Font Improvement

I write all my papers, letters, and exams using the typeface Times New Roman.  As a lunch-table discussion here in England revealed, the University insists on certain typefaces that are dyslexia-friendly, particularly Arial, Trebuchet, and Verdana.  It costs me or any other faculty member nothing to use one of these on exams; non-dyslexic students are not harmed by them, and dyslexic students are better off.  Henceforth, no more Times New Roman on tests — mine will all be in Arial.  A clear Pareto improvement. (HT: MS)

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



View All Comments »
  1. Gervase Markham says:

    Would it still be a Pareto improvement if they required you to use the OpenDyslexic font?

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  2. John B. Chilton says:

    I use Calibria for tests. In 12 point font. Here’s an article about friendly fonts,

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  3. Jess says:

    At least it didn’t advise use of Comic Sans. *shudders* I agree with the idea, though I think as a regular student the font change would throw me off.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  4. Jorge says:

    Arial is, in a way, helvetica alike, hence, is Helvetica dyslexia-friendly too?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. martin says:

    Readers, are we now opening ourselves up to discrimination?????

    Resumes are the tool of how we ‘get a foot in the door’ if we use certain font styles are we not advertising that we are dyslexic. Yes I am dyslexic and do find other fonts easier to read, but I just tried changing my resume into the recommended fonts. For me;
    It doesn’t look as professional;
    If we do recommend this, I stand out as a dyslexic, opening myself up to be overlooked;
    You have to change the font size to fit as many words on the resume.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  6. Mike Deck says:

    There is actually a typeface specifically created to be more readable for people suffering from dyslexia called Dyslexie:

    Unfortunately it’s not free.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  7. Suzie R says:

    It’s wonderful that you will be using fonts that are easier for dyslexics to read. The font used on this website is also very hard to read – I’m not remotely dyslexic and it’s quite unpleasant on the eyes.

    Implement the change here, too!

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
    • James says:

      Just change it yourself, to whatever font & size you like. Should be something like Edit->Preferences->Fonts, depending on your browser.

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  8. LG says:

    My understanding was that serifs actually help improve discerning which character is which. Is there a particular well-designed study that shows that Arial would be better than TNR for dyslexics, and/or that it wouldn’t harm everyone else (how about students with less-than-perfect vision?) just a teensy bit?

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0