On April 24, 2013, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia's Facebook page asked
I wrote about this almost two years ago,
There's been a lot of buzz re "a typeface for dyslexia", alleging that it was researched based, can help, etc.
The research was in Dutch. There's no data on the degree of dyslexia of the 21 research subjects, their base reading level, etc. The research found that they "made fewer reading errors" compared to another font. No information is available on the contrasting font, or how the research was carried out.
Dyslexia is a language-based issue (discerning sounds in words, rapidly matching sounds to symbols (letters) and rapidly matching symbols to sounds).
This is not a cure or treatment for dyslexia, people, and in my view is nothing to get excited about.
An attractive, well-designed readable font is important for ALL readers; but, a font change won't help those with dyslexia specifically in a sustainable, long-term, and meaningful way. Simply changing the font won't improve the phonemic awareness and processing issues involved with dyslexia and it is a disservice to those with dyslexia to say that it is an answer.
There was a study done that Dyslexie helped in readability; however, it was flawed, statistically insignificant, and not that conclusive (even though it was administered by those involved in marketing the font).
So, nice fonts for EVERYONE! It does make reading easier for all. But it won't help with the fundamental, underlying, and problematic issues of dyslexia.
At the last IDA conference in Baltimore, dyslexia specialists--myself included--were quite discouraged by the misleading premise that a font change would be helpful. It's a cheap out and a red herring.
One of the other commentators suggested looking into the free, open-sources faces, Open Dyslexic, pictured to the left.
If you feel that having such a font might help with reading fluency, go ahead, just as long as you are aware that nothing substitutes for direct, explicit, multisensory instruction, delivered with sufficient intensity and fidelity.
dyslexie image source: http://www.studiostudio.nl/en/information/
Open Dyslexic image source: http://opendyslexic.org/