33, 1573–1583.
30. Friedman, R. F., Ween, J. E. & Albert, M. L. (1993) in Clinical
Neuropsychology, eds. Heilman, K. M. & Valenstein, E. (Oxford Univ. Press,
New York), pp. 37–62.
31. Benson, D. F. (1977) Arch. Neurol. 34, 327–331.
32. Tallal  et all (1993) Temporal information processing in the nervous
system: special reference to dyslexia and dysphasia.  New York : The New
York academy of science
33 Tallal et all (1998) New York : The New York academy of science

34. Hulme (1981) Reading and
retardation and multisensory teaching: London :ROUTLEDGE AND KEGAN PAUL
35. Bradley (1981),
36, Thomson and Gilchrich: Dyslexia a multidisiplinary approch London Chapan
and Hall
37. Bradley and Bryant (1983), Categorising sounds asnd learning to read.
Nature, 301, 419.
38. Dyslexia at
college Miles Dorothy and Gilrpoy 1986  New York Methuen

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
To: Lisa Seeman <seeman@netvision.net.il>
Date: Friday, May 11, 2001 2:55 PM
Subject: Re: Illustrating Guidelines

>Hi Lisa,
>can you provide full references for the people you have quoted? Or at least
>enough to let me (a novice) find them in a library? That way it will be a
>easier to argue the case.
>I know this work is out there, I just don't know where to find it. And we
>need to hold it up very clearly to prove to people that it does already
>On Fri, 11 May 2001, Lisa Seeman wrote:
>  Now I now I do not represent every dyslexic on the plaint, and that there
>  are many sub-groups of dyslexia, but I am one of the lucky ones who have
>  some measure of all impairments that have been grouped together as
>  In other words not all dyslexic will find it useful, but it seems to me
>  people with an impaired auditory memory (estimated at 60% of dyslexics -
>  the many works over the last 15 years by work by Tallal) and/or weak
>  phonetic processing (possibly 80% Stanovich, et all, or Blachman) skills
>  probably will.
Received on Sunday, 13 May 2001 01:41:30 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:37 UTC