Dyslexia and computers

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MurphCID
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Dyslexia and computers

Post by MurphCID » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:41 am

My youngest is dyslexic, so we have spent lots of time and effort to try and get her help. Oddly, I stumbled onto something that helped. Years ago I got her a Barnes and Noble Nook and put books on it, but had no great hopes that she would not have issues with it as well. To my and my wife's utter amazement, she told us that she could read better on the Nook, that "the letters did not move so much". Could we have stumbled onto something? I notice she hates to read, but has little issue with an iPhone, iPad, computer monitor compared to printed text in books and such. I know this will not work for everyone, but it seemed to work for my daughter. I have also noticed that she is more comfortable on larger screens, and so wants a 15"+ size laptop rather than a 13.3 which her sister loves.

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by dorsetUK » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:06 am

Hi MurpCID

I used to teach and we had what we called 'overlays', which were very thin sheets of coloured plastic. Students could use these to 'shade' the text on their screens until they found their favourite contrast, then they could adjust font size etc, then do it all again, as any change could effect the previous.

Improvement certainly wasn't guaranteed, but happened fairly consistently.

For a more up to date take https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/advice/e ... tyle-guide

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by RollyShed » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:59 pm

A while ago we stopped to talk to a (older) shop proprietor sitting outside her second-hand book shop reading a Kindle. She liked it because she could set up the contrast as she wanted it. It made reading easier for her.

However she said the youngsters preferred paper as in REAL books.

So a matter of trying different things to best suit a reader.

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by absque fenestris » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:05 pm

I am always interested in visual perception - as an illustrator and graphic artist I would like to convey as much good information as possible to my readers and viewers.

I am quite amazed at the statement that sans serif fonts are better readable than serif fonts. This contradicts to all common reading experiences: The serif fonts in particular form an underlength that is very conducive to reading after lines.
The rule in my typography training was: short texts may be sans serif, but a comprehensive novel à la "War And Peace" should already be set in a good serif font.

In addition to many extraordinarily badly designed websites, there are, of course, many badly designed, printed books: I have just finished reading the "Silent American" in a paperback edition after years of trying... it was really a punitive task and it was the unspeakable typography!
Not the content - but the presentation was very, very underground. Everything, but really everything, was wrong with this print - when children go on strike with a graphically corresponding book, it's actually very healthy.

Perhaps children with a reading weakness simply react very extremely to bad typography, bad print quality and bad graphics - and are maybe healthier than the "normal" ones.
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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by RollyShed » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:37 pm

absque fenestris wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:05 pm
In addition to many extraordinarily badly designed websites, there are, of course, many badly designed, printed books:
Have you ever read the 30 Second series of books done by The Quarto Group? Each page has a centre section to be read in 30 seconds, a very bad font used making reading slow plus far too many words for 30 seconds (a minute to 1-1/2 minutes reading). On the left is a 3 second section with too many words and another section, I forget the subtitle but nothing to do with anything.

Then websites - one example, a local one, for a SeniorNet site where the readers' eyesight may not be the best. A block of yellow text on pale green. The contact people and their phone numbers dirty grey on dark blue.

Another website where on a small laptop only 3 lines are visible because the heading doesn't scroll. Not quite an eyesight thing but definitely bad website construction.

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by absque fenestris » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:42 pm

This reminds me of the following event: in Switzerland we had the PTT (Post/Telephone/Telegraph) as a state institution until the nineties. Then they discovered that Switzerland was the Disney edition of the United States and everything was switched to the private sector.
PTT became Swisscom, unchanged arrogant, but instead they changed their appearance on the Internet every month. A variant I found at 3am was so stupid that I sent an angry email to this company.
The reason for my mail was that her company had to cover all social classes from small children to half composted ones and that a typo of about 20% grey on a white background is simply no longer legible.
Sent at 4 o'clock in the morning, Swisscom called me back at 8.30 a.m.. A very nice lady asked me quite reasonably about my reasons for criticism... Stupid, oh stupid, I gave her a very detailed answer - a more failed person than I would have had the explanations gilded.
A few days later the typo was black on white again...
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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by RollyShed » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:41 pm

absque fenestris wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:42 pm
a type of about 20% grey on a white background is simply no longer legible.
A few days later the type was black on white again...
The free Wordpress themes tend to be set to grey text on white. I make a point of making my text black. Unfortunately with the free themes the CSS code is not accessible so each page needs to be changed to black on white.

Does anyone know why? The text on this forum is black on white and very readable.

