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October 25, 2012

Since accessibility has been such an important issue for this class, I wanted to share this information about a newly-released open-source font named “OpenDyslexic.”  Other than attribution, there are no restrictions on use.  Interestingly enough, this coincides with the release of OpenWeb, a dyslexia-friendly web browser that uses OpenDyslexic as its default font.  OpenDyslexic can enhance your website’s accessibility for your readers/visitors with dyslexia.

As I don’t personally have dyslexia or know much about it, I’m not in a position to evaluate whether such a font is effective in increasing the readability of text content.  Apparently, the heavily-weighted bottoms of OpenDyslexic’s characters help “ground” them so that the letters will not be misinterpreted.  In addition, the characters’ weighted bottoms help reinforce lines of text.

New, Accessible, Open Source Font for Readers with Dyslexia

Another Opinion

10 Comments leave one →
  1. rbush953 permalink
    October 25, 2012 4:57 pm

    I agree with Mike James, the programmer, that it’s not a font I would want to look at for very long, but I’m not dyslexic so I guess that’s not fair. Of course, if the browser converts everything to that font, then there are obviously no drawbacks. It simply becomes a choice of the user. And I suppose there must be a simple way to include a choice of fonts on a web page, like when we put in our buttons to change the style.

  2. jayon615 permalink
    October 25, 2012 6:27 pm

    That is indeed an unattractive font to the average reader (average reader=me). I suppose one has to weigh who one’s expected audience will be. My first thought is that I wouldn’t subject the vast majority of visitors to this. I do hope, as the last commenter mentioned, that there is a way for people with dyslexia to set this as the default font from their browsers.

  3. October 25, 2012 9:08 pm

    This font is definitely a step in the right direction to help people with dyslexia. While for me the font was unappealing especially in its smaller size the principle behind it is sound. I can see this getting a lot of use in classrooms and I would be interested to see the results of the proposed testing in a special school. As with most conditions there are extremes and this font seems to be targeted more at the severely dyslexic over people who have mild dyslexia. I am sure that there is a population of users out there excited to be able to better utilize all the the web has to offer with this new browser.

  4. Alice Worden permalink
    October 26, 2012 10:34 am

    I’m probably going to have what meager design credentials I may posess taken away from me for saying this, but I actually like the font.

    How people without dyslexia feel completely aside, however I love when technology is used for good in ways like this. I hope the font finds its way into the hands of people who are helped by it.

  5. choshil permalink
    October 26, 2012 5:06 pm

    I, too, like the font. I never thought I was dyslexic but now I’m starting to wonder since I find this font very easy to read. But I think it’s better for my poor eyesight rather than a learning disability. Regardless, maybe this could be helpful for people with vision problems??

  6. October 26, 2012 6:11 pm

    I have my opinions about the aesthetic appeal of this font, but I don’t really think my thoughts matter much in this case, as the product is not for me and I’m not in any position to offer any profound insights. I’m glad that it’s apparently something that could be really helpful for the people it was created for, and had no idea that it’s targeted toward the more severely dyslexic folks out there (thank you for that info, Sarah!). And if it also happens to help those with poor eyesight (a group that I do happen to belong to), then it does seem like an example of how increasing accessibility benefits everyone.

  7. October 26, 2012 7:31 pm

    Like others I also found the font rather unappealing, but If it helps those who truly struggle with dyslexia than Its a good start. I think its great that people are trying to create ways for everyone (including those with disabilities) to use the internet, especially since it is becoming one of the main sources of information in the digital age.


  1. A Typeface Just for Dyslexics? — The Book Designer « Maria Grace
  2. “‘OpenDyslexic,’ Free Font, Helps People With Dyslexia Read Online” | Pennsylvania Mental Health Issues
  3. A Typeface Just for Dyslexia? — The Book Designer - Random Bits of Fascination

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