Wednesday 23 July, 2014

Free gravity font helps dyslexics read online

Published On: Tue, Oct 9th, 2012 | Neurobiology | By BioNews

A free-gravity font, that can also be used on mobile phones, and that looks like it’s melting because of a heavier bottom is what dyslexics – people with learning difficulty – need for reading online. It is less likely the brain will rotate them and confuse sufferers.

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that impairs skills involved in accurate and fluent reading and spelling. Characteristic features are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.

The free-to-use font created by Abelardo Gonzalez, with a heavier bottom to lend letters ‘gravity’, makes it less likely the brain will rotate them and confuse sufferers. The fonts are now available for mobile phones, and its creator hopes it will become commonplace online.

“Your brain can sometimes do funny things to letters,” said Gonzalez, a New Hampshire-based mobile app designer, who released his designs onto the web at the end of last year.

OpenDyslexic tries to help prevent some of these things from happening. The developers have also created a free browser for iPhones using the font, allowing dyslexia sufferers to easily read web pages on the move, the Daily Mail reports.

“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,” said Gonzalez.

He says the response to the font has been overwhelming.

“I’ve had people emailing, saying this is the first time they could read text without it looking wiggly or has helped other symptoms of dyslexia,” he said.

Developers have also created a free browser for iPhones using the font, allowing dyslexia sufferers to easily read web pages on the move.

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