The Washington Post
By Nancy Szokan November 18
Why typeface helps reading in dyslexia
The font — called Dyslexie — was recently propelled into new attention because it’s being featured in articles, including Slate, Seventeen magazine and even the hipster design magazine Dezeen.
This typeface makes subtle changes: The bottom part of each letter is slightly broader and “heavier” than the top, to keep the reader from turning the letter upside down. Letters that look similar are different in height or have other features to prevent confusion. Some letters are slanted in a semi-italic style, and ascenders (such as the vertical line in an “h”) and descenders (such as the bottom part of a “y”) are lengthened or reshaped to be distinctive.
The font can be downloaded free at www.dyslexiefont.com.
According to Dr. Harold Levinson, the value of this simple visual typeface in enhancing reading in dyslexia is twofold. It helps. And by doing so, it disproves two traditional theories of dyslexia: that it is a reading comprehension impairment and that it is due entirely to difficulties with phonetic processing. By contrast, it clearly supports Levinson’s theory. This indicates that the reading and related symptoms result from a primary signal-scrambling dysfunction due to a fine-tuning dysfunction within the inner-ear and its supercomputer-the cerebellum. Thus typesets and other therapies which improve signal stability enable normal thinking brains to process these signals. Levinson’s research also described all the inner-ear mechanisms impairing reading in dyslexia while demonstrating the efficacy of larger, darker, colored typesets. Were the thinking brain primarily impaired, changing the typeset would in no way improve reading comprehension. Nor does this typeset improve auditory processing.
About Dr. Harold Levinson
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Long Island, New York. He is a well-known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. For more information, call 1(800)334-7323 or
Image courtesy of (Phaitoon/FreeDigital Photos.net