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Add OpenDyslexic #558

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jschlackman opened this Issue Dec 23, 2016 · 6 comments

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jschlackman commented Dec 23, 2016

As an IT Director in education I'd love to see OpenDyslexic added to Google Fonts. Many schools, including mine, are using Google Docs with students, and the addition of OpenDyslexic would make it the first font available in Docs specifically designed to support dyslexic readers.

OpenDyslexic is already open sourced on GitHub (https://github.com/antijingoist/open-dyslexic), the creator has stated his support for the addition, and it looks like he tried to make it happen via some process in 2012. What needs to be done to make it a reality?

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davelab6 commented Dec 23, 2016

In the end, I decided not to onboard this (or any other font made for dyslexics) to Google Fonts, because I kindly believe they are all based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what dyslexia is. I'd love to help dyslexics and kids read better, but I believe fonts can't help them: I think there is no detectable reading performance difference between Arial and Dyslexie for dyslexic readers.

As a citable paper on this, Monotype commissioned a literature review of the dyslexic fonts from Chuck Bigelow and Kris Holmes: http://bigelowandholmes.typepad.com/bigelow-holmes/2014/11/typography-dyslexia.html (B&H are big names in the type industry; Chuck Bigelow worked as a type manager at Adobe when it was a startup in the 80s...)

And there's also a less academic / lighter article in Communication Arts: http://www.commarts.com/columns/should-dyslexics-unite.html

And more recently, in http://typedrawers.com/discussion/1721/dyslexie-font-activism was this quote:

…Using a font with claims to improve reading for individuals with dyslexia without evidence to support this claim could result in further frustrations by teachers, parents, and individuals with dyslexia when no differences is observed after changing fonts used. Teachers and other practitioners need to be able to discriminate between those interventions that have been empirically shown to be effective from those that have not… Inert interventions can in fact cause other forms of harm, in depriving resources (time and financial) away from those interventions that have demonstrated efficacy… Further, the use of unsubstantiated interventions can impact the credibility of the profession and lead to the public losing trust in special educators… Finally, the most harm may come when students who have already experienced significant struggle and academic failures related to learning to read, have yet another experience with failure when they are not able to read significantly better in a font designed to do so. A repeated failure experience can further damage students’ self-efficacy and academic self-esteem.

Wery, Jessica J., and Jennifer A. Diliberto, ‘The Effect of a Specialized Dyslexia Font, OpenDyslexic, on Reading Rate and Accuracy’, Annals of Dyslexia, 2016, 1–14 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11881-016-0127-1;

In the spirit of scientific inquiry, I welcome peer-reviewed scientific research that demonstrates such fonts can really help. Until then... :)

@davelab6 davelab6 closed this Dec 23, 2016

@davelab6 davelab6 added this to the Add New Families milestone Dec 23, 2016

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jschlackman commented Dec 23, 2016

That's a fair and good explanation. Thanks for taking the time to let us know the situation.

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davelab6 commented Dec 24, 2016

There are some anecdotal reports that such fonts help, but I believe it's the placebo effect

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m4rc1e commented Dec 24, 2016

@jschlackman Going slightly off track here, but this is rather interesting http://geon.github.io/programming/2016/03/03/dsxyliea

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davelab6 commented Dec 26, 2016

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davelab6 commented Aug 9, 2017

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