‘What is it like to be Dyslexic?’

A question often thought about but rarely acted upon. There are many organisations, companies and individuals who work to help individuals with dyslexia and the daily struggles that they face. I as a dyslexia student, wanted to take a different approach with this university minor project:


Thanks to Steevie for this interesting article & video:



Making waves

ryan godolphinRyan Godolphin is a fourth year Product Design student who I first met earlier this year at a networking event where he gave a superb presentation about his placement with Sunseeker. More recently, I met Ryan again when he undertook an informal interview in connection with the research on ALS students and disclosure. Ryan offered an interesting perspective of the world of product design, suggesting that research indicates over 60% of those employed in this field have dyslexic tendencies. He also views his own dyslexia as a positive benefit which enables him to find creative solutions to work-based problems.

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Celebrating Paul Whittington


We have very many students in ALS who, with the help of specialist staff, overcome what others might perceive as barriers to learning and attain great success. In this posting, we celebrate the tremendous achievements of Paul Whittington using his own words and those of his mentor, Jane Merrington.

Towards the end of summer, having been awarded a first class honours degree, BSc Computing, Paul wrote to his ALS tutor, Steevie Watson, with this news: “I thought that you may also like to know that I have been chosen by the Dean of the School of Design, Engineering and Computing at Bournemouth University to receive not one, but two prizes! The first prize is the School Prize for the best undergraduate student in the School of Design, Engineering and Computing. The second prize is for the best final year student in software/communications and this is sponsored by Selex Elsag. The Selex Prize for my ‘overall excellence in my performance and project combined’, but more heavily focused on my final year project. I will be awarded the prizes at my graduation in November at the BIC. It will be great day!”

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Helpful Hannah

hannah wallace

Whilst undertaking the early stages of the ALS research project on disclosure, I recently met Hannah Wallace who is a final year Product Design student, currently supported by Ildiko. I’m sure Hannah would make an impact in her degree-related employment field but, as an outcome of all her extra-curricula activities since coming to BU, she is now looking for an alternative career. A quick perusal of this versatile student’s CV suggests that she will be a great asset to a future employer.

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Hannah tells a story


Hanna Elder is a BU student who has made a film about her friend, Kate. Kate was born with cystic fibrosis and recently underwent a lifesaving lung transplant. Hannah made the film in time for National Transplant Week (NTW) and says that Kate is the most inspirational person she knows.

The key theme of this year’s NTW is the ‘Pass it On’ message which stresses the importance of telling your family if you’ve committed to organ donorship. Hannah’s film was entered into the Organ Donation Through a Lens film competition which highlights the Pass It On theme. You can see Hannah’s film by clicking on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZKZYXARV_4&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DFZKZYXARV_4&nomobile=1

To watch all the films and discover the winner, please click on this link http://www.transplantweek.co.uk/film_competition/

Thanks to Chris for alerting us to this news

Memento Vitae

Jimmy TimmyJimmy Timmy S’Pack, formerly known as James “JT” Thomas (BA (Hons) Industrial Design) explained the purpose behind his Memento Vitae.

The figurine or “vitae vessel” places the emphasis on life rather than death. It contains a memory card to store photographs, music and all things associated with the person who has died. Members of the family and friends can record their own thoughts and memories about the individual in words or audio or on video, making it a very personal tribute.

The figurine has been ergonomically designed and can be made from glass, resin or a type of plastic in a choice of colours, providing something physical and tactile for the bereaved to focus on and interact with.

Designed to help people focus on happy memories, JT hopes that it will encourage people to talk about death rather than avoid the issue. He described the glass figurine rather poetically as “reflecting the light and therefore reflecting life.”

JT demonstrated the Memento Vitae: placing the figure in the docking station triggers the program to run, displaying a “lifeline” about that person’s life, so you can choose to play specific recorded memories of the subject; view photographs, or play a piece of music associated with that person.

The Memento Vitae also has the potential to be used to record your own will and specific wishes about funeral arrangements or bequests.

Not surprisingly JT has had a lot of interest in his product, and everyone in ALS wishes him well.