OpenDyslexic is a free, open source font designed to help many people who suffer from dyslexia. The font’s designer created each letter to look different than all the others as one of the problems dyslexics encounter is similar letters like M and W or b and d. These letters are easy to mentally flip and so they cause confusion and difficulty for a dyslexic. The font’s letters feature a weighted bottom, so it’s obvious which way is down and which letter you’re looking at. It’s not going to cure dyslexia, but for many dyslexics, it’s easier to read text in OpenDyslexic than it is common fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, or Helvetica.
Today OverDrive announced an update to their iOS and Android apps that incorporates the OpenDyslexic font as an option for reading eBooks. Selecting the font is easy, as you do it the same way you have for a while now. Simply open an eBook, tap the centre to bring up the menus, and choose the font from the font options box.
According to Dyslexia Help at the University of Michigan, perhaps as many as 17% of the world’s population has some form of dyslexia. Among those with reading difficulties, it’s believed that 70-80% of them are afflicted. Whether or not this font will help some of them remains to be seen, but one easy way to test its validity is to simply get it out there in front of more dyslexics and see how it helps them.