Online screener highlights signs of dyscalculia

A mathematics support tutor at Loughborough University has developed a tool to give adults an indication of whether they are at risk of dyscalculia, a hidden condition resulting in poor numeracy skills.

Clare Trott from Loughborough University’s Mathematics Education Centre has been working on the project in conjunction with Nigel Beacham for a number of years. Now, assistive technology specialist Iansyst and public sector service provider Tribal plan to roll out the tool commercially.

It is estimated that between three to six per cent of adults could have dyscalculia, but many remain unidentified as screening is currently only available for children. Dyscalculics face challenges each day with tasks such as household budgeting, checking change or helping children with homework.

Trott’s online screener – DysCalculiUM – highlights adults displaying signs of dyscalculia. It is designed to be administered by learning and disability support teams in colleges and universities, as well as by human resources professionals in the workplace.

Loughborough University’s Consultancy Services licensed DysCalculiUM to Iansyst in order for it to be delivered online through Tribal’s Advance learning platform. The website and manual include materials to assist users through the screening process.

In use, the tool creates a profile on the user with 11 categories highlighting what they conceptually understand and how they apply mathematical knowledge, six focussing on the adult’s understanding of numbers and a further five looking at different applications of numbers, such as telling the time and understanding tables of information.