An all-female team of teenagers from The Sacred Heart High School in London, has won the BT Young Pioneer Award 2020, for an app to help people with dyslexia.
The 14 year olds, Dorothy, Sonia, and Justine, created the Dimming Dyslexia app to analyse online text and other educational resources and translate them into formats that are easier to understand for those with dyslexia. For example, turning written text into videos and cartoons, and altering font size and colours on the page.
The team were inspired to create the app after witnessing how some pupils were perhaps struggling with some basic skills, such as reading and writing.
As winners of this year’s BT Young Pioneer Award, they will receive the support of BT experts who will work with the team to take Dimming Dyslexia from prototype to a fully working app. They will also receive £10,000 to fund the project so they can take it to the next level.
The award is part of the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards. This is the 10th year that BT has been lead sponsor for the awards, which this year saw a record 400 entries.
Last year’s winner, Mihika Sharma, who invented the ‘Smart Stick’, has been working with BT and the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) for the past year to carry out market research within the visual impairment community. This research is helping support her plans to bring the ‘Smart Stick’ to market, helping those with visual impairments.
Professor Kerensa Jennings, BT Group Director of Digital Impact, said:
“The calibre of entries this year has been outstanding, with a record breaking number of individuals and teams submitting their ideas. We are absolutely thrilled to announce Dimming Dyslexia as this year’s winner’s’ as we recognise the positive impact this could have to help 1.3 million people in education. With the support of BT, we hope to help the Dimming Dyslexia team reach their goal in their ambition in supporting more people with dyslexia.”
“It’s so inspiring to see how young people are playing such a key role in helping to tackle societal challenges, working to improve the lives of so many.”
Dorothy from The Sacred Heart High School’s STEaM TEAM said:
“We’ve been working really hard to create a prototype for Dimming Dyslexia, so we’re very excited to start working with BT to take the development of the app to the next level. Our ambition is to get ‘Dimming Dyslexia’, onto the apps stores so that we can help as many people with dyslexia as possible.”