My mentor suggested that I make it so that when people use the computer to view the images they just have to click on one image to begin a slideshow of that students images and accompanying audio. I tried a test of this on my blog. I didn’t want to change to this because at the moment the viewer will click on each individual image and hear the audio for each, which gives them more control. I always wanted the viewer to be able to explore the images in the order that they want to because I wanted to steer away from the typical linear presentation, which dyslexics don’t appreciate. This way they can flit from one idea to the other as often dyslexics do. However I will keep the test version for people to view on my blog because it works well for people who are nit coming to the exhibition. I actually found that the video version of the audio with images goes on very long and the viewer might loose attention. Particularly with the students who have a large number of images, the viewer might want to be able to click on the ones they find most interesting. I feel this would hold their attention more.
Sample below of the tester from my mentors suggestion.
So I recorded myself talking about each image; why I had taken it and why it was important to me, and how it linked to the question. I gave myself a minute -two minutes to talk for each photograph. When putting them together I feel like it gives yet another layer to the photograph and it is quite nice to hear someone’s voice together with their image. It feels personal like looking into someone’s diary because it is about their feelings and emotions. When I put the sound with the image that had had writing or drawing over it emphasised their experience and made it even more personal. I really liked the way it made me feel emerged into their life almost by first seeing their image, then their expression (written / drawn) and then their voice.
See samples below.
comparing with and without drawing with sound.
With drawing on images with sound
Today I worked with Louis, a second year civil engineering student. He commutes from living with a friend and travels into University. He found out he was dyslexic for sure only four months ago when he took a free test at the University but him and his parents had always thought he might be. Since then he’s been able to make sense of why he was struggling and just wishes he had taken the test sooner so that he could have had specialist equipment and support in place in his education. We chatted about his University experience so far whilst he drew on his images. I was glad Louis had come forward to take part in my project because he can provide an account of what it is like only recently having found out he was dyslexic.
Today I worked with Ruth on her images. Ruth is a mature student in her final year studying art at University. She was not at all afraid of writing or drawing on the images. She was very chatty with me, in fact we chatted so much that I completely forgot to take a photo of her. She told me about how she enjoys spending her social time relaxing on weekends away in the countryside, making art-work or going to the pub with friends almost like a reward for having done her University work. Although in parts Ruth’s images told a negative story of her experience with dyslexia; in the end the pictures started to show the success she has had and the attitude she now has when she has succeeded which shows her determination.
Her images were very creative, they show her personality really well and her use of pens, paints and tissue paper add a lot to show her way of thinking. I am glad I have the audio recording of Ruth talking about the photographs too because some of them need explanation. But I like this because I want the audience to have to pay attention in order to understand the stories.
Today I sat down with Amy G who is a final year law student, to work on her images. Amy shared lots of her experiences of dyslexia with me whilst she was busy drawing and painting on the photographs. She found out she was dyslexic when she was seventeen. At first she was a little upset but mostly relieved to find out why her written skills were so poor in comparison to her verbal skills. One of the reasons she chose her course was because some of the assessments were done as a presentation instead of coursework. Nowadays she forgets about her dyslexia until it comes to writing essays or applying for jobs. At the moment Amy is doing well, getting marks in the 60’s and strives to be a solicitor but doesn’t really consider dyslexia to be an advantage or disadvantage to her. She does need to read and re-read text to understand it but never really signed up for dyslexic support until this year to apply for extra time in her exams because she felt it would be like admitting defeat. Although she has had to compromise a lot of her social activities to concentrate on University Amy is determined to succeed and not let her dyslexia hold her back from doing what she wants.
Amy used lots of the pens to draw on her images and began to use paint too. By the end of the session Amy had made all of her photographs really colourful.
Today I worked with Julia to draw on her images. Julia is a third year Global Sustainability student who found out she was dyslexic the year before she came to University. She is happy and proud to be dyslexic. She sees the world as a more colourful and funny place because of it, for example when she reads signs wrong or misses’ words out of books and makes them up instead. Her daughter is also dyslexic and they like to help each other out with written work because although they both have dyslexia they usually spot each others mistakes and feel at ease to show each other their work because they understand one another’s difficulties. However she still feels uncomfortable showing other people her work because she thinks it must be wrong or make no sense. This comes from her experience of education in schools, which was often negative and unhelpful back when her dyslexia was undiagnosed.
Julia produced a strong set of images that she drew and wrote on for me which show her feelings very well.
Today I worked with Jenny on her images. Jenny is in the first year of the Photography course and enjoyed taking the images with the disposable camera.
Whilst drawing she told me she had only found out she was dyslexic in October and had been helped by her sister during school because she didn’t like asking for help from teachers. When I asked her how she feels having just found out, she said she feels fine about it; infact she likes to use it as an excuse for forgetting appointments and times etc. She wasn’t aware that dyslexia could help you see things visually but she did think dyslexia made you more creative and is glad her strengths are things like dance, art and photography because she gets to do a creative course at university when other people choose subjects like physics because they are good at them but don’t necessarily enjoy them.
Jenny used pens to do a mixture of drawn and written on expression on top of her images. A lot of her images were about people that support her such as her sister and her friends.