2.05.05 Colour usage: Dyslexia
Dyslexia is an inherited condition that makes reading, writing, and spelling difficult. It has absolutely no connection with intelligence.
(Webaim) Reading disabilities, such as dyslexia, are the most common type of learning disability. In fact, an estimated 15-20% of the population has some sort of language-based learning disability. Among these, dyslexia is the most common. Evidence suggests that dyslexia is an inherited condition found among both males and females of all ethnic backgrounds.
While contrast can be provided by black text on a white background this is not so beneficial when considering Dyslexia.
Research suggests that pastel backgrounds, increased line-spacing, font choice and paragraph justification all have an effect.
Consider the sample paragraph:
I have tried to emulate how normal text may appear to a dyslexic. Sometimes the space between the words attracts the eye more than the text itself.
To combat Dyslexia:
- Allow background and text colours to be user defined.
- Do not use justified paragraph alignment.
- Ensure adequate line-spacing (120% - 150%).
- Keep line lengths down to 12 words on average.
- Allow the user to select the font and it's size.
This can all be achieved by separating the presentation from the content and using a separate style sheet.
Comic Sans is not regarded as a professional font but experienced support practitioners have found that dyslexic students find this a very readable font especially as dark blue text on a pale cream background.