Reading can be very difficult for individuals with dyslexia. Some people have difficulty relating to this, and dyslexics sometimes find it similarly frustrating to explain what they experience when dealing with texts.
A graphic designer, however, has come up with a font that could potentially help people better understand the emotional experience of dyslexic people when reading texts.
Dan Britton himself was diagnosed with dyslexia while he was still at university. He was in his last year at the London School of Communications when he was diagnosed with the condition.
Britton said that he was not trying to replicate what dyslexics actually see but rather he was trying to show to other people what the experience is like.
"What I wanted to do was recreate or simulate the emotions of reading with dyslexia to try and put across how frustrating it is to try and read something simple," Britton said.
Britton acknowledged that while the font he developed was not based on hard science, it slows down a person reading it to the speed of somebody with dyslexia reading normal font.
The Dyslexia font, which used Helvetica as base and with about 40 percent of the lines of the typeface removed so they can no longer be immediately recognizable, makes it difficult for readers to skim through. They need to pick out and recreate each of the letters then piece together the words, sentences and paragraphs.
"The whole process of reading is 10 times slower, similar to that of a dyslexic reader, to recreate the embarrassment of reading with everyday type," Britton said, adding that dyslexia is a very misunderstood condition.
Britton's project started while he was at the university. For his graphic design assignment, he decided to apply his experiences as a person suffering from dyslexia to help others understand the symptoms of the condition.
Because they have difficulty with word recognition and spelling, dyslexics may have a reduced reading experience and problems in reading comprehension, which could negatively affect their background knowledge and vocabulary growth.
According to the non-profit Dyslexia Center of Utah, up to 80 percent of people who have poor reading skills likely suffer from dyslexia, the condition being the most common of language-based learning disabilities.
Of children with dyslexia, 30 percent have at least a mild form of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is characterized by impulsiveness, hyperactivity and inattentiveness.