Web Design for Dyslexics: Accessibility of Arabic Content

  • Areej Al-Wabil
  • Panayiotis Zaphiris
  • Stephanie Wilson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4061)


This paper reports results of a workshop on the design of electronic content for users with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), particularly Arabic dyslexics. First we shed some light on the nature of the Arabic language and discuss features that account for the unique needs of Arabic users with reading disorders. Then we present recommendations for accessible web design for Arabic content in light of existing guidelines on web design for dyslexic users.


Electronic Content Arabic Language Screen Reader Dyslexic Reader Short Vowel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    BDA - British Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia Style Guide (2004), [date of access 13.01.06] Available online at:
  2. 2.
    Evett, L., Brown, D.: Text formats and web design for visually impaired and dyslexic readers – Clear text for all. Interacting with computers 17, 453–472 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Goulandris, N.: Dyslexia in Different Languages. In: Cross-Linguistic Comparisons. Whurr Publishers, London (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Abu-Rabia, S.: Dyslexia in Arabic. In: Smyth, I., Everatt, J., Salter, R. (eds.) International Book of Dyslexia: A Cross-Language Comparison and Practice Guide, pp. 31–38. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Beland, B., Mimouni, Z.: Deep Dyslexia in the two languages of an Arabic/French Bilingual Patient. Cognition 82, 77–126 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Elbehari, G.: Dyslexia in Egypt. In: Smyth, I., Everatt, J., Salter, R. (eds.) International Book of Dyslexia: A Guide to Practice and Resources, pp. 79–85. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex (2004)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Holes, C.: Modern Arabic: Structures, Functions and Varieties. Longman Group Ltd., New York (1995)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Milo, T.: Authentic Arabic: a Case Study. In: 20th International Unicode Conference, Washington, DC (2002) [date of access 27.12.05], Available online at:
  9. 9.
    Abu-Rabia, S.: Reading Arabic Texts: Effects of Text type, Reader Type, and Vowelization. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 10, 106–119 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Al-Sarhan, M.: Report on Students with Specific Learning Difficulties. Ministry of Education (in Arabic) (2001) [date of access 27.12.05],
  11. 11.
    Al-Sartawi, Z., Khashan, A., Al-Sartawi, A., Abujouda, W.: Introduction to Specific Learning Difficulties (in Arabic). Special Education Academy Publications, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2001)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Abu-Rabia, S.: The Role of Vowels in Reading Semitic Scripts: Data from Arabic and Hebrew. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14, 39–59 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Abu-Rabia, S., Share, D., Mansour, M.: Word Recognition and Basic Cognitive Processes among Reading-Disabled and Normal Readers in Arabic. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 16, 423–442 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Evans, D., Blenkhorn, P.: Designing a Screen Reader for Fully Sighted Users. HCI International 2005, Las Vegas, Nevada (2005)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gregor, P., Dickinson, A., Macaffer, A., Andreasen, P.: SeeWord – a Personal Word Processing Environment for Dyslexic Computer Users. British Journal of Educational Technology 34(3), 341–355 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kurniawan, S., Conroy, G.: Comparing Comprehension Speed and Accuracy of Online Information in Students with and without Dyslexia. In: Kurniawan, S., Zaphiris, P. (eds.) Advances in Universal Web Design and Evaluation: Research, Trends and Opportunities, Idea Group Inc., Hershey (2006)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rainger, P.: A Dyslexic Perspective on e-Content Accessibility (2003) [date of access 27.12.05], Available online at:
  18. 18.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Areej Al-Wabil
    • 1
  • Panayiotis Zaphiris
    • 1
  • Stephanie Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Human-Computer Interaction DesignCity UniversityLondonUK

Personalised recommendations