Cash backing for Sheffield Hallam project to make spreadsheets simpler

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Technology experts at Sheffield Hallam University have received further Government funding of almost £100,000 to support a project to make computer spreadsheets easier to use.

The initiative had already received £50,000 through the Small Business Research Initiative to develop their plans and ideas.

Dr Chris Roast, who is managing the project, said: “Spreadsheets are often hard to use and can be particularly complex for people with dyslexia and dyscalculia.

“We set out to find out if visualisations and images could be used to make spreadsheets more accessible.”

Dr Roast is now developing a prototype plug-in to work with existing programmes.

During the research stages Dr Roast worked with groups of teenagers studying science, technology, engineering and maths.

He said: “Our prototype has the potential to benefit three million people in the UK who have dyscalculia. It will also boost early engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths.”