Did you know there is a dyslexia font that has been specifically designed for use by people who suffer with dyslexia?
It’s called OpenDyslexic and can be found here. It was created to improve readability for anyone who suffers with dyslexia and includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles. The creators update and improve it regularly, using feedback from dyslexic users.
It is absolutely free to download, however there is an option to donate. I highly advise donating something to help the continuation of this extremely useful resource.
Easy to download, simple to use!
I personally can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s so simple to use. Enter your email address, open the email you are sent and click on the link. You are then taken to their website where you have a choice of which version you would like to download. (The latest version is still in Beta, but can be downloaded.). It will download in a zip file that once unzipped can be saved to your computer.
The files you receive are regular, italic, bold and bold-italic. Click on each file and it will open in a notepad file ready for installation – that take seconds! Open up a Word document to try it out.
There is also a chrome extension available on the chrome store. Simply open up the Chrome store and search for ‘opendyslexic’. Once you’ve found it, add the extension and activate it. It’s really that simple – you’ll be ready to go!
If you would like to install the dyslexia font onto your devices, you can find it on the Apple store here and there is an option to download the files for android when you register.
It has really helped Ella and is a must for school children (and adults) using computers or devices for assignments and apps.
Alternatives for a dyslexia-friendly style guide
If you want to create a dyslexia-friendly print-out and can’t access the Open Dyslexic font, a good alternative would be a sans serif font such as Arial or Comic Sans. Sans serif fonts are easier to read for people with dyslexia as the letter spacing is less crowded.
Designing documents, presentations, worksheets, forms for users with dyslexia
What to do
- use images and diagrams alongside text
- align text to the left
- ensure layout is consistent
- use audio and video when/if possible to highlight your message
- keep all content short, concise and simple
- offer variations for background and text if possible
- Give reminders and prompts from previous pages
- Break up the text with headings and images
- Provide a glossary for jargon and abbreviations
What not to do
- use long sections of heavy text – use bullets when possible
- use too many abbreviations or double negatives (eg. The results are not inconclusive)
- use italics, write in caps or underline too many words
- rely on users remembering important facts from previous pages/slides.
- place importance on accurate spelling. Use autocorrect or provide suggestions
- put too much information in one place. Spread out the information and use images where possible.