Dyslexia-friendly text and documents
Adopting best practice for dyslexic readers has the advantage of making documents easier on the eye for everyone.
- Use cream or a soft pastel coloured paper.
- Use a plain, evenly spaced font such as Comic Sans, Sassoon or Verdana. New font available Open Dyslexic
- Font size should be 12-14 point.
- Use dark coloured text on a light (not white) background.
Headings and Emphasis
- Avoid underlining and italics: these tend to make the text appear to run together. Use bold instead.
- AVOID TEXT IN BLOCK CAPITALS: this is much harder to read.
- For Headings, use larger font size in bold, lower case.
- Boxes and borders can be used for effective emphasis.
- Use left-justified with ragged right edge.
- Avoid narrow columns (as used in newspapers).
- Lines should not be too long: 60 to70 characters.
- Avoid cramping material and using long, dense paragraphs: space it out.
- Line spacing of 1.5 is preferable.
- Avoid starting a sentence at the end of a line.
- Use bullet points and numbering rather than continuous prose.
- Use short, simple sentences in a direct style.
- Give instructions clearly. Avoid long sentences of explanation.
- Use active rather than passive voice.
- Avoid double negatives.
- Be concise.
- Flow charts are ideal for explaining procedures.
- Pictograms and graphics help to locate information.
- Lists of ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’ are more useful than continuous text to highlight aspects of good practice.
- Avoid abbreviations if possible or provide a glossary of abbreviations and jargon.
- For long documents include a contents page at the beginning and an index at end.