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Font to help dyslexics read

letters and_numbers_spiraling_10_10_12A free font has been launched to assist people with dyslexia when using digital devices.

According to the charity Dyslexia Action, 10% of the UK population has dyslexia to a varying degree, affecting their ability to read fluently. This means the benefits of modern devices such as E-readers, iPads and smartphones are often minimised for dyslexics, as much of the content accessed is text-heavy.

OpenDyslexic – the open source dyslexia friendly font – has been used in a new web browser called OpenWeb, that will allow dyslexics to read easier from now on, as the font is designed to remain stationary in a reader’s mind.

OpenDyslexic has also been incorporated into a word processor, an E-reader and has been installed on school computers.

The creator, Abelardo Gonzalez, 28, a New Hampshire-based app designer, explained the drive behind the project to the BBC:

‘I had seen similar fonts, but at the time they were completely unaffordable and so impractical as far as costs go.

‘I figured there’s other people who would like the same thing but had the same issues, and so I thought I’d make an open source one that everyone could contribute to and help out with.

‘The response has been great: I’ve had people emailing saying this is the first time they could read text without it looking wiggly or has helped other symptoms of dyslexia.’

The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) welcomed the growing inclusion of the font in new digital designs.

‘As a dyslexic, I find this font very easy to read and reduces the effects of visual stress that I experience,’ said Arran Smith, the group’s project officer.

‘I especially like the spacing between letters, as it is even and regular, which is also recommended within the BDA Style Guide.’

Dyslexia Awareness Week (DAW12) is running this week until Sunday, 14th October. For more information on the condition, visit www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk/in-focus


Picture credit: Shutterstock

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