What is dyslexia, and what challenges does it create for reading?
Dyslexia occurs when people have difficulty reading and is characterized by problems identifying speech sounds and connecting those sounds to letters and words. While researchers continue to study dyslexia to pinpoint the precise nature of it, several groups have developed fonts to help those with dyslexia.
What are these fonts and how do they work?
You might have already heard of the fonts Dyslexie, Open Dyslexic, or EasyReading. These are the three main font options for people who would like to try using fonts as an assistive tool. They are developed by adjusting spacing, the weight of letter strokes, and letter styles in an attempt to make reading easier.
Should I try one of these fonts?
Maybe! Many users report positive experiences with each of these fonts, but researchers are working on more empirical studies to get a fuller picture of their effects. So far, some studies indicate that dyslexic children show no preference for Dyslexie or Open Dyslexic when compared to Arial font, and while one study did show that EasyReading was beneficial for dyslexic individuals, the study was small. Right now, Open Dyslexic and Easy Reading are free for personal use (Dyslexie is available for a small fee). Give it a try, and see if it works for you!