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OpenDyslexic Font Aims To Make Reading Online Easier

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to raise awareness about a neat new tool aiming to make reading easier for those with dyslexia.

The OpenDyslexic font is designed to help letters stay in place, and aims to counteract the tricks dyslexia plays with text. It’s a free, open-source tool that has recently gained popularity and recognition. The new release of Instapaper includes it. The BBC reports that the font is increasingly being used in web browsers, e-readers and schools.

While other fonts designed with dyslexia in mind exist, OpenDyslexic has one special characteristic that sets it apart: it’s free.

OpenDyslexic is the brain child of Alberto Gonzalez, who said he’d seen similar fonts that were cost prohibitive and wanted to make something that would be free, accessible and easy-to-use. It’s fast-growing popularity is a sign that he spotted a real need.

How does it work? Essentially, the letters are specially shaped to stop them from moving around on the screen. From OpenDyslexic’s self-description:

Your brain can sometimes do funny things to letters.OpenDyslexic tries to help prevent some of these things from happening. Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to add a kind of gravity to each letter, helping to keep your brain from rotating them around in ways that can make them look like other letters. Consistently weighted bottoms can also help reinforce the line of text. The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent flipping and swapping.

Gonzalez has also made a web browser, called OpenWeb, that uses this font. It’s available through the app store for iOS.

Will you or your kids be using this resource? If you have dyslexia, does the font seem extra-readable to you?

image: screenshot of OpenDyslexic font, dyslexicfonts.com

 

 

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