October 2017
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an access request (dyslexia related): spaces between paragraphs, more breaks


icon: "bluestocking (photo of a book lying open on a table with a bright window in the background, overlaid with a yellow fractal that looks like the sun shining through dust motes)"

I've realized that there are some things that make it hard for me to read. One is a lack of spacing between paragraphs; making a new line but not skipping a line. This is apparently an issue for dyslexic readers as well. I am part of a facebook group that works to be inclusive and one of the guidelines is breaking up text into smaller chunks, rather than having long paragraphs. I can actually read long paragraphs without too much trouble, but I have started trying to break mine up a bit more to make it more accessible.

The other problem I have is the opposite thing, where there are several paragraphs that are each only 1-3 lines, usually list-type posts. I can't read these without a huge amount of effort. I think it must be that on some level I take in multiple lines at once when I read, and parse them together, but I can't do that with the list-type posts. It's like my eyes skitter all over the page and I have to focus very hard to actually read.

All this to say: I care about all of your posts or I wouldn't have you on my friends list, but if you post without spaces between paragraphs or if you post list-type posts, I will rarely be able to read them and it will take a lot of work for me to do so. If it doesn't matter to you, I would vastly appreciate spaces between paragraphs. There's no way to help me with the list-type posts, I'm afraid.

Lastly, small images (like emoticons or decorative text) within posts also make it difficult for me to read, as does text with background color. I understand these can be important to one's textual sense of self, so I'm not requesting anything, just sharing my experience. I don't know why these things have become an issue for me, since they weren't years ago, but I think that as my ADD-PI got worse, these things became more difficult.

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Comments
redbird ══╣╠══
I believe my layout should be okay: I have set my own journal to display all text as black on a sort of pale purple, but that won't carry over to what you read on your friends page. (Sometimes I find lists useful, but I understand people skipping posts for any number of reasons.)
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I sometimes find lists useful too, so I totally understand using them. I just feel a little guilty when I skip a post but I do tend to do that with lists because they're so hard for me to read.
fairytaleguise ══╣╠══
We post two list type posts a week (Sunday Seven and Thursday Thirteen). Would it be better for you if we put the lists under a cut so they were easier to skip past?
belenen ══╣artless╠══
aww, that is a sweet thought! It wouldn't be helpful though because my curiosity would get in the way and I'd just click them open anyway, heh. I don't mind people using lists, I just wanted to confess that I may not read them.
fairytaleguise ══╣╠══
That's cool, thanks for letting us know :)

-Aubrey
mac_arthur_park ══╣╠══
Thank you for the heads up. Are parentheses or ellipses an issue as well? Because I use the heck out of those and would like to be more mindful.
belenen ══╣giving╠══
Those don't bother me, but thanks for being so considerate to ask!
the_hag ══╣╠══
I suspect...
That my standard daily post might hit on a bunch of these...if you let me know what changes I could make to the format to help make these easier to read, I'm open to making them. Also, I echo the question about ellipses, I use them fairly frequently.

belenen ══╣artless╠══
Re: I suspect...
Actually, the fact that you give them headings makes it easier for me to read. One other thing that would probably help would be if the lines that are just a few words didn't have spaces between, so if the gratitudes and definitions were like this:

today I am grateful for

1. this thing
2. this other thing
3. that thing I mentioned before but is extra true today.

definition:

1. the first definition
2. a secondary definition

When they're clumped like that, my brain takes it in like a paragraph. (unfortunately if they are longer lines, that doesn't work for some reason)

and ellipses don't bother me, thanks for checking *smiles*
ragnarok_08 ══╣Transformers ★ the kindred╠══
Thank you for the heads up. :)

I tend to use parentheses and ellipses a lot, and I space between paragraphs, marking with the bullet points on each one. My layout background is mostly black with some gold on the sides, but the text should be easy to read.

I'm sorry that your ADD-PI has gotten worse :/
belenen ══╣ADD-PI╠══
I don't mind parentheses or ellipses, and your bullet points are with long enough paragraphs that they're fairly easy for me to read *smiles*

Thanks, it's been difficult learning all the new quirks of my brain. I think & hope I'm getting hold of it now.
ghostwriter ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣bluestocking╠══
*nods* I have a bit of dyslexia -- I have read so much that I have overcome a lot of it, but some things set it off. I didn't even realize how much I don't read lists until recently. For years, if I saw a list in a textbook or something I would just skip it.
volamonster ══╣mushroom's dragon╠══
This sort of thing is important for me when engaging with text as well. Please do know you are most welcome to let me know if anything I write is ever formatted in a way that makes things difficult for you--I would prefer to keep things read-able for you!
belenen ══╣loving╠══
thank you, I appreciate that!
meteorology ══╣writing╠══
Noted. I do resort to bulletpoint list updates from time to time but I completely understand if you need to skip those.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
thank you!
kiwi ══╣╠══
Thanks for the heads up. I'm never offended if someone skips a post of mine. :) Big paragraphs are my undoing, though I'll try like you wouldn't believe to get through it. Neuro-fatigue, interfering with my enjoyment...pffft. ;)
belenen ══╣artless╠══
I feel ya!
webgirluk ══╣pic#124969441╠══
Thanks for making us aware :-) I can be quite into posting lists but I'll try and knock back on them or only include lists where I'm writing a few lines, rather than brief outlines.
belenen ══╣╠══
welks! and I so appreciate the effort. The more things look like a paragraph, the easier they are for me to read.
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
I use simple linebreaks when the topic stays the same; for a new topic I start a new paragraph, with a blank line. I hope those paragraphs don't get too long for you to read conveniently.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
The simple linebreaks are difficult for me for some reason I don't fully understand -- I find it much easier to read your posts with each topic having a lengthy paragraph. I think my brain just doesn't parse simple line breaks well. I get lost in where the next line starts, and end up just moving to the next paragraph break. If the end of one line has just one or two words, that works like a paragraph break for me and then I can read it more easily, but without that visual space it's very difficult.
feladrone ══╣╠══
I'll definitely make an effort to use spaces between paragraphs from now on. It makes no difference to me whatsoever, so that's easy for me to do.

List-type post, I'll still write. I totally understand if you skip them though. For me, I really like writing full paragraphs when I can, since I mostly use LJ for getting my thoughts and emotions down in writing. But sometimes I'm pressed for time and it's either a list-post or nothing. I'd rather do a list post than nothing. The silver lining is that when I make list-type posts they're usually just a quick record of my day and not very content-heavy or important. If it were really important I would make the time to do a proper, longer entry. So you're definitely not missing anything I consider important by skipping my list-type posts, lol!

The exception is my Sunday gratitudes, which is always a list-type post just by its nature. I love doing them because I find they cheer me up. But typically they don't include any major news, just random little things that make me happy.

Anyways, having said all that, I'll tag all my list-posts from here on. I hope that makes it a bit easier for you!
belenen ══╣artless╠══
thank you, that is so sweet of you!

I don't mind people making lists, as long as they are okay with me not reading them most of the time. I just would feel bad to skip without people knowing.
meri_sielu ══╣Aurora Borealis╠══
I think I double tap my paragraphs already but I know I can make them overly long when I get into a ramble so I will do my very best to make my posts easier to read for you and others and consider this when I post. :)
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
that would be wonderfully awesome! I love how long your posts usually are (really, it feels very immersive to read them and I love that), but sometimes I have to focus pretty hard to keep my place in the really long paragraphs.
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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.