Dyslexia Canada depicts a daily struggle with a daily word game

A campaign uses the popularity of Wordle to show what thousands of Canadians face.

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In its latest campaign, Dyslexia Canada is using the popularity of word guessing game Wordle to demonstrate the struggles that people with dyslexia have to deal with, daily.

“We saw an opportunity to leverage the popularity of a daily word game to raise awareness about the daily word challenges faced by those with dyslexia,” says Michael Aronson, ECD at denstumcgarrybowen (DentsuMB), which created and produced the campaign. It leans heavily on Wordle’s surge of success as the game surpassed 2.5 million players at the start of 2022.

Christine Staley, executive director of Dyslexia Canada, says the campaign makes a challenge faced by 750,000 Canadians into the limelight to start “a long-overdue conversation” about the accessibility needs of people with dyslexia.

It follows last year’s effort “It’s Hard to Read,” which gained widespread international attention with its “World’s Hardest-to-Read Website.” The campaign included a website that employed text that moved around, letters switching positions and words being obscured as users scrolled through to emulate what attempting to read is like for people with dyslexia.

The new campaign, called “Trouble With Words,” launched today ahead of World Accessibility Day on Thursday. The multimedia effort uses misspelled URLs such as “wordel.ca” or “wordill.ca” to redirect gamers to learn more about dyslexia.

Banner and social ads featuring hard-to-read, 30-character headlines delivered in the aesthetic of a Wordle game grid – as well as a newspaper campaign and radio ads speaking to words faced by people with dyslexia, such as “lazy,” “stupid” and “poverty” – all also support the campaign, which drives to a microsite designed to give Canadians an idea of what it’s like to live with a reading challenge.