Monday, 1 October 2012

Digital Classroom and Dyslexia

Opening access for people with Dyslexia

Look at any group of people in the UK and the chances are that between 5 and 10 % of that group are dyslexic. That is assuming that they have been tested.  The general population over a certain age would not necessarily be diagnosed but their difficulties in reading and writing may be still a problem.  In "Western" societies where proficiency in written communication is a judgement on how successfully people interact with their environment, this is a hurdle for the digital classroom.

How do you include 10% of the bell curve?  Clearly a solution for such a large group of people who may be excluded from the digital community to a greater or lesser extent has to work across many platforms.

A font known as OpenDyslexic is the possible solution.  A recent article  on the BBC website describes how this font has started to be taken up by many of the major apps and browsers.  I have downloaded and installed the extension to my browser of choice, Google Chrome. Using the settings and extension menu it very easy to check the box to enable and enable the app.  The only disadvantage would appear to be relative complexity of installation on Apple products.  As digital classrooms develop the choice will increasingly become one of Apple or Android (Windows 8 apparently is being enabled to run Android based apps).  The Tablets by Chinese company Huawei and the Kindle Fire by Amazon all work on  fork versions of Android (which itself is a derivative of Linnux).  Kindle apparently does not support font embedding so OpenDyslexic will not not work on a Kindle.  Samsung appear to use a non-fork version Android and will remain part of the mainstream developers.  The customer is not tied to the one provider of apps.

So, installation of the OpenDyslexic font.  First access the OpenDyslexic page (click the link on word OpenDyslexic).  Choose the tab get if for Get it Free! select your product.  It is as simple as that!

I will be adding the link for the OpenDyslexic font to the top of this blog.  A source of information regarding dyslexia is  the British Dyslexia Association  

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