Estendio are driving to create equal opportunities for disabled students and workers through a roadmap of products that will continually enhance and improve the benefits students will receive through their academic life.
With many dyslexics struggling to present due to issues such as anxiety, visual stress and problems around the working memory, there is no current addressable solution to this problem.
This is a major challenge to students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences - especially in tertiary education where graded presentations are becoming a very common occurrence.
The only current solution many universities offer is to allow the student to present to a room of no more than 10 or skip the presentation all together. Neither of which prepares the student for the work place!
Estendio's flagship product Present Pal looks to create a direct solution to this problem by giving the user all the information of a script and being even more accessible than flashcards!
2 weeks into the start of my business degree, I was told we would be presenting every week - often being graded.
I spent hours preparing and going through my presentations but when it actually came to the presentations I would take a mental block and couldn't remember a thing or even read any of my notes!
I became increasingly frustrated and anxious as my grades were getting worse and I was being told I was not doing enough preparation as I would have to turn and read my presentation straight off the slides...
I then went to speak to my disability advisor to see what help I could get for my dyslexia. I was offered many different solutions and pieces of assistive technologies but nothing for presentations. I asked about my presentations and was told that this was something that many dyslexics struggled with. I was told that I could however present to a smaller room with 10 people or skip the presentation all together. This was not an option for me as I felt I had to learn how to present if i wanted a job in business!
I then spent the next few weeks researching why dyslexics struggled to present and was told after speaking to a series of experts that this was due to the working memory and that there was no real solution to this problem but recommended flash cards or mind maps but this still didn't work for me.
I then drew up mock ups of Present Pal in photoshop of what I would have liked to see and showed some of these experts I previously asked and they were incredibly supportive. I then told one of my business lecturers about my idea and I was put in touch with Strathclyde Enterprise Hub and from there I was since able to build our core team, raise over £100,000 in funding and win some of Scotlands biggest Entrepreneurial Competitions, including The Herald Digital Entrepreneur of The Year and runner up prize of Converge Challenge.
Present Pal is now in development with the view of an early adopter product being ready for the 2016 - 17 academic year with many of the UKs biggest universities wanting to take things forward.
If you would like to hear more about Present Pal please get in touch!