News on research being conducted in the special educational needs sector to take part in as well as research findings in dyslexia and other specific learning differences.

Dyslexic readers needed for an eye tracking study!

Can bolding text benefit reading in dyslexic and non-dyslexic readers?

A team of researchers at the University College London are looking for participants to help in a study aimed at understanding the reading patterns of individuals with dyslexia.

This research will help better understand the cognitive processes that underlie reading. They will use an eye-tracker to do this. By monitoring readers’ eye movements, you can learn a great deal about the moment-to-moment decisions made by readers. Reading is a vital skill in modern society and finding out more about how we achieve this amazing skill can help us better understand how to teach reading or to help those who struggle. Participants will be asked to attend a single session lasting between 1-1.5 hours at 26 Bedford Way, University College London, WC1H 0AP

During the session you will be asked to:

  • Complete several tasks measuring general language skills.
  • Read short extracts of text off a computer screen while your eye movements are recorded.

To be eligible you must:

  • Have a dyslexia diagnosis and be aged between 18-40 years old.
  • Have native-level English proficiency (or spoken English for 15+ years).
  • Have Normal or corrected-to-normal vision (with glasses or preferably contact
  • lenses).
  • Have no history of significant hearing loss or neurological disease.

Participants will be compensated for their time by receiving either £9/hour or 1 Credit/hour and will be helping grow our understanding in how best to help those with dyslexia, learn in the best way possible.

Please contact Haibei Wang if you are interested in taking part in this study:

+44 (0)7503986873

By |2024-07-01T11:54:26+01:00July 1st, 2024|Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

The Department for Education needs your input!

If you consider yourself to have a condition, illness or disability that acts as a substantial or long-term barrier to carrying out day-to-day activities, register your interest to have your say in how government services can be more accessible and inclusive.

Feedback from a range of users is essential and will help identify accessibility issues across the Department for Education to ensure their services are compatible for everyone.

To register your interest please complete their form, that takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Thank you for your helping ensure inclusivity throughout the Department for Education.

By |2024-06-07T14:42:11+01:00June 5th, 2024|Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

A new definition of dyslexia

A new definition of dyslexia has been released this week following three years of research and consultation. The definition has been agreed across a broad range of expertise and is applicable across the ages. We are delighted that many members of the Helen Arkell community have contributed to this important work which will help us to support more people with dyslexia in the future.

You can view the definition here. The new definition identifies many of the same or similar underlying cognitive indicators of dyslexia, and how it impacts individuals. This means that everyone who was identified as dyslexic under the previous definition continues to meet the criteria for a diagnosis.

By |2024-05-24T13:54:21+01:00May 24th, 2024|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

Opportunities to take part in dyslexia research

We have had a flurry of requests from top universities to help recruit for various dyslexia research projects. Supporting dyslexia research is an important part of what we do here at Helen Arkell because the more that is known about dyslexia, the better we can be at understanding it and providing support.

All the research projects we promote have been approved by the appropriate university ethics committees and, in turn, by us at Helen Arkell.

We have three research projects. If suitable, we would love for you to take part. Some of the projects offer a small financial reward for taking part:

  • Christina at London South Bank University is asking for adults aged 18 to 40 with and without dyslexia to complete a series of questionnaires and verbal and non-verbal cognitive tasks. The study takes place in a lab at London South Bank University (Elephant & Castle campus), and takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. The purpose of the study is to compare the performance of people with and without dyslexia on tasks and questionnaires relating to the executive function of planning. Executive functions enable us to pay attention, plan, organise and set goals, for example they enable us to plan a holiday. Christina wants to find out whether individuals with dyslexia have any strengths or difficulties when it comes to planning, organisation and time management. If difficulties are identified, future research can explore interventions and other adjustments that can be made to help the individuals. Find out more.
  • Jovana at the University of Surrey is looking for adolescents with reading difficulties, their parents and teachers to create a panel of experts by experience to help design a research project. Find out more.
  • Manon at the University of Cambridge is running a study into music perception in dyslexia. This study aims to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying speech and music processing (and their potential interactions) in people with and without reading difficulties, with a view to paving the way for new methods of remediation. To carry out this project, he is looking for volunteers aged between 18 and 40 with developmental dyslexia, who are native speakers of English and who are not musicians. Find out more.
By |2024-05-14T14:00:25+01:00May 13th, 2024|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

BBC Inside Our Minds – Could you take part?

Chris Packham and the BBC are looking for people with dyslexia, for a programme they will be doing soon.

If you are over 18 and have a dyslexia diagnosis, they would like to hear from you.

Take a look at the short BBC video here and email with your name and phone number or your own video if you wish.

Good luck!

