When Kris Parmelee’s son was diagnosed with dyslexia in first grade, her first response was denial. Then, fear. How could such a bright boy, who had learned to talk at such a young age, possibly be dyslexic?
In the years that followed, Kris tried many techniques and therapies, worked with committed teachers and joined support groups in an effort to cope with young Sam’s dyslexia. While Sam has made great strides, Kris still noticed a gap.
“Why were there not more assistive technology options for him to use in school?” she said. “Why couldn’t someone or something just help him read that one word on a worksheet or in a text that he couldn’t read himself?”
That’s when DCODIA was born.
DCODIA is an assistive technology app specifically designed to meet the needs of children with dyslexia at home, in the classroom and in the community. When a student comes across a word they can’t decode, they simply scan the word or sentence with their mobile device or tablet and the DCODIA app “reads” the word back to them. The app aims to help students with dyslexia read without the assistance of a tutor, parent or teacher.
“Necessity is the mother of invention and I am the mother of a child with dyslexia,” Parmelee said.
DCODIA also includes a unique feature which tracks each word or sentence the user selects. Statistics can then be assembled into reports for viewing online or exporting and emailing to parents, teachers and tutors. This feature will equip the student’s support team with the information needed to identify patterns, sounds, rules and word structures that students are struggling to decode. This makes tutoring and school based support more effective and efficient.
“I am not the only one searching for something to help my child’s efforts in reading,” Parmelee said “DCODIA will help solve this problem and with everyone’s help, we can make it a reality.”
Kris and her tech partners launched an ambitious kickstarter campaign to put DCODIA into the beta testing phase and potentially help the upwards of 20 percent of school-aged children diagnosed with dyslexia in the U.S.