Hampering reading, the lifelong condition, is the most common learning issue. Depending on how you measure it, on average 5-15% of people are dyslexic.
Dyslexia’s mainly a problem with reading accurately and fluently. So, a child with dyslexia may struggle to answer questions, about something they’ve read. However, when it’s read to them, they may have no difficulty.
Challenging areas of difficulty may include: comprehension; spelling; writing and Mathematics.
Dyslexia. A Design Checklist
Based on the 2018 British Dyslexia Association (BDA) official guidelines, this will also improve clarity for all users (and Google).
BDA recommend adequate contrast between text and background. Too extreme and text dazzles. Due to screen glare, this also applies online. Using various colour combinations, W3.org’s detailed study, was inconclusive.
However, BDA recommend using dark coloured text on a light background (not white). This also applies online. Avoid white text, other than for large headings.
Avoid distracting background images or patterns and surrounds. Colour tints can knock back backgrounds improving clarity to overlaid text. Colour blindness will be covered in the future.
Alternative methods hamper reading due to letter crowding, such as italics or underlining. Underlining is unacceptable online, as it looks like a hyperlink.
BDA also recommends avoiding making EVERYTHING UPPERCASE or SMALL CAPS. Usability studies explain this impairs readability, due to the similarity in shape of uppercase compared to lowercase characters.
Simulation as seen through a child’s eyes. Pick an age and experience dyslexia through these simulations by understood.org.
OpenDyslexic A font for dyslexia. Apart from being fugly, writing about OpenDyslexic, Jessica Wery states,
“Using a font with claims to improve reading for individuals with dyslexia without evidence to support this claim could result in further frustrations by teachers, parents, and individuals with dyslexia when no differences is observed after changing fonts used.” Read More >
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