Recently, a friend of Windy Row Learning Center forwarded news about Christian Boer, who has designed a new typeface that makes reading easier for people with reading challenges. The letters in this typeface have heavier bottoms, making it easier for a reader to see the differences between letters, for example, between b, p, and d.
"When they're reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds," said Boer, who is dyslexic himself. "By changing the shape of the characters so that each is distinctly unique, the letters will no longer match one another when rotated, flipped or mirrored...Bolder capitals and punctuation will ensure that users don't accidentally read into the beginning of the next sentence." In addition to the differences in shape and the bolding, Boer's letters have other features, like bigger spaces between letters and words. For more information about this typeface, see de zeen magazine.
At Windy Row Learning Center, we are aware that small changes can greatly help children over the initial hurdle of reading, and every success encourages children who have experienced failure over and over. We experiment with the shapes and sizes of letters, textures, sounds and colors to help the brain distinguish one letter from the other. We use Orton-Gillingham techniques that enable a child to keep reading, even if a book is not written in a special font on specially colored paper. Once children have a hope of reading, they are eager to learn more techniques.
The Orton-Gillingham method ensures that a child with dyslexia (or other reading challenges) masters each element of reading before moving on to the next. Because we stress one-on-one tutoring at Windy Row, each child moves at his or her own speed, and we can spend more time on the highest hurdles as needed. If you know a child who is falling behind grade level with reading, please info [at] windyrow.org (contact) Windy Row to find out how we can help.