Coffee Shop Serves Up Empathy, With ‘Dyslexia Cafe’

(CBS) — Customers at an Uptown coffee shop got a little something extra with their morning brew Friday: a lesson on the challenges of dyslexia, which affects some 40 million adults in the U.S.

CBS 2’S Roseanne Tellez reports on the novel wake-up call.

Something was amiss at Heritage Outpost Coffee Friday morning, where it was almost impossible to read the writing on the wall.

“I was a little confused by the signage. I was like, ‘Oh, maybe this is a new hipster thing,’” customer Sorah Kim says.

Welcome to the world of someone with dyslexia.

“We want people to embrace this experience and just be open to supporting people who they learn have dyslexia,” says Lauren Dumas.

Dumas is an intern at Cramer Krasselt, a local ad agency that helped create Dyslexia Cafe. The summer project serves up a lesson on the challenges of having a reading disability.

Customers say it was more eye-opening than their coffee.

“I think what it does is really educate somebody in terms of helping them be more empathetic,” Kim says.

To someone with dyslexia, letters can appear upside down, duplicated, compressed, or pop off the page.

Dumas says 1 in 10 people struggle with this type of disability.

Some studies show as many as 20 percent of individuals show some characteristics of dyslexia. Early screening leads to effective intervention.

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