Here are my trouble letters in this font: http://i.imgur.com/ilkUV.png
Note that there is no indication what letters these are other than by direction (which is really hard for many dyslexics).
Compare this to a regular font: http://i.imgur.com/mbi54.png
Note that there are hints in the serifs that distinguish direction.
By reversing the regular serif font, you can see these hints: http://i.imgur.com/t1sxB.png=
Also, the kerning is pretty bad: http://i.imgur.com/A9PJk.png
There are Windows specific issues, and those are being worked on.
Usually, if some product is made to be usable by folks who have difficulty with something, it turns out to work better for folks who don't have that problem (kitchen implements come to mind).
That didn't turn out to be true in this case. I went "ouch!" when I looked at the page. Do you find this font giving you an overall bump in readability over the standard fonts?
"Dyslexia" cannot be meaningfully distinguished from "poor reading skills" in any measurable way. There is no evidence for the efficacy of any intervention that is uniquely suited to dyslexia; All effective interventions are equally effective in improving the reading skills of non-dyslexic individuals. There is no evidence for the efficacy of special fonts, coloured overlays or any other visual aid. These interventions are simply placebo and are likely to distract from proven interventions which are known to be effective.
The popular notion of dyslexia as a unique neurological disorder has no basis in fact. There is no agreed-upon definition of dyslexia beyond the very general description of "a significant impairment in reading ability without significant cognitive impairment". The intellectually honest thing would be to abandon the term completely in favour of a simple factual description such as "poor reading skills", but this is politically unlikely.
It is very likely that your friend is absolutely no different from anyone else, but for the fact that they had a poor early experience of reading. A failed education system has found it more convenient to convince your friend that they have a neurological disorder, rather than admit to their culpability. Your friend should not have needed any clinical diagnosis to access proper teaching; We should be thoroughly ashamed of the continuing systematic failures that create such a situation.
If a person has a low aptitude for something, then they themselves will naturally tend away from it, and toward things at which they feel they can succeed. I liked programming initially because it fit with how I thought and what I liked to do, so I practiced it and became better. I don’t care that much about cars, so I don’t know a lot about them—just enough to do basic repairs once in a while. So it could very well be that the child has no learning disability and the educator is not at fault. We cannot know without hard data.
"Poor reading skills" wouldn't cover the thing that's different in your brain if you've dyslexia. I can't find the stats anymore, but I thought around 40% of the wealth is owned by dyslexic people. Look at a list of entrepreneurs with dyslexia http://www.incomediary.com/top-30-dyslexic-entrepreneurs or how many famous people (actors, writers,.. ) are dyslextic.
All these people have something in common and it's not "just" poor reading skills;) there is definitely something more going on.
Much of the best research on dyslexia is gathered into the very interesting recent book Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read
by Stanislas Dehaene. There are definitely educational approaches that help prevent the development of dyslexia in young readers or that alleviate it in older readers. Cross-national comparisons of reading in different scripts for differing languages, and comparisons of reading performance with differing typefaces for English (both reported on in the book) don't suggest that letter forms are the MAIN issue in dyslexia, although helping readers notice distinct letter shapes is helpful for readers who don't distinguish them. It would be a good idea to use the kind of brain-imagining studies mentioned by Dehaene (a neuroscientist) to test the usefulness of different fonts for readers who are categorized as having dyslexia.
As they say in Chinese, "實事求是" (the standard English translation is "seek truth from facts," which will do for this Hacker News comment), so whatever helps dyslexic persons, more power to it, but test to make sure how helpful it is and to find out what else would be helpful too.
That is true, but one of the advantages of electronics/computers over paper is that you could set this entirely as your only font for the web, your ereader etc.
Because I'm not dyslexic, however reading through that text I had a number of dyslexic moments, which would lead me to conclude it's either a very good attempt or a very bad one.
For example, the word "bold" came across as "blood" and other fleeting examples that I can no longer recall.
"Results: No significant difference in speed was measured, but there were some positive and negative effects found for the interaction font and dyslexia on the accuracy for reading words and non-words.
Conclusion: Reading with the font “Dyslexie” does not improve the reading speed for reading words. However some specific type of reading errors are decreased, but others are increased. Overall the dyslectics read fewer errors while reading the words printed in the font “Dyslexie”.
Further research in needed to examine the hypotheses that the reading speed and accuracy increases while reading texts that are printed in the font “Dyslexie”."
So, I would treat it as "if it works for you: fine", but I wouldn't start using it in physical print, as some publishers have done.
Very interesting project, though.
I have no idea what the research is like.
This old website has some calm information: (http://www.dyslexic.com/fonts)
 http://www.ilo.gw.utwente.nl/ilo/attachments/032_Masterthesi... (page 3)
The gist of the research is to create typefaces whose characters, even flipped and rotated, cannot be confused at all.
I've seen others like http://redd.it/j277w that, as interesting as the look, weren't free, and as a result come with a lot of problems.
There are two approaches:
1. Client-side typeface support.
2. Service-side typeface support.
People with dyslexia can easily purchase a dyslexia typeface and embed it in their OS and force their browsers to display websites with the new typeface, while service-providers can't always just fork over five bucks and link to the .ttf or .otf file without getting into trouble.
Paid typefaces are great for clients, but aren't always for service-providers.
I have always wondered why Apple have never provided a dyslexia typeface with iOS and OS X. Considering their efforts in accessibility, maybe they don't believe in the efficacy of dyslexia-friendly typefaces.
While there is still a discussion of quality and efficacy to be had, the real news here is that someone made the effort of providing people with a truly free dyslexia typeface, which has been sorely missed to this day.
: I think what irks me is the large font weight even for the regular font. The bold font is barely discernable from the regular.
Oddly enough, it shows up less bold on a non-windows machine.
Eulexia is an SIL-OFL one that is thinner too. But I haven't worked on the windows font smoothing with that one yet. :-/
If you want an example of it in action, you can go to a deployed example of my app at http://pygm.us/kzXSwSRV with the log-in admin//password. I haven't gotten around to letting people change their settings, but you can use the button in the sidebar to see it in effect. If you apply the CSS in one of the threads, you may see why I find the font weight to be a bit on the heavy side. But to each their own and all.
Of course, now that Instapaper supports the typeface, you should check it out in it as well, if you have an iOS device.
Thanks again! :)
Never thought there was actually a reason for it.
As a group, there are some scientific studies which show the need for larger font and increased character spacing, among other issues. The option to customize will help some people though.
In our dyslexia practice, many kids tell us that they prefer Comic Sans with a larger font...the extra shaping of letters helps distinguish mirror letters like b and d.
There are also many forms of dyslexia. Some are related to letter shapes. Some involve glare, etc. etc. etc. No one solution will help everyone. That is why there are color filters, lenses, rainbow'd lines of text, fonts like these, etc.
In the emails I've gotten the past few days, and since I've started this project, there are people who insist their life has changed, people who just like reading with it, and people who are bothered by it. It's just the nature of things.
edit: spellings and such.
More than anything it reminds me of the Team Fortress 2 font http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Fonts. I wonder if they're both the result of some optimization process.
The positive response really lifts the spirits. :D