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My online community has a strict rule that all posts need to use proper spelling and grammar. However, we also have some users who are dyslexic, and for whom this rule poses a barrier to their participation. How can I enforce this rule while remaining a welcoming community for those users.

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    Does your platform enable third-party edits, or does the post have to be correct in the first draft? – Monica Cellio Dec 11 '14 at 2:50
  • @MonicaCellio third party edits (as per my answer below) – user319 Dec 11 '14 at 4:00
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    Ok. That would be helpful information to put in the question. (A question shouldn't depend on an answer.) Thanks. Oh, and welcome to the site! – Monica Cellio Dec 11 '14 at 4:29
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This was an actual problem that I once had with one of my communities (we contacted a user to ask that they put more effort into their spelling, and found out that they were dyslexic). Our solution was to have a moderator edit their posts after they were submitted, and fix any serious spelling or grammar mistakes. This let them participate as a normal member of the community, and let us keep enforcing a rule that was important to the community. We also updated our rules to note that anyone who had trouble writing with good spelling and grammar could contact the moderation team.

We decided against having a moderator edit and approve their posts before they were submitted; we wanted to make sure they didn't feel like second-class citizens.

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The best solution for this is probably a technical one. Platforms like WordPress have features that will check the spelling and grammar of posts before they go live and prompt the user to fix errors. While not all forum systems support this, I would be willing to hazard that a fair number of forum systems do have mods or plugins that would allow for this kind of functionality.

If proper grammar and spelling is a requirement of your forum, then looking in to such a platform may be worth the effort to make everyone's life easier, not just those with dyslexia.

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