Luz Rello: "How people with dyslexia read and what could HCI and NLP do about it?"

Ponente: Luz Rello, (Web Research Group, UPF)

Fecha: martes 25 de junio de 2013

Hora: 12h00

Lugar de celebración: Sala "Florentino Sanz", Facultad de Educación, UNED


In this seminar I will explain the work done so far for my doctoral thesis which focuses on the development of tools to support people with dyslexia using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

First, I will motivate the problem presenting some results that estimate the presence of dyslexia in the Web and in social media. 

Then, I will detail how we used HCI evaluation techniques —eye-tracking, questionnaries and interviews— to find out which text presentations and NLP strategies are beneficial for people with dyslexia. These experiments explore different factors regarding the readability and understandability of a text. These factors are: (1) the text presentation, (2) its lexical quality, (3) the inclusion of graphical schemes in addition to the text, (4) the application of lexical simplification strategies, (5) the use of verbal paraphrases and (6) the presence of different numerical representations. 

Finally, I will show the applications developed so far based on the results of the previous experiments such as an eBook reader, a web service, or a game for children with dyslexia.

This research is part of my PhD thesis that is being co-supervised by Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Horacio Saggion.



Luz Rello completed her Linguistics degree at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2008), where she obtained the best degree grade. She was awarded with a fellowship from "La Caixa" to perform her master's degree on Natural Language Processing. Over her PhD she also received several grants, " Google Anita Borg Scholar" and " Santander JPI Premium Scholar", among others. Just a few days ago, she has obtained the European Young Researchers Award 2013.

Her research about different subjects has been recognized in several science competitions, such as the VI Certamen Arquímedes de Investigación Universitaria (2007), MAVIR (2010), Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards (2012) or The Paciello Group Web Accessibility Challenge (2013).

She is currently an invited expert in the Research and Development Working Group of the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). She has actively participated in the development of several applications that help dyslexic people and have more than 10.000 downloads in total.


Lugar de celebración

Sala "Florentino Sanz" (primera planta)
Facultad de Educación, UNED
c/ Juan del Rosal, 14
Ciudad Universitaria
28040 Madrid



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