[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] 2 idea's to train people dyslexia

David Farning dfarning at sugarlabs.org
Mon Sep 21 11:37:18 EDT 2009

CCing iaep.

Your questions are good.  As participants, we have hashed this over to
death:)  But, our external message is still not spread widely enough:(

I will leave the questio open so we, as a community, can both help
answer your specific questions and figure out how to simplify and
amplify those answers.


On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 10:22 AM, Marilyn Hagle
<marilyn at fineartsforall.org> wrote:
> David,
> I have been meaning to write to you.  Thank you sincerely for making this
> connection.  I really appreciate it.
> I am attaching at the bottom of this email the letter I sent to the grant
> writing participants last week.  At this point it we have not succeeded in
> receiving funding from the Dept. of Ed.  However the work is moving on.  I am
> particularly interested in testing Sugar.  I have a couple of questions . . .
> first . . . is Sugar a complete operating system, or is it an "addon" to an
> operating system, or both?  I would really like to download and installation
> .iso, but have not found such a thing.  Maybe I am not looking hard enough?
> I joined the IAEP list.  :)
> Hope you are well.
> Marilyn
> Quoting David Farning <dfarning at sugarlabs.org>:
>> Marten,
>> I would like to introduce you to Marilyn Hagle (CCed).  She is active
>> at the intersection of dyslexia and technology based education tools.
>> She has recently written a grant to set up a pilot for researching and
>> using sugar as a platform for helping kids overcome or adapt to their
>> dyslexia.
> :)
> *************************************
> Hi there everyone!  Thought I ought to send you a note to let you know what is
> happening.
> I know now that we did not make the first cut.  I received a letter in the mail
> with the reasons and most were related to the structure of the main narrative.
> One thing they mentioned was that I did not give detail about which
> evidence-based technology practices we were using.  Heck, I just thought that
> was something that we incorporated into the process.  Another issue they had
> was that the resource kits would not be developed until the fourth year.  My
> reasoning was that I thought it prudent to be sure about our methods and
> conclusions before we start sharing them with others.
> In the grant documentation it states that they reserve the right to issue a
> second award if there are funds available, so there is tiny remote hope.  I
> have written to the competition manager for this grant, David Malouf, (who was
> very helpful to answer questions earlier) and asked him about other options.
> There is another similar grant that has been posted which is due in October.
> An interesting note is that they took at least three points from our narrative
> and incorporated them into this new grant.  It really looks like they took our
> proposal and used it as a basis for the new offer.  The difference is that the
> new grant asks specifically for graphics and charts for disabled children, not
> audiobooks or netbooks.
> I had not remembered that I had a contact person at Mozilla when I was working
> on the grant in July.  When I received the aforementioned letter, it jolted my
> brain and I thought to go the Mozilla website.  Come to find out, the Mozilla
> Foundation is eager to consider educational projects offering greater
> accessibility to dyslexic students.  So I sent them our narrative and the
> staff summary for consideration.  I doubt they have vast funding like
> the Dept. of Ed, but we will see what happens.
> The educators among us are back to work at our day jobs, but the work to modify
> existing technology for dyslexic children must continue anyway. This past week
> my husband and I were able to find a technology solution for Hannah's book
> reading situation at school.  She is required to read one 200 page book per
> week or she misses recess.  She cannot keep up.
> Did you know that you can go to http://booksshouldbefree.com and
> http://gutenberg.org and easily download the html versions and mp3 files for
> many wonderful books?  (I knew about them before, but did not realize they were
> so easy to access.)
> We added OMusic, an online music player, and FoxVox, a text-to-speech reader to
> Firefox.  The html book files and mp3 audio book files are in a "books"
> directory on the hard drive of Hannah's EeePC.  We bookmarked the html book
> files.  When Hannah opens a book, she clicks on the music note (OMusic) at the
> bottom of the Firefox window, and chooses the audio file for the chapter she is
> reading.  She arrows down the text with the reader, always keeping the current
> text at the top of the window so she does not get lost.
> Hannah is currently reading/listening to Alice in Wonderland.  Already resident
> on her EeePc are these books:
>  *  Secret Garden
>  *  Anne of Green Gables
>  *  Heidi
>  *  Grimms Fairy Tales
>  *  Moby Dick
>  *  Aesop's Fables
>  *  Beatrix Potter Complete
>  *  The Day Boy and The Night Girl
>  *  The Enchanted Castle
>  *  Dracula
>  *  Gulliver's Travels
>  *  Peter Pan
> Hannah has almost made it through a week listening/following along/reading her
> books in Firefox and the news is all good.  She is really enjoying "Alice in
> Wonderland."  She says she is going to read "Secret Garden" next.  This is a
> tremendous breakthrough for her.  We are so relieved.
> Hannah's EeePC (Linux) is really perfect for her.  The selection of software,
> educational and otherwise is great.  It is very easy to use and everything
> works.  Kudos to you, David Dyball. David, a member of our team, was formerly
> the team leader and developer for the EeePC OS (Linux). David told me in July
> that this OS was no longer under development.  Sure enough, when I went to the
> ASUS website the other day, they are no longer selling them.  In fact
> (horrors),
> there is even a link to "upgrade" to XP.
> However, since the EeePC OS is not easily available we look to Walter Bender,
> another team member.  Mr. Bender is a senior researcher for MIT and the
> executive director of Sugar Labs (http://Sugarlabs.org).  I have not had the
> opportunity to see it for myself yet, but one of Mr. Bender's associates, David
> Farning (who is himself dyslexic) says that Sugar is works very well for
> dyslexic children.
> I have so many questions.  Are the OLPC computers available for public
> purchase?
>  Would they be durable child friendly netbooks suitable for our purpose?  Or do
> we need to consider putting Sugar on Dell or Acer?
> I have attached the staff summary to this email.  Hopefully, I represented
> everyone correctly.  In my correspondence with David Malouf of the Dept. of Ed,
> I bragged about the fine group of people involved.
> F.Y.I. =
> David Malouf, Competition Manager
> Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
> Office of Special Education Programs
> Telephone:  202.245.6253
> Email:      david.malouf at ed.gov
> Sincere thanks to each of you for your willingness to participate.  I
> believe firmly in "it's not over until the fat lady sings."  We'll see what
> happens.
> Kind regards,
> Marilyn Hagle
> marilyn at hagle.com

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