Tough Stuff

Learn what it's like to live with dyslexia on this new site


Most people are familiar with dyslexia, a learning disability that affects the way the brain processes written and verbal words. However, unless you personally have dyslexia—or any other learning disability—it can be pretty difficult to really appreciate the issues dyslexics struggle with every day.

In order to help people understand the affects of dyslexia, Victor Widell developed a website that is meant to simulate the experience of having the condition. “A friend who has dyslexia described to me how she experiences reading,” Widell explained. “She can read, but it takes a lot of concentration, and the letters seem to ‘jump around.’”

That is exactly what the website does: All the letters jump around in unpredictable ways, making it hard to concentrate and figure out each word—especially when they keep jumbling as you read them. Want to see for yourself? Check it out here.

Although the website does a pretty good job simulating the experience, it's worth noting that it can't fully capture what reading feels like for someone with a learning disorder. "Dyslexia isn't an individual condition," wrote one commenter. "Dyslexia is an umbrella diagnosis… Different people have different symptoms."

Even though the website isn’t perfect, it provides some good insight to the experience of having dyslexia—and can help us all empathize. After all, how long did it take you to read through those six paragraphs? It's not as easy as it seems.

Do you, or does someone you know, have dyslexia? What did you think of Widell's website? Let us know in the comments below.


by Caitlin Callihan | 3/10/2016