I have been meaning to pass on a series of articles related to the issues dyslexia causes for some time now. The series was published a couple of years ago, and Roger Johansson blogged about it a couple of weeks ago, bringing the series back to mind.

Dyslexia pretty much flummoxes me, so I'll assume you too. We can imagine most visual and mobility handicaps, but I, for one, have no way to anticipate the problems our designs might cause the dyslexic.

Dyslexia is not a single symptom disability. Designing for Dyslexics, by Mel Pedley, will straighten a lot of things out.

cheers,

gary

Hi Gary, Thanks for sharing

Hi Gary,
Thanks for sharing that.
Interesting to see as many as 1 in 10 people in the UK are dyslexic.

Glad you linked to that

Glad you linked to that article, it was a nice read and while lower-contrast-is-easier-for-tired-eyes isn't new to me, I don't think I ever linked it to the dyslexic (making text larger and having text summaries have).

However, I had issue with this:

Quote:

Checkpoint 2.2 also includes the phrase “when viewed on a black and white screen.” Is this really a true web accessibility issue? In “Definitions of Web Accessibility,” I eventually came to the conclusion that web accessibility was about designing pages that were usable by “people with disabilities.” I then suggested that “disability” be defined as an “inability to pursue an activity because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment.”

I’ve racked my brain but I cannot think of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that would necessitate the use of a black and white screen. I think the latter is far more likely to be the result of either financial hardship or free choice. Neither of which are medically determinable disabilities. So a hard line approach could reasonably question whether this group should even be mentioned in web accessibility guidelines!

Because not everyone thinks "accessibility" is limited to only the medically disabled, but the to freedom of the web and the ability of people to access information regardless of User Agent or web-browsing device (obviously, there's a cut-off point here somewhere, but for me, neither monochrome monitors nor the dyslexic is it).

*edit n/m found it in part 3!

Interesting..

Writing as a dyslexic web designer/developer I can testify that the article is pretty good. The temptation is often to think that designing or writing for dyslexics means dumbing down content or functionality, that is not the case. I have two degrees and have had work published in national newspapers and academic journals, I'm not stupid, but I do have problems where there is excessive white-space on a page (this one for example) or the menus are overcomplicated. The other thing that kills me dead is the the use of alphabetic lists that span more then one column. As for those bloody authentication scripts which require you to identify a word that has been digitally altered.. you way as well add a 'dyslexics keep out' notice.

The trick is clarity, and a good sense of aesthetic. Make your sites clear and clean, practice good accessibility, no dark text on dark backgrounds, break up text into smallish chunks (you don't want a paragraph to run on and on) and dont make the text to small.

Timus wrote:As for those

Timus wrote:

As for those bloody authentication scripts which require you to identify a word that has been digitally altered.. you way as well add a 'dyslexics keep out' notice.

I'm not dyslexic, and I can't figure out most captchas either. I'm militantly anti-captcha.

Timus wrote:Writing as a

Timus wrote:
Writing as a dyslexic web designer/developer …
I hope you'll add your insights to the mix here. Articles, such as the series I referenced, help, but there is no substitute for a first hand report on the issues.

Quote:
… I do have problems where there is excessive white-space on a page (this one for example)
Can you expand on that? I find white space generally creates more defined text blocks, which increases readability (for me). What am I missing?

Quote:
or the menus are overcomplicated.
I, too, find drop-down menus, for one example of a complex menu, to be troublesome on on several levels. (Pun intended. Smile) Will you please describe the problems you face, and give some examples?

Quote:
The other thing that kills me dead is the the use of alphabetic lists that span more then one column.
Look for more problems, then. CSS3 includes provision for flowed columns. I believe Firefox is the only browser with support right now. Look for designers to go into auto-erotic paroxysms once the property is widely supported.

Quote:
As for those bloody authentication scripts which require you to identify a word that has been digitally altered.. you way as well add a 'dyslexics keep out' notice.
'Nuff said.

Our "off topic" forum is a good spot for discussing accessibility issues. We could use your own world experience.

cheers,

gary