Nominated for the Helene Lange Prize 2020

english | german

17.02.2020, Oldenburg

Dieses Jahr feiert der Helene-Lange-Preis seine Neuauflage und Dr. Maria Rauschenberger mit Ihre Promotion “Early screening of dyslexia using a language-independent content game and machine learning” ist unter den drei Nominierten! Die Verleihung findet am 1. April im Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst statt.

Der Helene-Lange-Preis richtet sich an junge (Nachwuchs-) Wissenschaftlerin­nen, die sich auf besonders innovative und kreative Art und Weise mit alltags­relevanten Aspek­ten der Digitalisierung befassen und die Vision haben, die Wissenschaft, Wirt­schaft sowie gesell­schaftliche Verände­rungsprozesse in der Gegen­wart und in Zukunft aktiv mitzugestalten. (15.000 Euro dotiert)



On 11.10.2019 Dr. Maria Rauschenberger passed her disputation with distinction at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

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Technologies for Dyslexia

Hi everyone,

We made a huge effort and collected, clustered, and compared different applications for dyslexia for intervention, screening but also for assisted Reading or Writing. We present the result in our chapter “Technologies for Dyslexia” available in the book Web Accessibility.

Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333571078_Technologies_for_Dyslexia

Our chapter includes past, current, and future research technologies to support, intervene, or detect people with dyslexia!

The other chapters are also a great resource on Web Accessibility! If you are looking for details or a starting point for your research as well as detailed information on a specific topic like “Mathematics and Statistics”, “Multimedia Accessibility”, “Wearables”, “Mobile Web“… It is your book about recent Web Accessibility development.

Thanks to my co-authors Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Luz Rello

as well as the editors Yeliz Yesilada and Simon Harper

and do not forget to check out the other chapters !!!



Web Accessibility Second Edition
Web Accessibility: “New and fully updated to cover the last 10 years of accessibility research published since the first edition, this book covers key areas of evaluation and methodology, client-side applications, specialist and novel technologies, along with initial appraisals of disabilities. It provides comprehensive coverage of Web accessibility research. Building on the first, this second edition places more focus on Mobile Web technologies, Web applications, the Internet of Things and future developments where the Web as we know it is blending into infrastructure, and where Web based interface design has become predominant. Written by leading experts in the field, it provides an overview of existing research and also looks at future developments, providing a much deeper insight than can be obtained through existing research libraries, aggregations, or search engines. In tackling the subject from a research rather than a practitioner standpoint, scientists, engineers and postgraduate students will find a definitive and foundational text that includes field overviews, references, issues, new research, problems and solutions, and opinions from industrial experts and renowned academics from leading international institutions including W3C, Google, IBM, and CMU, Colorado and Lisbon Universities.” From https://www.springer.com/us/book/9781447174394


Call for Participants 2020

Dyslexia Research: Searching for participants

With your collaboration, you would help my research immensely. The goal of our research is to contribute to the development of support tools for dyslexia in any language.

Participants play for 5-10 minutes the game DGames (see Screenshot). This game explores how children (adults) with and without dyslexia perceive musical and visual cues.

We are looking specifically for Children at the age of 7 till 12 with or without dyslexia which can easily participate in this online study. But the participants call is also open for any age. Only a computer or tablet, headphones, and the Internet are needed.

The participant can speak any language as long as the parents or supervisor understands the instructions in English and can translate for the participant.

Please if you would like to participate – leave your contact details and a short description in the form and I will send you the invitation. Duration only 5 – 10 Minutes.



The data for the analysis is pseudonymized. The data will not be given to a third person. By participating in this research, you agree that Universitat Pompeu Fabra will publish the study results. This includes, for example, the results of the game or the interaction with the game. Therefore the data will be first anonymized. After that, the data will be analyzed and published. Within the possibilities, the article of the analysis for the study can be sent to you via the newsletter. Your personal information will not be published. This includes for example name or Email address.


The project has been awarded with the German Reading Award 2017.

The prototype was designed with the help of five children and five parents who tested the game and the results of  the usability study have been presented 2017 at the research conference Web for all (W4A) in Australia.

The Statistical Analysis of the game measures with 178 participants showed significant indicators to distinguish a person with and without dyslexia.

To make a good prediction we need as many participants as possible! Participants can speak any language! Participants should be either diagnosed with dyslexia or should not show any signs of dyslexia. Please participate!

Why do I do that?


My name is Maria Rauschenberger and I was detected with dyslexia in the second grade. Since then I successfully achieved my A-Level / Highschool in 2006, graduated my Bachelor of Engineering in 2010 and graduated the Master of Science in 2015. I know how hard it is and how much effort it takes to compensate dyslexia. I know personally more people who have succeeded with dyslexia and have made a success of their lives. I want this possibility for everyone with dyslexia and therefore we need early detection. I want to create support to screen children in an easy and fun way. That’s why I am investigating possibilities with new technologies to screen children. You would really help me to achieve this goal — when you take part in my online study and play the game. Thank you.


