We hear a lot about it, but what is dyslexia?
It’s defined as “a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words.” Some symptoms include difficulty reading — especially reading aloud — trouble learning new words and languages, poor time management skills, and even difficulty with math. While it can be diagnosed at a young age, it is more commonly diagnosed in teens and adults.
Those with dyslexia are definitely not slow or stupid, but rather incredibly intelligent; they just process information differently. As of now, there is no cure for dyslexia. It is something that people must live with. As time passes, though, strides have been made in finding ways to cope with the disorder.
One of those ways is to change the typeface on the computer. Now that we’re in an age where people hardly use a pen and paper to write anymore, it has become increasingly difficult for dyslexics. Many typefaces are similar, and since a big part of the disorder has to do with the inability to differentiate between letters, you can see where the problem lies. That’s where Dutch computer designer Christian Boer comes in. A dyslexic himself, Boer sought out to make reading online a bit easier.
The Dyslexie font makes subtle but hugely important aesthetic tweaks to letters to make them easier for dyslexics to read.
“Traditional typefaces make this worse, because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating ‘twin letters’ for people with dyslexia,” Boer explained.
The base lines of the more commonly confused letters are wider, the tail lengths have been altered, and some letters are slightly slanted. These simple changes will make distinguishing words so much easier for dyslexics.
Boer has made the font available for free download through its official website. Once downloaded, users can apply the font to email, word processing, and browsing. While studies surrounding the font have yet to generate any concrete evidence in either direction, Dyslexie is still a great resource!