DNAinfo — July 27, 2017
By Josh McGhee
Hope you’ve memorized your morning coffee order because customers at Heritage Outpost will find menus hard to read this week.
On Friday, the coffee shop at 1325 W. Wilson Ave. will change its menus, window clings, bathrooms and more to reflect what those battling dyslexia see every day.
“Most people don’t think twice about ordering a coffee in their local cafe, but for individuals with dyslexia, the simple task may be a daunting one,” according to a press release.
The event is a collaboration of Heritage Outpost, Cramer-Krasselt and Everyone Reading Illinois to spread awareness about the disorder, which affects about one out of five students, according to the Dyslexia Center of Utah.
The learning disability is “characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities,” according to the International Dyslexia Association.
Dubbed Dyslexia Cafe, the effort allows people to see the world through the eyes of someone with dyslexia by taking over a local cafe and creating “an immersive experience” to get rid of some of the misconceptions, according to its website.
Beyond changes to signage, a representative from Everyone Reading Illinois, a nonprofit aimed at improving the lives of children and adults with the disorder, will operate dyslexia simulations.
One simulation asks visitors to read a paragraph — made difficult by the addition of extraneous letters, missing letters and nonsense words — aloud, the release said.
“It is not meant to show what an individual with dyslexia actually sees; rather the simulation is meant to recreate the experience of frustration an individual with dyslexia experiences when trying to read,” the release said.
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