Dyslexia Theme
  • 2004/12/13 16:32

  • javelin

  • Not too shy to talk

  • Posts: 160

  • Since: 2004/3/11

Has anyone had any experiance in devoping a theme to help dyslexic visitors?

I have had a number of requests to provide such a theme and additionally a large type face version.

Re: Dyslexia Theme
  • 2004/12/13 16:48

  • m0nty

  • XOOPS is my life!

  • Posts: 3337

  • Since: 2003/10/24

you might need to elaborate a bit more on what's needed?

as my understanding of dyslexia is understanding and spelling of words etc..

my friend is dyslexic, but he surfs thru the net without problems as such. and each persons dyslexia can be different..

a large type face i can't see how that would help a dyslexic person, it would help a person who can't see too well..i'd have thought the best thing to make sure of is that words are spelt correctly.

but developing a theme for dyslexic people is gonna take developers a job & half when they don't exactly know anything abt dyslexia and how it affects various people..

so you're gonna need to explain more to them as to what is required..

Re: Dyslexia Theme
  • 2004/12/13 18:56

  • tedsmith

  • Home away from home

  • Posts: 1151

  • Since: 2004/6/2 1

I am dyslexic, allbeit not seriously - was not diagnosed officially until I was in my late teens, which didn't help me much in my younger years when my mum & dad kept bollocking me for taking telephone messages wrong, but hey!!

Personally, like your friend Monty, I surf the net without bother. You can't make a theme 'for dyslexic people' because they won't always see a 6 instead of 9. Sometime's they'll see the 9 as a 9, but other days they may see it as a 6.

There's a huge amount of mis-understanding about what is a reletively common disability. It's not just the reading and writing, but the way your short term memory logs both written and audio information. A whole lot more that I won't bore you all with now. My main problem is time of reading. Because I have a very poor memory recall I have to read a couple of sentances a couple of times if I am to relate it to the rest of the text in the context that it is intended. Dyslexia is tough, and no fun during academic exercies, or when you're trying to troubleshoot your XOOPS site!

I think it's a really great idea Javelin but I'm sorry to say that in my opinion it would never work. The closest you could ever get is a theme created by someone who's dyslexic for that particular person, but even then, every other day they themselves would see something slightly different.

Re: Dyslexia Theme
  • 2004/12/13 19:24

  • JMorris

  • XOOPS is my life!

  • Posts: 2722

  • Since: 2004/4/11

Actually, I'm dyslexic. Only mildly so, but dyslexic none the less.

I don't know if it's my dyslexia or because I wear glasses, but I've found that small fonts are really hard to read and that sometimes the fonts "flip" on me. Perhaps a slightly larger font may help. For me, what causes a lot of trouble is a cluttered site and word/line/letter spacing that is too tight. Even on this site I have problems some times.

My suggestions:
Use 12pt. font for regular text with 14pt. bold font and up for headings and emphasis.
Use well contrasting colors. This makes it a LOT easier on me. (Brighter is not better here)
Use a letter spacing of 2px to make a clearer distinction.
Use a line spacing of at least 1.5em to help with large bodies of text.
Keep the clutter down. The more stuff you have on your site, the harder it is for a dyslexic to read.
Use a very smooth, logical flow of information. Don't jump around too much.

Here's a pretty good article on readability from W3Schools:

Here's another article on the CSS letter spacing property:

I know some of the above may not sound related to dyslexia, but it is. You have to take into consideration that dyslexia is a neuro pathway disorder. It's not that dyslexics are dumb or inhibited in any way, it's that they process input differently.

Hope this helps.

EDIT: Please keep in mind that dyslexia is different for each individual. Very good points have been made in this thread regarding this. Like others, I too invert numbers and letters, but I also swap sequence. i.e.: "tac" instead of "cat". Acutally, I even type backwards sometimes. The point is, you can only do so much to help. The suggestions I gave are a good start, but it wont necessarily work for all.

Re: Dyslexia Theme

I seriously doubt it would be that tough. Just tinker with the css somewhat to get the letter spacing to what you need it to be. What would be nice is something in your personal settings that allowed you to set the theme based off of any physical handicaps. That way, the user could choose what theme best suited them.

Re: Dyslexia Theme
  • 2004/12/13 22:13

  • javelin

  • Not too shy to talk

  • Posts: 160

  • Since: 2004/3/11

The site I'm working on at the moment concerns Child Protection and is used by Health workers, doctors, teachers, social workers, police etc.

The main reason for them coming to the site is to view the current procedures concerning child protection isuues.
What to do if...... etc

So my immediate issue is how I present text in an easily read format for all.

I was told by one of the requesters that she prints off a few pages and then uses a Yellow or Green Highlighter over the text.

My idea is to offer a number of themes as was suggested, and then the visitor can then select the most suitable.

I do not want to patronise though.

Apologies for my ignorance, on a steep learning curve.

Thanks for the help so far.


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