Dyslexia (Tools)

Tools for People with Dyslexia, Links and Information to gain knowledge

english | german


Tools for Intervention

  • Dyseggxia at the age of 7 in English, Spanish & German (FREE in the App Store)
  • DytectiveU from the age of 7 in Spanish from non-profit organization ChangeDyslexia which I am a volunteer of.
  • LÜK in German (I played it as a kid with the analog box. Loved it – Haven’t tried the App yet.)
  • Was told that Help teachers use it : Ceasar & Klex
  • Lernserver – you have to pay for – never tried it.
  •  Thanks to Stefan for the Link to Speechcare – you have to pay for it – never tried it.
  • Thanks to Silke for this Link to LRS GUT1 – you have to pay for it – never tried it.
  • To learn Vocabulary: Quizlet

Tools for adults

“Kinder mit Lese-Rechtschreib-Schwäche haben auch Stärken – und die gilt es zu finden und ebenfalls zu fördern. Es ist nicht nötig, diese Kinder alleine über ihre Lese- und Rechtschreibfähigkeiten zu definieren und es gibt viele Möglichkeiten, nach der Schule Tools zu nutzen und Methoden zu entwickeln, um die Rechtschreibung zuverbessern.” – Maria Rauschenberger –

  1. Vokabel Trainer: Learning words I frequently spell wrong with the App Semper
  2. Spellchecker: Grammarly – still use the free version – which is helping very much to find the mistakes in English
  3. Spellchecker: Google Docs finds lots of mistakes – good for writing anything there and then copy and past it 😉
  4. Course for Learning how to read and write (Hamburg)
  5. Ask for Support also as an Adult!

Do you have tried out a good tool?  Please let me know !

Get Inspired !!!

Intuit: Lunch and Learn Session

Ted Drake from Intuit and this year’s general chair of Web4All Conference 2020  is organising a series of lunch and learn session to take advantage of people working from home! The W4A keynotes of Vivienne Conway, Director (Web Key IT Pty Ltd) and  Ricardo Baeza-Yates (NTENT & Khoury College of Computer Sciences Northeastern University at Silicon Valley) have been already shared. Now, they ask me to give an overview of research and technologies around dyslexia which is next Thursday on the 14th of May !

The video might be made public in any case here are the slides.

MusVis Demo received the W4A Delegate Award  

english | german

The aim of our web-game called MusVis (see Video) is to measure the reaction of children with and without dyslexia while playing, in order to find differences on their behavior. Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder that affects from 5% to 15% of the world population.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that risk of dyslexia is screened using a language-independent content web-based game and machine-learning. Universal screening with language-independent content can be used for the screening of pre-readers who do not have any language skills, facilitating a potential early intervention.

Our approach aims to screen dyslexia with indicators that do not require linguistic knowledge. These indicators are probably not as strong or visible as the reading and spelling mistakes of children with dyslexia. Therefore, we consider our results (highest accuracy of 0.74 and highest F1-scores of 0.75) for German with Random Forest and (highest accuracy of 0.69) for Spanish with Extra Trees as a promising way to predict dyslexia using language-independent auditory and visual content for pre-readers.

Our approach can optimize resources for detecting and treating dyslexia, however, it would need at the beginning more personnel to screen many more children at a young age to enlarge our training data. As children with dyslexia need around two years to compensate their difficulties, our approach could help to decrease school failure, late treatment, and most importantly, to reduce suffering for children and parents.
The main advantage of our language-independent content approach is that has the potential to screen pre-readers in the near future. Indeed, we aim to collect more data with younger children to improve our results.

The full paper is available here: Screening risk of dyslexia through a web-game using language-independent content and machine learning

You would like to support my research? Please participate in my follow-up study.


Invited-Talk at GUC, Cairo

At the beginning of October, I had the pleasure to talk at the German University of Cairo (GUC) about  Misconceptions, Neuromyths and Dyslexia. Slides are available at SlideShare.

The two-day Teach the Teacher workshop for teaching assistants was organized by Slim Abdennadher (Vice President of Academic Affairs at the GUC ) and Stefan Schneegass (Assistant Professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen).

Press Release:



Awarded with fem:talent Scholarship

Maria Rauschenberger is awarded wth the fem:talent Scholarship 2017 for her research on Dyslexia.

17.11.2017, Emden.

The University of Applied Science Emden/Leer has awarded for the second time promising students and Ph.D. fellows with the fem:talent Scholarship. The students have to already succeed in their field of expertise or are expected to succeed in the future. The fem:talent Scholarship provides a financial support for a year and a pool to exchange ideas and support.

