New font could help sufferers of dyslexia

Posted on August 3, 2011

 

A new font created by a Dutch graphic designer could help the millions of dyslexia sufferers worldwide. Christian Boer designed the new typeface in 2008, calling it Dyslexie. Although there have been other styles of font to help people with dyslexia, this is the first to have been used in scientific studies showing that it is effective.

Researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands carried out a study of the new font. The results show that fewer mistakes were made when people with dyslexia used the new Dyslexie typeface. Dyslexia causes problems with reading, writing, spelling and occasionally speech for the millions of people who are affected. Although there are no official statistics available, estimates show that up to a fifth of the population may have dyslexia.

The common belief is that dyslexia causes a person to write words backwards, although research has shown that the dyslexic gets the letters confused as many have the same basic shape. For instance, a number of the letters in the alphabet are constructed with a letter “o” with tails added in various positions. Someone with dyslexia may easily confuse those letters.

The research carried out by the University of Twente shows that although those affected by dyslexia didn’t read any faster using Dyslexie font, their accuracy improved with fewer errors. This condition could have a serious affect on some occupations which require total accuracy, such as writing for the web. As Google will penalise a website for having poor spelling and grammar, content outsourcing to a professional writer is a popular way for many business owners to ensure that this doesn’t happen to their site. However, it’s unknown how Dyslexie will affect Google’s search criteria, should it become popular.

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