A New Font Makes Reading Easier For Children With Dyslexia

File this under Simple Solutions For Complex Problems: Font designer Christian Boer constructed a font that is more easily readable for people with dyslexia by tailoring the letters to accommodate the perceptual problems that are characteristic of dyslexia.

The problem with standard fonts for people with dyslexia is that letters are made to look very similar to each other, with similar heights, proportions, and angles. For example, in most fonts, if you flip a “b” upside-down, it looks like a “p” – and that’s exactly what the brain does for many people with dyslexia. The solution Boer came up with for his Dyslexie font is extremely elegant: slightly alter the letters so that none of them use precisely the same heights and proportions. Angle some letters a little, so that “j,” for instance, doesn’t look so much like “i.” Make the letters bottom-heavy so that the brain can perceive that a letter is, in fact, an “h” and not a “y.”

This is a total Occam’s razor solution. There are two other well-known fonts designed with people with dyslexia in mind — OpenDyslexic and Lexia Readable – but, in my opinion, Dyslexie is the best-designed for a few different reasons: First, that it differentiates between characters better than Lexia Readable, at least. And second, that it’s the most readable of the three for other users. OpenDyslexic is a little thick and Lexia Readable is a little choppy to apply as a standard font for a shared computer, whereas Dyslexie resembles standard fonts a little more. If the point is to help families supporting a family member who has dyslexia, Dyslexie would be the easiest for everyone to embrace in a web browser.

The great news is that in testing for the font, 84.3 percent of the children with dyslexia who were tested reported that they could read faster, and 77.8 percent made fewer reading mistakes. The font set is attractive and simple, and it’s free for home users (it comes with a fee for businesses and schools). It comes with instructions for installing it as the standard font on your computer. You can get it on the Dyslexie web site.

[Geeks Are Sexy Technology News]

[Dyslexie]

[Open Dyslexic]

[Lexia Readable]

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