Accesible Font is the typeface for autism and learning disabilities
Accessible font developed to ensure easily learn to read and reading without misreadings for individuals with autism and learning disability.
A typeface for teaching strategies of autistic individuals, and learning disabilities based on the Latin script.
Accessible Font is a typeface that occurred with the results of the research project. This study conducted at the University of Esad.Cr. It was investigated the reading difficulties of individuals with autism based on learning difficulties. Design and research process of the project took three years. Accessible font was developed to use in the reading education of individuals with autism and learning disabilities. Accessible font is based on the opinions of special education teachers, legibility research and interviews. Accessible Font has a legible and multilanguage structure with 5 versions eight sets six weight. It has customisation support, so teachers can use different fonts according to the variable learning to read difficulties on individuals. In this way, teachers can make effective teaching according to individuals problem in reading education.
The research consists from a literature review on autism, interview with special education teachers (Turkey) and survey study (Turkey, England, USA). In the study, it was seen that reading problems of individuals with autism don't characterize with autistic symptomology nor dyslexia. It was concluded their reading profile is delayed impairment reading profile and it may due to learning disabilities. For this reason, the font family was developed not only for individuals with autism but also for individuals who have difficulty in learning to read. Accessible fon was developed with various versions and sets to meet different individuals needs in learning to read.
The design process is based on the opinions of special education teachers, reading errors and readability research. as a result of the design process, Accessible font came up with five versions, eight sets and six weights(v.1, v.5). In this context, the typeface design allows the teachers to change the font design according to the mistakes made by the student in reading education and their needs in learning to letter or words. version 1 and version 5 are prepared for long texts as legible structure. Version 2, 3 and 4 are designed to reduce students' reading errors and help to learn phonics. Accessible font design is unique no font has been prepared before according to these features and the ways. The version 2, 3 and 4 has been prepared by going beyond the conventional type design. In order to achieve this, the most common letterforms pairs that cause misreadings were identified by research, and new features (serif or stimuli) were added or redesign again to reduce to similarities between similar letterforms (as an example b-d, p-q-g, n-m, I-l-i,). The serifs that applied on the letterforms have placed to different directions than each other in order to identify letterforms structure easily. Each version has uniqe features please check the version features to understand the differences in the design process.
The Accessible font is designed to use also on the web. it was designed with taken into the information from accessibility rules and the European Union Easy to Read guide. Accessible font offers different type design to the user with a variety of different glyph that allows the users to read comfortably and with the design they want. Significant changes were made in on letterforms design which causes misreadings. Each letter has been tailored to the attention of individual features and to stand out. In this way, different letter designs specific to the needs of individuals have emerged. This process has been achieved without disturbing the font harmony and by making faithful to the research results. In this context, we envision that the reader will perform a comfortable word reading. The Accessible font is multilingual, ready to use with symbols and spaces between numbers and letters.
The general characteristics of the font stand out with the large dots and cedillas. These are made to ensure more distinctive letterforms compare to similar ones. In addition, we have developed an open terminal and a large counter that can make words more legible according to the information obtained from the results of previous legibility researches.
In Accessible font version 2 3 and 4, the similarities in pairs of letters that are similar to each other and cause misreadings have been reduced. In this way, unmatched but compatible letterforms emerged. In addition, serif properties were added to some letters such as b-d to reduce the similarity of similar letterforms. This method allows us to maintain harmony in the typeface. These differences are separate in each version of the Accessible font. These differences between pairs of similar letters are less in version 2, but increase towards version 4. The most differences between the letters are used in version 4. The differences between these versions are designed to change the type design according to individuals difficulties in learning. With this method, the teacher can provide more effective teaching to read.
The accessible font has a multilingual structure with extended characters. the results of the study showed that individuals with autism may have difficulty in learning between extended characters and Latin basic characters. In order to help the learning and perception the letterforms, serif features and different character drawings were made between these characters (e.g. ç-c ş-s ü-u ö-o).