What’s reading like if you’re dyslexic – a website provides insights

Tuesday, 6 September 2016 13:40pm

If you’re among the 20% of the population affected by dyslexia, there’s a website created to show your friends, family, work colleagues and those providing organisational support, what reading is actually like for you.

Screen grab of the ‘Dsxyliea’ website home page

Screen grab of the ‘Dsxyliea’ website home page

If you stumbled upon Victor Widell's Dsxyliea website, you might think that your computer was experiencing some serious technical issues. That’s because the letters within each word on the site are scrambled and moving around erratically.

Although you might be able to read each sentence if you slow down and focus, it's certainly not easy, and that’s the way Widell designed it to be, in order to demonstrate to others, what it’s like for those with the condition.

Around one in five people in the USA is affected by dyslexia, according to the The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, and the same percentage is likely to be present in Australia. Yet many remain undiagnosed and off-the-radar, secretly battling this ‘hidden disability’ without proper assistance.

Widell’s work to help build empathy in non-dyslexic people, followed the creation by Christian Boer two years ago of a dyslexic-friendly font called Dyslexie for people like himself. The font, not only helps people with dyslexia, it also helps those who don't live with it to better understand how similar-looking letters within the alphabet can create a major bottleneck for those who do.

Media Access Australia produced the Cognitive Disability Accessibility Guide in 2016 to provide practical advice on organisational support for those with a cognitive condition, including dyslexia. It’s free to download on the Media Access Australia website.


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