Graphics and multimedia content seem to have increased exponentially on the web. But website text content still reigns supreme on most websites. For some users, including those with dyslexia and Irlens Syndrome, text content can be a huge barrier to their use of websites.
Dyslexia is one of the most widespread disabilities that impacts navigating the web, affecting 10–15% of the population The World Wide Web Consortium categorizes dyslexia as a cognitive disability. And those affected by Irlens Syndrome can experience a wide range of difficulties viewing either written or website text.
Accepted solutions, but still lacking ...
Historically, there have been only a few “best practice” solutions for web creators to help users with dyslexia. For example, we know that left aligning paragraphs of text — as opposed to fully justifying them — keeps spacing between words more uniform and increases the readability for everyone.
We also know that avoiding italics, underlining, and all caps as much as possible helps. The same goes for providing generous line and paragraph spacing. Beyond that, few advancements had been made.
Studies have shown that people with dyslexia find navigating and reading websites easier when the typeface exhibits specific characteristics:
Clean and simple — sans-serif fonts fit this description
Monospaced — even spacing between letters
Upright — as opposed to slanted text
While these are very easy changes to any website that will go some way to helping dyslexic users, many website hosts aren't aware how their website design is experienced by impaired users, or they simply don't know how or even want to change their websites at all.
The iaccess widget helps change all that - and without having to permanently change the typeface on any website. For example, the iaccess website itself is designed with all the above enhancements in mind, together with other design and structure enhancements to help improve different accessibility issues for a wide range of users. That's why our website is presented a bit differently and more 'steam-lined' compared to other more flashy (aka less accessible) websites.
The iaccess widget enables the ability to put an 'overlay' typeface on your website to help users more easily differentiate letter shapes. For example, in some typefaces, words like "urn" and "um" may seem almost identical. Letters like "p," "q," and "g" are difficult to distinguish. And there won't be many readers who haven't struggled with the letter "O" vs a zero (0) at some time or other!
Considering these and many other concerns, the widget's dyslexia-friendly fonts (DFF) changes the shape of letters accordingly, making the font easier to ready by forming a visual baseline “anchor” that can better guide users’ eyes. And the reading ruler can help guide users' eyes even further.
Get DFF capability for your website
The DFF options come standard with the widget, packaged with a host of other powerful accessibility tools. Making the DFF option available on your website gives your website visitors the ability to choose the typefaces, tools, and customizations that work best for them - without permanently changing your website.
Please visit our homepageto try the widget and check out the other powerful features.