Is an E-Reader the Cure for Dyslexia?


Cure? No. A way to make reading easier? All signs point to “yes.”

Studies are showing that the modifications to text that e-readers allow, e.g., changes in spacing and font size, are allowing dyslexic students to read more quickly and accurately, providing them the reading practice they need to improve.

Extra-large spacing helps dyslexic students because they are affected by what is known as “crowding”: the interference with the recognition of a letter by the presence of letters on either side. Interestingly, the reverse is true for normal readers. When spacing is increased, they tend to read more slowly.

The letter size is also important. Studies at Tufts University have shown that dyslexic students reach their maximum reading speed at a letter size larger than that required by students who do not have dyslexia. Special fonts, e.g., Dyslexie, have even been created to reduce dyslexics’ tendency to misconstrue certain letters.

While a cure for dyslexia may not be foreseeable any time soon, the text modifications that e-readers allow make reading easier and maybe even more pleasurable for dyslexic students.