Reading and Colored Overlays

Colored Overlays

Colored overlays

For people with Dyslexia, Irlen Syndrome, and other visual impairments causing the text to vibrate or move on the page or screen, colored overlays can help box the words, lines, and paragraphs. These tools promote more efficient reading leading to a higher degree of comprehension. I was first introduced to covered overlays by Brenda Lebendoff in the Adult Basic Education program at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Colored overlays look like tinted transparencies. Each person is unique, so one color will not work for everyone. I prefer the amber color on glossy paper and an aqua overlay on matte paper. Some people especially those with Irlen Syndrome, use the colored overlays as a sheet laid over the text being read, or in the hands-free versions of glasses or contacts may be used as a miracle cure.  I purchased mine at the Parent Teacher Aids store located at the Smithridge Shopping center in Reno, Nevada.

For people like me, these overlays are an excellent tool dramatically reducing the red, watery eyes which lead to headaches and irritability. I must take care to when choosing where I will do my reading. I prefer artificial lighting between 2800 and 3800 Kelvin Light Scale of the full-spectrum lighting chart. Because my eyes do not track at the same speed or binocular evenly, I must use a line marker for continuous flow through the paragraphs. To compensate in situations where reading is necessary and immediate, I close my left eye and only read with the right one. This works temporarily as it wears me out quickly leading to narcoleptic behaviors. If I have had to read a lot without assistive technology throughout the day it not uncommon to find me leaned up against a wall with my eyes open asleep.

Coming Next: Community College vs. Four-year College or University


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