10 Best Fonts for Dyslexia
For people with dyslexia, the right font can help improve the user experience. Learn how to incorporate accessible fonts for dyslexia into your website design.
About 20% of the population has dyslexia, a learning disorder that affects language processing — reading, spelling, and/or writing. Although dyslexia is not a form of visual impairment, it can often manifest as such. People with dyslexia may have trouble differentiating between similar-looking letters, such as b and d, or find it difficult to identify words that are packed next to each other.
While there are a number of content and design changes you can implement to make your site more accessible to people with dyslexia, choosing a readable font is a good place to start. Let’s take a look at 10 most readable fonts for people with dyslexia.
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Best Fonts for Dyslexia
Because dyslexia affects people in different ways, there isn’t one magic font that works for everyone. Here are a couple of general rules for choosing and formatting your fonts for accessibility.
- Use sans serif fonts: Serifs are long tails that flare from different ends of letters. While they might add some style to your text, they also tend to shift focus away from the basic shape of letters, making it harder to tell one from another. Times New Roman is a serif font, while Arial is a sans serif font.
- Make sure there’s enough space between letters: Those with dyslexia might have difficulties with certain letter combinations, such as r and n, which may look like the letter m.
There are a few fonts designed specifically with dyslexia in mind. Here’s a list of both paid and free fonts for dyslexia.
Arial is one of the most widely used fonts on the web, and for good reason. First, it’s on just about every program you can think of, and it doesn’t require a license. Second, it’s clear and easy to read.
Like all fonts on this list, Arial is sans serif. Letters are generally not squished together, and their roundness provides clear definition, making Arial one of the best fonts for dyslexia.
Popular among big brands and a favorite choice for public signage since the 1960s, Helvetica is perhaps the most used font of all time.
It’s not quite as rounded as Arial, but its lack of serifs and evenly spaced letters make it one of the better fonts for dyslexia accessibility.
3. Comic Sans
Comic Sans is a much-maligned and unpopular font. This is especially true among graphic designers. And yet, Comic Sans is one of the most dyslexia-friendly fonts.
As you might have guessed by the name, this font is a sans serif and was designed to mimic the typeface often used in comic books. Its playful design provides distinguishable letterings that can be very helpful when trying to make your site more accessible to visitors with dyslexia.
Designed uniquely for on-screen reading, Verdana features wide spacing between letters and is readable at small sizes. Of course, as with all the fonts on this list, Verdana is sans serif.
5. Century Gothic
In Century Gothic, letters are distinguishable and well-spaced, with rounded tops and bottoms. Some letters might lean on the thin side, but overall this font is a solid option.
Though it lacks the fanfare of super-fonts like Arial and Helvetica, Tahoma is another widely used font.
Tahoma lines are bold and straightforward. You will not see any of the frills you’d find with serif fonts. Furthermore, each letter has its own space, which makes it easier to read.
Calibri has been the default font in Microsoft Office Suite since 2007. Similar to Verdana, it was designed for on-screen reading.
The Calibri typeface has some of the most exceptional letter spacings, which make it easy to read in both big and small texts.
8. Open Sans
Open Sans is yet another example of a straightforward and no-frills font. Created for Google, Open Sans is free to use with an open-source license.
Open Sans has clear spacing, tall letter sizes, and rounded shapes that make the typeface relatively easy to read.
Designed by Christian Boer, who has dyslexia, Dyslexie was created specifically for people with dyslexia. The font features heavy, bolder bottoms, longer stems, and unique shapes. All of these features are meant to give each letter its own special qualities and distinguish it from others.
OpenDyslexic is another font designed specifically for those with dyslexia. Its heavy bottoms and thin tops are meant to prevent letter flipping. Letters are well spaced, and each letter has a unique style.
OpenDyslexic is completely free and open-sourced.
Make Your Website Accessible
Besides choosing the best fonts for dyslexia for your website, there are several other steps you can take to ensure your site is more accessible to a wider audience.
- Make sure you are using a minimum 12-point font.
- Align text left, instead of having it fully justified.
- Use simple and succinct language, avoiding jargon.
- Optimize your site for screen readers.
Designing and optimizing to improve accessibility for dyslexia is just one aspect of making your site accessible. Start your free trial with AudioEye and get the tools you need to make your site more accessible to people with disabilities.
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