Free app breaks down internet barriers for people with dyslexia

A free app designed to make reading webpages easier for people with dyslexia has been introduced into the mainstream.

Helper Bird is a Google Chrome extension to the existing OpenDyslexic font which overrides all fonts on a webpage to make them easier to read.

Letters in the OpenDyslexic font have heavy weighted bottoms to indicate direction, enabling the reader to work out which part of the letter is down and in doing so, aiding correct recognition of individual letters. Consistently weighted bottoms also help to reinforce the line of text, whilst the unique shape of each letter can prevent confusion. Font size can also be adjusted.

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In an environment where computers are shared such as the classroom, Helper Bird enables the OpenDyslexic font function to easily be turned on and off, meaning that separate equipment is not required.

Designed by web developer Robert Gabriel, who has dyslexia himself, Helper Bird is compatible with Google Chrome and free to use. It can be downloaded here. To find out more about how Helper Bird was created, click here.

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