SCS implementing font to help students struggling with dyslexia

The Shelby County School System is implementing a new font to help students struggling with dyslexia. (File)

The Shelby County School System is implementing a new font to help students struggling with dyslexia. (File)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Teachers and students in Shelby County Schools can now use a font designed especially for people with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a neurological condition that makes reading and writing more difficult because letters can appear reversed, jumbled or mirrored.

There are many brilliant people associated with dyslexia, including Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Steven Spielberg. Still, the condition can make schoolwork more difficult.  Luckily, studies show that good font choices can help.

“The dyslexia font makes every letter distinct and can decrease the likelihood of jumbled letters and promote fewer errors for our students struggling with the academic manifestations of dyslexia,” said Tiffany Borden, member of Decoding Dyslexia Alabama, who recently led a workshop on dyslexia for groups of Shelby County School teachers. “I am excited Shelby County is taking the initiative to search out these assistive technologies that support a positive learning environment for our students with dyslexia.  Assistive technologies and accommodations, along with appropriate reading instruction provide the necessary support for dyslexics to reach their fullest potential. Shelby County teachers will be able to select the dyslexia font when creating documents and can also use when reading web pages. Even people without dyslexia find that the font makes reading easier and faster.”

“Almost as soon as we sent out the email notifying teachers about this font, I began getting replies from teachers who were very thankful and excited that they now have a new tool to help their students. I see this as another example of how technology can serve the needs of students,” said Susan Poling, Technology Coordinator for the district.  “You don’t get to choose your font when you are reading a paper book or newspaper.”

She noted that there are other fonts designed for dyslexia, but not all of them have been studied. The dyslexia font is available free for home use via download at Dyslexiafont.com.