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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-disabilities-and-impairments-user-profiles/simone-dyslexic-user
My spelling’s bad and forms take me ages to fill in, but I have to get things right in my job and the software I use helps me a lot.
Simone is 41 and lives with her husband and their 2 sons in Brentford. She works as an office manager for Brentford council, and likes walking her dog in her spare time.
She was diagnosed with dyslexia 2 years ago. She doesn’t mind people knowing she’s dyslexic, but she doesn’t really talk about it.
Devices and technology
Simone uses specialist dyslexia software which reads out documents and web pages for her, and helps her read and spell.
The software helps her feel more confident about her writing, but she still asks a colleague to check important emails she’s sending, just in case. The colour highlighting feature helps her mark the important bits when there’s a lot of writing.
She uses a smartphone to make calls, and a tablet for audiobooks and checking social media. She occasionally buys things online.
Goals and wishes
Simone wants to feel more confident using technology - she finds it difficult to learn anything new, and she doesn’t like asking for help (although her family and work colleagues are always supportive).
She makes crochet toys for children and would like to sell them online, but she doesn’t know where to start.
Difficulties with writing
It takes Simone a while to fill in forms, and sometimes she has to ask her husband or older son to check what she has written.
Her spelling is bad, and she relies on things like search engines to offer her suggestions as to what she meant.
When content isn’t plain and simple
She finds it hard to concentrate when there are things moving on a page like banners or tickers.
Simone struggles when there’s a lot of writing to read, or when the language is complicated. She uses audiobooks when she can.
Making things work for Simone
|What to do||Further reading|
|Write in plain English and break up content with things like headings and lists. Use the ‘inverted pyramid’ approach with the most important information at the top.||
Structuring your content, guidance on GOV.UK.
Writing content for everyone, post on the GDS blog.
|Let users change the contrast between background and text.||How users change colours on websites, post on the GDS Accessibility blog.|
|Avoid using justified text and italics.||6 surprising bad practices that hurt dyslexic users, article in UX Movement.|
|Allow save and return on forms and ensure ‘time outs’ on forms are reasonable.||Timeouts, guidance by 18F (the US government’s digital agency).|
|Do user research and usability testing with people with dyslexia.||User research for government services: an introduction, guidance on the Service Manual.|
You may find the following resources useful:
- ‘Designing for users with dyslexia’ is one of a set of posters designed by the Home Office. You can read about and download them from this blogpost
- Accessibility and me: dealing with dyslexia
- Accessibility tips for people with dyslexia, article by Simply Accessible
- Writing for a dyslexic audience, guide in Include Us All
Statistics about dyslexia
6.3 million people (around 10% of the UK population) have dyslexia.
1 in 6 adults has the reading level of an 11-year-old.
People with dyslexia often have other conditions, including dyscalculia (difficulties with numbers), ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).