By |2024-05-14T14:01:02+01:00May 12th, 2024|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

University of Surrey needs dyslexia research advisory group volunteers

Dyslexia research volunteers needed

A group of researchers in the School of Psychology at the University of Surrey are interested in adolescents’ social and emotional experiences related to reading difficulties, so that they can better support them in the future.

They would like to involve you as a group of experts by experience to ensure their dyslexia research is relevant to adolescents with reading difficulties.

Volunteers for their dyslexia research advisory groups will give feedback on the design of the research project and recruitment materials to be used in the subsequent study itself: “Understanding the mechanisms underpinning poor mental health outcomes in children with reading disorders”.

The University of Surrey team are looking for volunteers to join 3 advisory groups:

The panels will meet online about 3 times during the year for approximately an hour.

You will be asked to read some materials before these meetings.

In the meetings, you will be asked to provide your thoughts on parts of the research.

Please contact Jovana Durica at if you are interested in joining the group or if you would like more information.

By |2024-04-24T09:29:34+01:00April 7th, 2024|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

New Spotlight: Assistive Technology: Practical Demonstrations

In January we ran a great Spotlight entitled Empowering Learning: The How of Assistive Technology. This Spotlight gave an overview of Assistive Technology and how it can be used to enhance learning outcomes for neurodiverse students.

People who attended this Spotlight let us know that they are also keen to see the Assistive Technology in action so, we have invited Myles Pilling and Julia Clouter back to do just this!

The Spotlight Assistive Technology: Practical Demonstrations will be held live online on Tuesday 23 April at 6 pm with a recording available afterwards. The live webinar will include a Q & A session. Tickets are £10.

You can find out more and book here

See you there!

By |2024-05-09T13:48:44+01:00March 13th, 2024|Course news, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

What are the research priorities for the dyslexia community? Help us to find out!

We are delighted to be working with our colleague, Dr Cathy Manning and her colleagues at the University of Reading, on a collaborative research project asking people with dyslexia, and those people who support them, what are their research priorities about dyslexia. This will help inform the direction of future research efforts and guide our focus to those areas that matter most to the dyslexia community.

We are looking for people who are aged 18 years or over who:

  1. have a diagnosis of dyslexia, OR,
  2. are a parent/caregiver/other family member of a person with a dyslexia diagnosis.

The nature of this practical research will include you completing a brief questionnaire and being invited to a focus group (online or face-to-face) with 5 to 7 others. You will be asked some questions about your views on dyslexia research and what you would like to be researched in the future. The session will last around an hour.

If you are interested in participating, or would like to find out more, please contact Dr Cathy Manning (; 0118 378 3454), Raveen Rayat (, Ella Callus ( or Dr Holly Joseph ( Please note, that by getting in touch to find out more, you are not committing to participate in the study.

We look forward to hearing from you!

By |2024-04-24T09:30:04+01:00February 10th, 2024|Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

Research into Augmented Reality for teaching reading

Martyn is a lecturer and Ph.D. student at the University of Greenwich, working within the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences with a focus on Video Games Development. He is currently researching reading and phonics and have developed an augmented reality application designed for phonics instruction. He is reaching out to schools in the hope of gaining expert opinions from teachers and additional learner support professionals regarding the application and its potential applications in teaching phonics.

Are you an education professional who can help with this study? Do you have experience using classroom-based tools and techniques for phonics instruction?

What does the research involve?

  • If you decide to participate in this research, you will be provided with a link to install an app. You will also be provided an associated booklet. You will use the app and consider how the app might function as phonics teaching tool. You can use the app as much, or as little as you like. There is no charge for the app or booklet, and you can keep booklet and app after the study.  The app does not store or collect any personal data.
  • As a participant, you will be invited to join a series of interviews and/or focus groups. Attendance at all sessions is not mandatory; you can participate in the discussions either online or in person. The in-person focus groups will be held at the University of Greenwich, and each session will last no longer than one hour.
  • At this stage, no children are involved.

You can access the Participant Information Sheet here

You can find out more about the app and the study here

You can contact Martyn and join the study by emailing him at


By |2024-04-24T09:30:05+01:00February 2nd, 2024|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

Can you help with dyslexia research?

Bayan is a third-year psychology student at Brunel University. She’s conducting a study on how people with dyslexia and different reading abilities process emotional faces. It involves completing a series of standard psychology questionnaires on your phonological processing and your general emotional state, this will be followed by two short tasks where you will classify a series of emotional faces.

Can you help with this research? It is anonymous and open to over 18s who do and do not have dyslexia.

Complete the questionnaire here.

By |2024-04-24T09:30:09+01:00January 26th, 2024|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments


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