How to Create Dyslexia Friendly Content
The difficulties experienced by some dyslexics when reading written materials can be eased or even eliminated. This guide will help you to create dyslexia friendly content, which will reduce visual stress and allow for better learning experience.
· Use sans serif fonts, such as Arial and Comic Sans, as letters can appear more spaced out. Try Verdana, Tahoma, Century Gothic, Calibri, Open Sans.
· Consider downloading Dyslexia fonts, for example Open Dyslexic. Letters have heavy weighted bottom part to indicate direction and help prevent the perception of letters reversing. This font is free.
· Font size should be 12-14 point, although some dyslexic readers may require a larger font.
· Larger character spacing also improves readability. Try around 25 - 35% of the average letter width.
· Inter-word spacing should be at least 3.5 times the inter-letter spacing.
· Larger line spacing also aids readability and should be proportional to character spacing. Experiment to see what your dyslexic students prefer. Usually 1.5 line spacing is sufficient.
· Avoid Underlining and Italics as this can make the text merge and make it difficult for reading.
Headings and Structure
· Use consistent structure throughout the text to help readers navigate through your content. In Word, you’ll find these tools in the ‘Home’ tab:
· For headings, use a font size that is at least 20% larger than the normal text.
· Use formatting tools in Word to align text to the left.
· Add extra space around headings and between paragraphs.
· Ensure hyperlinks look different from headings and normal text.
Colour, Paper, Screen
· Use single colour backgrounds. Go for soft pastel colours and avoid background patterns or pictures or distracting content.
· Use dark coloured text on a light background. Avoid white as it can appear too dazzling.
· Green and red or pink colours are difficult for those who have colour vision deficiencies (colour blindness).
· Print on matt paper rather than gloss. Paper should be thick enough to prevent the other side showing through.
Text to Speech Technology
Consider adding Text to Speech apps to your computer, tablet or phone. There are a few apps available on the market. Clarospeak, Voice Dream Reader, Speak Selection, Speechify. Speechify, for example, is loved by many students as it turns ANY text into audio. Listen to articles, Google Docs, PDFs and newsletters. Simply scan any text and the app will read it to you. Great help when you have to read a lot and is particularly amazing for dyslexic readers, as it allows them to concentrate on learning and boosts their comprehension.