Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Lila, a personal request

What would you do when you find that Wil, your partner, finds the experience of reading a Wikipedia article much enhanced by a MediaWiki feature that is really well hidden. Somewhere, there is this option that makes the Wikipedia experience much easier for people with dyslexia. Do you know it exists? Could you find and enable it for him? Please do try and find it..

Yesterday we had friends for dinner. We got to talk and I found that one of them was helped with this feature. Interestingly enough he does not suffer from dyslexia. We talked about perception of text and my wife mentioned that she has to read one letter at a time to make up a word. For her this feature proved to work as well, she found that she could now recognise some words at a glance..

The feature is hidden really well. So much so that I have to search for it every time. I know it exists, I have written about it before. It is "only" 7 to 10% of a population that is dyslexic. The Wikimedia Foundation wants more readers, editors. I really wonder how much effort it takes to make this feature sufficiently prominent. It does not cost any development; the software exists. All it takes is the realisation that we can open up to so many more people.

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