This Is What Reading Is Like When You Have Dyslexia

Spoiler alert: it’s really hard.

Do you know how frustrating reading with dyslexia really is? Neither did developer Victor Widell, until his friend described it to him.

Armed with stellar tech skills and this new knowledge, he created an interactive web application that constantly switches around the middle letters of words to illustrate his friend’s experience of dyslexia. He posted the Wikipedia definition of dyslexia on his blog and, using his tool, created an interactive simulation of reading with the disorder. Within days, it went viral. Some dyslexic commenters have called it the best representation of their disability, though others commented that the simulation illustrates a severe case. Suggestions have been offered to show more mild experiences, like only having certain letters “jump” or not appear in their entirety.

Dyslexia Github Page
The app is available to view on Widell’s blog, as well as a bookmarklet developed by Quartz, that makes the text jump around on any web page.

According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is a neurobiological learning disability that makes it hard to accurately and fluently recognize words, spell, and decode words on a page. It usually occurs because of a weakened sense of language’s phonological qualities, and is unrelated to overall cognition, though it affects reading comprehension and speed.