The effects of letter spacing and coloured overlays on reading speed and accuracy in adult dyslexia

Sjoblom, Amanda, Eaton, Elizabeth and Stagg, Steven D. (2016) The effects of letter spacing and coloured overlays on reading speed and accuracy in adult dyslexia. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 86 (4). pp. 630-639. ISSN 2044-8279

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Background. Zorzi et al. (2012, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 109, 11455) found evidence that extra-large letter spacing aids children with dyslexia, but the evidence for the coloured overlays is contradictory (e.g., Henderson et al., 2013, J. Res. Special Educ. Needs, 13, 57; Wilkins, 2002, Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt., 22, 448), and possible combined advantages have not been identified. Aims. To investigate whether extra-large letter spacing or coloured overlays can alleviate reading problems in dyslexic adults. Sample. The participants were 24 dyslexic and 24 non-dyslexic university students, matched for age and fluid intelligence. Methods. The reading speed and the errors made by a dyslexic and a control group were measured in four conditions: with and without coloured overlays and with normally and largely spaced texts. Results. Large letter spacing improves the reading speed in general, as well as improves the reading accuracy in dyslexic readers. Conclusions. The results support the positive effect of letter spacing on reading performance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version which has been published in final form at: This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley's Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: dyslexia, letter spacing, coloured overlays
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Steven Stagg
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 08:47
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 15:05

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