Web developer Victor Windell recently created an online simulation that allows viewers to experience what it’s like to have severe dyslexia and read online content. Creating the code in between sessions at a conference, Windell made the letters on the screen morph and change positions to show the difficulties dyslexic people face when navigating a web page.
In a recent Wired article that discusses Windell's simulation, HCII Post-Doctoral Fellow Luz Rello discusses her academic and personal experience with dyslexia. Rello herself has dyslexia and has focused much of her research on the cognitive disorder. She said that while dyslexia affects reading and writing, it is independent to general intelligence, and is incredibly common across the world.
"It doesn't affect oral learning, and it’s also universal; you see it in every language," she said.
She also noted that there are other ways to recreate the experience of dyslexia beyond Windell's simulation. "Instead of jumbling the text, I would add real words that are phonetically similar and orthographically similar to other words that are real. So instead of displaying the word 'from' the program would display the word 'forum' or 'form,'" she said.
Read more about the dyslexia simulation on Wired.
Story by Aisha Rashid (DC 2019)