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Writing for Dyslexics

For dyslexics, reading, understanding and learning from printed information can be a challenge. But information can be written in a way to help rather than hinder.

Whoever you are dealing with - pupils, staff, or the general public - remember that up to 10% of your audience could be dyslexic.

If you want to get your message across, we have a few recommendations:

Presentation

Dyslexia Friendly

  • Arial or other sans-serif font
  • 12 to 14 pt font size
  • Line spacing of 1.5 or double
  • Coloured paper, or cream/off white
  • Break text into short blocks, using headings and subheadings
  • Use bold for emphasis rather than italics or underlining
  • Highlight important parts of the text by putting it in a box
  • Align text on the left


    Dyslexia Unfriendly

  • Overlong sentences
  • Long paragraphs
  • Starting a new sentence at the very end of a line
  • Glossy paper which can increase glare
  • Unnecessary use of capitals
  • Flimsy paper, allowing overleaf text to show through
  • Unnecessary hyphenation

    Writing Style

  • Short
  • Snappy
  • Simple

    Try to pitch your message as if communicating face to face. Visualising your dyslexic reader in front of you should help you achieve the desired simplicity.

    Make all the instructions as clear as possible. If there are any complicated issues, consider preparing a summary for dyslexic readers.

    If you are teaching or lecturing, a prepared handout aimed at dyslexics will be invaluable, especially if the style is in line with the points listed above.

    Back to About Dyslexia

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