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Astrophysicist Matthew Schneps was waiting at a bus stop, scanning a scientific paper he had downloaded onto his smartphone, when it dawned on him: he was reading with ease.
That realization surprised Schneps, who has dyslexia, a learning disability that makes reading difficult.
His bus stop epiphany led Schneps, who directs a laboratory at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, to wonder whether handheld gadgets might be an effective reading platform for people with dyslexia. Now, eight years later, his research, which has shifted from studying stars, is beginning to show there may be some benefits, though much remains unclear about how the devices improve reading, and for whom.