Posted on 29th September 2012
The way you present your work is extremely important, and when you are handing in essays typed on the computer, then your choice of font is really rather key. Comic Sans is a notoriously inappropriate font for ‘serious’ documents, and anything too swirly or difficult to read is probably not a very good idea either.
Fonts can say and do a lot, and now there’s a new font called OpenDyslexia which has been designed to help people with dyslexia to read with greater ease.
Many people with dyslexia have difficulty reading because letters ‘swim’, ‘swirl’ or ‘jump’ on the page. The OpenDyselxia font has slightly heavier weighted bottoms on the letters, which means that they are more ‘stable’.
Similar fonts have been in existence for some time, however most are expensive to buy. Abelardo Gonzalez, who designed the font, said, “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.”
Already, OpenDyslexia has been a big hit, and according to Gonzalez, “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 font is now available on the app Instapaper, many ebook readers and school computers, and looks to be extending its reach very rapidly, which is fantastic news. It is also available on many iOS devices, so that people who use Apple products can use the font. Gonzalez is currently in talks with Amazon and Google, so OpenDyslexia may be even more prominent very swiftly.
The British Dyslexia Association says that around 4% of the UK’s population has severe dyslexia, and many more have mild dyslexia. Hopefully OpenDyslexia will help millions of people. Personally, I hope that pupils with dyslexia will soon be able to receive exam papers in the font, and that teachers will use it more in schools to make studying easier.