Programmer Creates Post That Shows What It’s Like to Have Dyslexia

A software developer shows what it’s like to read if you’re dyslexic.

Programmer Victor Widell wanted to understand what it must be like for his friend with dyslexia to read, so he created an interactive blog post.

“A friend who has dyslexia described to me how she experiences reading,” he writes. “She can read, but it takes a lot of concentration, and the letters seem to ‘jump around’ … Wouldn’t it be possible to do it interactively on a website with JavaScript? Sure it would.”

On the blog, that passage looks much different. It’s readable, but much harder to get through because the letters are in constant flux, scrambling and mirroring one another. A neologism, “typoglycemia,” has been coined to describe this phenomenon. As long as the first and last letters of a word appear as intended, a dyslexic person can often comprehend it (though it takes more time). Now non-dyslexic people can see what this is like.

As for helping dyslexic people read better, Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer (who’s dyslexic) developed a font, Dyslexie, with unique lettering to help prevent readers from confusing similar letters.

Courtesy of Victor Widell

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