French and Italian scientists have discovered that children with dyslexia can immediately read 20% faster and twice as accurately (the equivalent of the improvement of one year of schooling) if the letters in text are more widely spaced. The researchers have introduced a free iPhone and iPad app called DYS so that people can experiment with the right amount of text spacing to improve their reading.
We’ve found that even people who do not have dyslexia can read faster when the lines are futher apart. That’s the nice thing about an e-reader: You have the ability to do that. One and a half spaces between lines seems best. (But not two. For whatever reason from our students’ feedback two seems makes it harder to read.) If you or your child have dyslexia, these apps are sure worth a try!
–Judith Barker and Bonnie James