Home Christian News A Pastor’s Dream Helps Makes the Bible Easier for Dyslexics To Read

A Pastor’s Dream Helps Makes the Bible Easier for Dyslexics To Read

dyslexic font
Pictured: Steven McLeish, Spencer Folmar and Jordan Wiseman. Screenshot from Twitter / @StevenMcleish

Did you know that the YouVersion Bible App has a dyslexic font? Steven McLeish, pastor of Renew Church Scotland, recently celebrated a collaboration with Life.Church that has helped make the Bible easier to read for people all around the world.

“Being dyslexic myself I had a dream to make the Bible more accessible to others like myself,” said McLeish in a statement to ChurchLeaders. “My hope was to make the Bible more dyslexic-friendly, which gave me an idea to reach out to Life.Church, as their YouVersion app was free and it could get out to as many people as possible.” 

Dyslexic Font Added to YouVersion in October 2020

The Mayo Clinic defines “dyslexia” as “a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.” Dyslexia is different from having poor vision and is not a sign of a lack of intelligence. 

According to the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, dyslexia “is the most common of all neuro-cognitive disorders.” Around 20% of the world’s population experiences dyslexia, and this percentage represents about 80% to 90% of all people with learning disabilities.

Dyslexic fonts are designed to be easier to read in their spacing, thickness and angles. It should be noted that several scientific studies on the effectiveness of dyslexic fonts have had inconclusive results or have found no improvement in reading rate and accuracy. Nevertheless, there are those who testify to the fonts’ helpfulness. 

The YouVersion Bible App, which hit half a billion downloads last November, was launched by Life.Church. Bobby Gruenewald, the founder and CEO of YouVersion, said in a statement to ChurchLeaders: 

We’re passionate about removing barriers so that everyone has access to the Bible. We added the OpenDyslexic font to the app because we know some of our YouVersion Community processes written text differently. We hope this addition not only helps them feel like the app was made specifically for them but that it also leads them into deeper intimacy with God through His Word.

A spokesperson for Life.Church told ChurchLeaders that, due to how common dyslexia is, there has for some time been a way for people to use a dyslexic font in the Bible app, so long as users already had the font on their devices. It was after McLeish reached out, however, that the OpenDyslexic font was added to the font menu within the app.

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.