Understanding and addressing dyslexia in travel information provision
Lamont, D. (2008) Understanding and addressing dyslexia in travel information provision. PhD, University of the West of England.
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This thesis synthesises two previously disparate fields of study by investigating the attitudes and aspirations of dyslexic people regarding travel information provision. One of the first in-depth qualitative studies of its kind is presented, with the findings having significance for academia, professionals and government. There are four main parts to the thesis. Part 1 considers the literature review. Part 2 presents the empirical research strategy adopted (a series of focus groups and a travel ethnography study). Following this, Part 3 presents the empirical research findings. Finally, Part 4 concludes the thesis, introducing discussion of the key findings, the contribution of the research to the fields of study, and avenues for further research in this area. It is clear that the attitude towards disabled people is changing. However, dyslexic people are experiencing the benefits of the social model of disability at a considerably slower rate than other disabled people. This is clearly the case across the transport industry, particularly within travel information provision. At present the distinct needs of dyslexic people are being lost within a 'design-for-all strategy'. Essentially, dyslexic people are facing limited travel horizons and mobility-related exclusion as a result. This thesis effectively supports the drive towards greater recognition and awareness of (and support for) dyslexia within the transport industry. Although the research provides much to consider, it constitutes an important opportunity to positively change this aspect of life for dyslexic people. Dyslexic-friendly travel information can ameliorate the access barriers to transport, which in turn could broaden the travel horizons of these individuals. For Government, the subsequent effects of better information access upon public transport patronage and use of the road network (and the perceptions of the transport industry as a whole) could be extremely positive. It is also certain that the research has the potential to further embed the social model of disability within dyslexia. By changing the fundamental attitudes of the transport industry towards dyslexia would provide a positive step forward in achieving greater social inclusion for dyslexic people. This in turn could provide greater access to opportunities previously unavailable, create better social opportunities, and more positive life experiences.
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