Carnegie Mellon University

Success Stories - Case Studies

CMU Spinoff Change Dyslexia Eliminates Learning Barriers Through Flagship Educational Tool Dytective

Dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting the ability to read, write, and spell, and remains a formidable hurdle for millions of children worldwide. Signs of dyslexia and its impact often remain unnoticed by the casual observer. However, for those who experience its effects firsthand, every word on a page becomes a potential maze, every sentence a riddle to decode.

Since dyslexia often eludes even the keenest observers it is very challenging to detect.  This is a very large challenge for young minds and their parents, unaware of the underlying cause of their struggles.

Luz Rello, an accomplished linguist and computer scientist, founded the social enterprise, Change Dyslexia in 2016. Luz was affected by dyslexia in her childhood, and persevered through her academic journey to receive a Ph.D. in computer science.  Her research has received world-renowned recognition; she was awarded Social Innovator of the Year by MIT Technology Review in 2014 she was included in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list of 2017, to name a few.

Through Change Dyslexia, Luz addresses the importance of detecting dyslexia early on to offer adequate reinforcement and treatment, ensuring dyslexia is no longer a hidden disorder and affording those affected an opportunity to have appropriate intervention and achieve desired learning outcomes. 

Change Dyslexia uses the most cutting-edge advances in Artificial Intelligence and created their flagship educational tool Dytective. Dytective is a cognitive training program where kids learn by having fun. More than 42,000 scientifically validated exercises are included in Dytective, and presented as a video game so that children can fully enjoy their training. The training adjusts the level and type of exercises to each child, offering personalized training of 24 cognitive skills overarching these 5 key categories:

  • Linguistic Competences
  • Executive Functions
  • Working Memory
  • Visual Perceptual Processes
  • Auditory Perceptual Processes

Dytective was first deployed in schools in 2017. It’s first pilot was introduced in 40 schools in Madrid, however Dytective’s adoption has since expanded to other educational facilities in the city and beyond. Dytective has since been launched in 200 schools and 1,200 educational centers in Madrid will be taking advantage of Dytective to help students overcome learning difficulties related to dyslexia.

As part of its mission, Change Dyslexia also addresses socioeconomic inequalities by eliminating access barriers and facilitating Dytective’s use for the most disadvantaged families, thanks to its scholarship program and the free screening test.  The free screening has already been used by more than 300,000 people worldwide.