Helping to diagnose dyscalculia
Developed at Loughborough, the UK’s first online screener to identify adults displaying signs of dyscalculia was made commercially available in 2010.
Only recognised in recent years, dyscalculia is a hidden condition, with those affected struggling with poor numeracy skills. An estimated three to six percent of adults could have dyscalculia, but many remain unidentified as screening was previously only available in children. Dyscalculics face challenges each day with tasks such as household budgeting, checking change or helping children with homework.
Clare Trott from the University’s Mathematics Education Centre has been working on the new tool, known as DisCalculiUM, in conjunction with her colleague Nigel Beacham. Through a website and manual, DysCalculiUM creates a profile of each user using 11 categories – six focus on the user’s understanding of numbers, while the remaining five categories cover their application of numbers, such as telling the time.
DysCalculiUM offers a quick and effective method of profiling numeracy difficulties, allowing a suitable support regime or formal assessment to then be put in place.
With the help of the University’s Enterprise Office, the project has now been rolled out commercially through assistive technology specialist iansyst Ltd and public sector service provider Tribal.
The product is now helping adults all over the UK to identify why they are struggling with numeracy and enabling them to seek further assistance.