Monthly Dyslexia News Digest – January 2018

In the headlines

21 January 2018

Jon Severs writes an exploration of the complex views and opinions around the use of the Comic Sans font in schools in The Times Educational Supplement. The much-derided font is widely used in educational settings for worksheets and displays with many teachers feeling that it is helpful for dyslexic pupils and for teaching handwriting but Severs claims that the research does not back up these supposed benefits. His overall conclusion is that it is the spacing of letters on the page rather than the letter shape that is the key to readability.

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/long-read-whats-so-bad-about-comic-sans-anyway

22 January 2018

Meredith Ringel Morris, Adam Fourney, Abdullah Ali and Laura Vonessen, researchers at Microsoft Research, University of Washington have investigated the needs of web searchers with dyslexia. Web search is an important modern literacy skill and dyslexia creates an accessibility issue for the process. The challenges faced are query formulation, search result triage and information extraction. The researchers found that people with dyslexia valued being able to use voice input to circumvent spelling challenges. They feel that search engines and websites need to change their user interfaces to be more accessible and user friendly.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/understanding-needs-searchers-dyslexia/

29 January 2018

Kate Griggs, Founder of the charity Made by Dyslexia has given a TEDx Talk in Brighton expanding on her view that dyslexia is an advantage, not a disadvantage. According to yougov research commissioned by Made by Dyslexia, only 3% of people polled saw dyslexia as an advantage. Kate outlines her objection to mainstream education, which she feels takes away children’s natural creativity.

https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/world-sees-dyslexia-disadvantage-its-not