Maria Rauschenberger  has received the fem:talent Scholarship twice for her research on “playful and early approach to screen children with dyslexia while playing a game”. She will be continuing her work in the next year. “I am very happy to be supported from Emden for the next phase of my Ph.D. topic. This will be hopefully very helpful for  children with dyslexia in the future.” 

2.April. 2018 Update: After the evaluation of the first half, also the second half of the  fem:talent Scholarship (from University of Applied Science Emden/Leer) has been granted.

Maria Rauschenberger3 Kopie
v.l.n.r. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Kreutz (Präsident University of Applied Science Emden/Leer ), Maria Rauschenberger, Jutta Dehoff-Zuch (Central equality officer)

Do you wanna support the research on Dyslexia?

The research project is looking for children between 8 and 12 years old with dyslexia and without dyslexia. Only a computer or a tablet, headphones, and Internet are needed.



Participants can be native speakers of English, Spanish or German.


Maria’s advisors are Ricardo Baeza-Yates Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra & CTO of NTENT and Luz Rello Special Faculty en Cargenie Mellon University & Fundadora de Change Dyslexia. Also, special thanks to Prof. Dr. Jörg Thomaschewski from the University of Applied Science for his mentoring.

Press release:

Screenshot 2017-11-21 12.07.19
Presse release from the University of Applied Science Emden/Leer, http://www.hs-emden-leer.de/

— 21.11.2017, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Dyslexia receives the German Reading Award — Dyslexia as an Opportunity.

Once a year the German Reading Award (Deutsche Lesepreis) is presented in Berlin by the Foundation Lesen and the Foundation Commerzbank-Stiftung. Projects in 4 different categories are honored for their approach, engagement or make which have a beneficial effect on reading. Maria Rauschenberger is honored for her Ph.D. idea and pilot study on a playful and early approach to screen children with dyslexia while playing a game.

Maria Rauschenberger Ph.D. Fellow erhält Deutschen Lesepreis 2017 für ihre Promotionsidee „Spielerische Erkennung der Lese-/Rechtschreibstörung“ am 09.11.2017 in Berlin.



Maria Rauschenberger received the German Reading Award in Berlin for her Research Idea “Playful and Early Screening with Dyslexia while playing a Game”.

Berlin, 09. November 2017:  

Once a year the German Reading Award (Deutsche Lesepreis) is presented in Berlin by the Foundation Lesen and the Foundation Commerzbank-Stiftung. Projects in 4 different categories are honored for their approach, engagement or make which have a beneficial effect on reading. Maria Rauschenberger is honored for her Ph.D. idea and pilot study on a playful and early approach to screen children with dyslexia while playing a game. Her advisors are Ricardo Baeza-Yates Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra & CTO of NTENT and Luz Rello Special Faculty en Cargenie Mellon University & Fundadora de Change Dyslexia.




Thanks to all participants who already played our research game “MusVis”! The Award is therefore also for you! We can only find out the indicators and help people with dyslexia — if people participate in our study. Therefore a big big thank you to you!

Since around 2 years, we search for participants. During this time there have been fantastic people who helped with a lot of effort to find participants. Especially I want to thank

— Lena Klaus, teacher from Peter-Ustinov-Schule in Schleswig-Holstein

— Friederike Hansch, teacher at primary school Ofenerdiek

— Angelika Jobst, head of the library Ofenerdiek

— Peggy Stümpel,  AncoraMentis

—  Monika Batke, Hochschule Emden/Leer

Special thanks to Jeffrey P. Bigham from the Carnegie Mellon University for his contribution to the user study and Emilia Gomez from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra for her contribution on designing the music elements.

Next is the improvement of the approach and application as well as a large-scale study to confirm the pilot study results.

Press release:

— Eckernförder Zeitung

Website Deutscher Lesepreis

Pressemitteilung Commerzbank Stiftung

Hochschule Emden/Leer

— Pressemitteilung Stiftung Lesen

Website Web Science and Social Computing

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Do you want to support us? Children with and without dyslexia at the age of 8 to 12 can play her game from home! Sign up now!




We are nominated for the German Reading Awared

Our Game and Approach are nominated for the German Reading Award “Deutscher Lesepreis 2017”. Out of 281 are we under the last 36 projects from all over Germany. We have been nominated in the category ideas for tomorrow “Ideen für morgen”.

Oldenburg/Barcelona 16.09.2017.

Our Game and Approach are nominated for the German Reading Award “Deutscher Lesepreis 2017”. Out of 281 are we under the last 36 projects from all over Germany. We have been nominated in the category ideas for tomorrow “Ideen für morgen”.

The foundation Stiftung Lesen  and the patroness Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Minister of State Prof. Monika Grütters are awarding in four different categories for the support of reading!


German website version