(This is the second tech tip brought to you by our friends on 7 Green!)
“OpenDyslexic is a new open source font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users. OpenDyslexic is free for Commercial and Personal use.”
Elin asked a friend whose son is dyslexic to read documents in a regular font and compare it with the OpenDyslexic font. He claimed it was easier to read the OpenDyslexic font. She now tries to put all of her documents into this font. In fact, you can see what the font looks like in her Emoji exit slip. It is such an easy way to accommodate your dyslexic students.
If you download and open the zip file from their website, you can copy/paste the font files into the “Fonts” folder. This can be found by going to Macintosh HD –> Library –> Fonts. Installing these fonts will make them available on programs installed on your computer such as Microsoft Word and Pages. Unfortunately, the font is not available in Google Docs.
OpenDyslexic on iOS
It’s also possible to install this font onto an iPad. Visit this link on your iPad and hit “download” to install the font. This adds it to the iOS font list. Therefore, students will be able to use this font in apps that use the default iOS font list.
I checked a few apps on my own iPad. While the font is available in Pages, it’s not there in Notability. From what I can tell, Notability uses the iOS font list, so I’m not sure why this font isn’t available. I reached out to both the makers of Notability and this font on Twitter, but I haven’t received any clarification yet. One thing for sure is the font can NOT be used in Google Docs. They use their own set of fonts.
In the end, if this font doesn’t work on Notability, I’m sure how useful it would be to install it onto a student iPad.
It’s also worth nothing there extensions for Google Chrome and Safari. These extensions are able to display most text in the OpenDyslexic font. Below is a screen shot of the OMS website with this extension enabled. Using these extensions on a teacher laptop might be helpful for students, but it cannot be used on the iPad’s Safari app.