Dyslexia is a reading disorder that shows up in as many as 3 million cases per year in the US alone. But despite everything we know about dyslexia, it is hard to understand what it’s really like unless you can experience the effects yourself. With a new web application, it’s possible to experience just a taste of what it’s like to be dyslexic thanks to text that literally jumps around the page.
Children who experience dyslexia often show clinically normal vision and intelligence levels, but a dyslexic’s trouble with words, speaking, and reading can manifest in many different ways. Sometimes children describe the letters bouncing around the page, or mixing in strange orders.
Since dyslexia is something of an umbrella term for many specific kinds of word and language disabilities, Widell’s web app won’t simulate all the different effects that dyslexics experience. Even so, the web app makes a big difference in a world where empathy draws us together more than perhaps any other quality. We rely on the Internet these days, but not everyone experiences it the same way. Widell’s code is also fully open source, so maybe some other developers who have been exposed to dyslexia will create new versions of the app.