How Do eBooks Help Readers with Dyslexia?

Illustration of a person carrying a stack of books

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a very common learning disorder that affects around 20 percent of the population.  Dyslexia is a much broader term than most people realize.  Simply put, it refers to a person with otherwise normal intelligence having difficulties associated with reading. The reason for that difficulty could be that the reader has trouble sounding out words, keeping individual letters organized on the page, or a variety of other things.  

How Do eBooks Help? 

There are a variety of techniques and accommodations that can make reading much easier for people with dyslexia. Some people really benefit from special fonts or formatting.  Others benefit from highlighting important words as they read. Thanks to the dynamic nature of eBooks and digital content, readers have much more flexibility to use these techniques. In the print world, readers would need to track down special (and often expensive) printings of titles that utilize these special fonts and formatting options. With digital printing, these options are just a click away. 

Another strategy that often helps readers with dyslexia is having the text read aloud as they read along. This is something that would be impossible with a print book alone. But many eReaders and eBook softwares can easily accommodate this need.   

These accommodations are particularly important in educational settings. With these features becoming more widely available, teachers can be more confident that all of their students will be able to read and interact with the assigned materials. As we mentioned before, dyslexia is a broad term that represents a variety of different needs. The dynamic nature of eBooks and digital text books means that one solution doesn’t have to work for everyone. Students can customize their reading experience and figure out what works for them.

Even though many readers do still prefer print books, digital publishing has had a very important effect on the industry as a whole. These accessible, digital versions of books, released alongside their respective print editions, mean that more people are able to comfortably read books. And that’s a good thing for everyone.

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