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Dyslexic Friendly Fonts?

We’re making progress with planning our next version now, and one of our strategies involves the use of Dyslexic Friendly Fonts. We plan to allow our users to choose from a selection of fonts to add a greater dimension of personalisation to the browser.

What constitutes a Dyslexic Friendly Font?

The British Dyslexia Association’s BDA Technology Website offers a clue:

  • Good ascenders and descenders; b, d, f, h, k, l, t, and all capitals; g, j, p, q, y.
  • b and d; p and q distinguished, not mirror images.
  • Different forms for capital I, lowercase l and digit 1.
  • Rounded g as in handwriting. Most liked rounded a, although perhaps some felt that it may be confused with o.
  • Letter-spacing, e.g. r, n together rn should not look like m.

There are many fonts that satisfy these criteria, Arial has been shown to be the most Dyslexic Friendly out of a selection of fonts. Arial is a very common font, and thus it becomes the immediate choice.

Our app currently renders all text in Arial, but we are planning to add more fonts and to offer a selection.

Fonts Created for Dyslexia?

There has been much research into specific qualities of fonts that make it easier for those with dyslexia, so it only seems natural that some bright-sparks would assemble these qualities into a single font.

Open Dyslexia:
The main theory behind this font, is the sense of gravity that it provides each letter, by increasing the weight of each letter towards the bottom.

Gill Dyslexia:
Open Dyslexia based it’s theory on this font, it applies the same ‘gravity’ effect, but each letter is styled to work with the Gill family of fonts.

Lexia Readable:
This font takes the advice on the BDA technology website very seriously, but gives it a hand-written feel.

How will ER Browser Implement this?

At present, we have picker wheels to choose the theme, font-size and letter spacing. We plan to add another for Font, intially, we will look to include the following fonts:

  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Century Gothic
  • Comic Sans
  • Open Dyslexic
  • Lexia Readable

While we are developing this functionality, you may feel we need to add another font to the list or perhaps remove one you feel is inadequate, if so, Leave a Reply to this article, or visit our App Support page.

8 thoughts on “Dyslexic Friendly Fonts?

  1. Pingback: Version 1.3: Our Plan | ER Browser

  2. There’s no cure for dyslexia. It’s a lifelong condition caused by inherited traits that affect how your brain works. However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role. -*..^

  3. Arial
    Verdana
    Century Gothic
    Comic Sans

    Could you please rank these fonts in order from the most dyslexic friendly to least dyslexic friendly? Thanks.

    • Hi Jo.

      I wouldn’t feel comfortable ranking the fonts. I can tell you that they are all effective with dyslexia, because I researched this extensively, however, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which is the best, or worst out of those.

      The reason being, is that dyslexia isn’t the same for everyone, so these fonts would be effective in different ways for different people. For example, some would rate Comic Sans the most effective for them, and some would rate Century Gothic as the most effective for them.

      I’d suggest that you seek advice from a dyslexic specialist in your area, they’re normally more than happy to help.

      Dan

  4. I agree with Dan, dyslexia affects everyone a little differently, so what works for one, wont necessarily work for another.
    As a dyslexic with Irlens too, and a teacher, I personally prefer Comic Sans, font size 14, as I find it so much easier to read. People need to try different things to find what suits them, such as different fonts & sizes, coloured overlays & or lenses, if they are unsure they should seek the support from a qualified dyslexia specialist.

    • Hi Beckey,

      It’s an iPhone/iPad app.
      So it’s not on Macs or Windows.

      At this time we have no plans to extend to desktop browsers as this is a whole different ball-game for development.
      We’re sticking to mobile devices for the time being.

      Dan

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