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by lsemmens » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:54 pm

From my understanding of Dyslexia (and I am only a lay person) but, as has been observed above, some colour filters make life easier for dyslexics. Optometrists can (I believe) test and correct some problems with suitable eyewear.
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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by Portreve » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:16 am

Many, many years ago, I worked for OfficeMax and I can remember very well having a customer having me take red, green, and blue Astrobright color sheets and making color copies into transparency material. This had the effect of creating pastels of those colors. Another customer and his son came up to the counter and I was helping them with getting copies made, and the two guys struck up a conversation about why he was having me make color copies of blank sheets into transparencies.

The guy explained it was for overlays to help people with dyslexia read. The other guy was interested and said his son had dyslexia. The first guy handed him one of each of the colors and asked him to have his son try them over the sheet he was having me make copies of, which was a page of text.

When the father did this, his son found a color and was like, “Dad, I can read this!”

The father offered to pay the man anything he wanted, but he told him to just take it so his son could benefit from it.

This took place approximately sometime in 1998.
Please be polite and remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by absque fenestris » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:34 am

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by Portreve » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:17 am

I've seen that font before. If ever there was a force for good on this planet, it's the Free Software community.

I remember seeing a video of a presentation from some Linux event where a group of people formed around getting Type I diabetes dosing and monitoring systems to use free software to drastically improve how the stuff worked, helping people and potentially saving lives.
Please be polite and remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by absque fenestris » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:06 am

Portreve wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:17 am
I've seen that font before. If ever there was a force for good on this planet, it's the Free Software community.
When I look at this typeface, it looks like a gothic written by hand - with a pen and watery, not covering ink.

For those with dyslexia, perhaps constructed fonts are too static, too accurate, too parallel - just too neat.
Maybe a good dyslexia font needs to be a little more chaotic and messy. Doesn't sound so unreasonable in our highly regulated and standardized world.
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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by Portreve » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:07 pm

absque fenestris wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:06 am
Portreve wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:17 am
I've seen that font before. If ever there was a force for good on this planet, it's the Free Software community.
When I look at this typeface, it looks like a gothic written by hand - with a pen and watery, not covering ink.

For those with dyslexia, perhaps constructed fonts are too static, too accurate, too parallel - just too neat.
Maybe a good dyslexia font needs to be a little more chaotic and messy. Doesn't sound so unreasonable in our highly regulated and standardized world.
There's probably a lot of truth to that. Do you remember a few years ago when the Olympics were being held in London, that there was a warning that the specific logo being used for that year's Olympic events, particularly under certain circumstances, could lead to seizures and other problems for some folks? And all we're talking about is an overall shape and pattern, nothing really that exotic.
Please be polite and remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by absque fenestris » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:13 pm

I've been turning off the TV for a few years. Horror films from Hollywood, broadcast penetratingly on Swiss television, got on my nerves. So I let World Championships and Olympic Games pass me by. And the Swiss television with its news is so unspeakably stupid, ridiculous and corrupt as probably the same in the states...
I love my library - paper with water stains and possibly living bookworms...

But what comes to mind: Andromeda by Michael Crichton. Wasn't there such a pulsating light the problem?
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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by farkas » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:11 pm

The movie version is:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Andro ... ain_(film)
There is a flashing red warning light in it. In the movie the person suffers from epilepsy and it triggers an epileptic episode.
To Portreve, I do not mean to offend you.
I find your moving avatar very distracting while reading your posts. I try to speed read your posts to get past it. Not the picture just the motion.
I might miss the point of your post while doing so.
Maybe I'm dyslexic and didn't know it.
Yours isn't the only one with moving avatars, they are all equally distracting.
Is there a way to disable avatar motion in Mint forums just on my machine?
If your query has been resolved, edit your first post and add [SOLVED] to the subject line.
If you found a solution on your own please post it.

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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by absque fenestris » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:34 am

Animations can usually be turned on or off in the browser itself.

Here e.g. Vivaldi:
Animation.jpg


Here is another font recommendation from an Austrian website that deals with reading disorders: ABeeZee

https://fonts.google.com/specimen/ABeeZee
https://www.legasthenie.at/schriftart-abeezee/

...because it's a nice font, I'm thinking of using it elsewhere, too.
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Re: Dyslexia and computers

Post by euan » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:28 pm

I have never been diagnosed with dyslexia but find I am always selecting the text to read it white on blue, no idea why I just find it easier.
With one of my sons I was advised to get coloured sheets for reading but he didn't like them. It seems to be what suites the individual.

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