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Reading, Typography and Low Vision A Few Guidelines for Making Large Print Documents and Tests More Accessible Information from the American Printing House for the Blind Developed and produced by Elaine Kitchel, M. Ed. Research Scientist © 2002 American Printing House for the Blind

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reading typography and low vision

Reading, Typography and Low Vision

A Few Guidelines

for Making Large Print Documents and Tests More Accessible

information from the american printing house for the blind
Information from the American Printing Housefor the Blind

Developed and produced by

Elaine Kitchel, M. Ed.

Research Scientist

© 2002 American Printing House for the Blind

no portion of this presentation may be altered

or used without express permission of APH.

NOT FOR SALE

reading typography and low vision3

Reading, Typography and Low Vision

What do we already know?

slide5

FONTS

Both readers with low vision and readers

with normal vision read faster and with

better comprehension with a monospaced

font rather than a variable font. Improve-

ment in the low vision group was greater,

however, than in the group with normal

vision.

Psychophysics of Reading; Legge, Gordon &

Mansfield, J. Stephen

slide6

Courier

Times Roman

slide7

LEADING

Both persons with low vision and persons

with normal vision had better reading speed and comprehension with increased leading (spacing between lines of text). Scores of persons with low vision showed more improvement with increased leading than the normal group, however.

Psychophysics of Reading; Legge, Gordon &

Mansfield, J. Stephen

slide8

Single Spacing

1.25 spacing

slide9

SERIFS

Persons with low vision scored significantly

higher in both reading speed and compre-

hension when they read text without serifs.

Persons with normal vision showed a slight

improvement using san serif fonts, but

perceived themselves to have a better

performance using fonts with serifs.

Psychophysics of Reading; Legge, Gordon &

Mansfield, J. Stephen

slide10

San Serif

Serif

slide11

x-height and t-height

Persons with low vision showed higher

reading efficiency scores using fonts in

which the t-heights and x-heights were

generous. One-eighth inch was the

minimum height which brought improved

scores in the greatest number of subjects.

Low Vision and Print Legibility; Arditi, Aries

slide12

X-height

1/8” at

18 points

X-height

3/32” at

18 points

slide13

Indents and Columns

  • Persons with low vision:
  • often miss indented items
  • have trouble reading words in columns because it requres more visual shifting
  • do best with blocks of information at least
  • 39 characters wide and left-justified text

Low Vision Consumer Focus Group: Health Care

Financing Administration

slide14

39 Character Block

Lorem ipsum moderate capsicum tentative

lillium formosanum penicillin toad refractor

fragment personification tizzwinkle periopt

quizzical perianther lepidoptera transpond

asparagus aluminum diamond of flagmore

paphiopedilum oeonethera filamentosuma

slide15

2 Columns

Lorem ipsum filament

quifty purslane stylus

epidendrum phototox

mesianthemum orbit

photosynthesis candy

morose recognized or

visionary combustible

answer sheets forms

Epidendrum phototox

lorem ipsum filament

morose recognized or

quifty purslane stylus

answer sheets forms

mesianthemum orbit

photosynthesis candy

visionary combustible

slide16

Justified Text

Text is easier to read when it is justified on the

left and unjustified on the right. This prevents

pockets of spaces, which can be misleading to

the reader with impaired vision.

Existing standards of the National Acreditation

Council and the National Association of the Vis-

ually impaired.

slide17

39 Character Block

Lorem ipsum moderate capsicum tentative

lillium formosanum penicillin toad refractor

fragment personification tizzwinkle periopt

quizzical perianther lepidoptera transpond

asparagus aluminum diamond of flagmore

paphiopedilum oeonethera filamentosuma

slide18

Right and Left Justified

Lorem ipsum bith moderate capsicum tentative

lillium formosanum and without penicillin toad

refractor fragment personification tizz winkle

periopt quizzical perianther how lepidoptera

tune transpond for asparagus aluminum

diamond of flagmore paphiopedilum

oeonethera filamentosuma

slide19

Text over Graphics

Adults with vision impairment who participated

in a focus group designed to determine guide-

lines for the preparation of large print doc-

uments agreed unanimously that text must

appear without background graphics or other

media which might make letters and characters

difficult to discern.

Low Vision Consumer Focus group: Health Care

Financing Administration

slide20

This is a picture of a starfish in-

side a vortex. Of course to you

it might look like a giant flower

or an octopus in a whirlpool.

You might even think it is op-

art or a computer rendering of

a bad dream. However this

photo is to demonstrate to you

how difficult it is to read text

when it is placed over a busy

background.

slide21

This is a picture of a nice

daylily called “Butterfly

Kisses.” It likes warm

weather and is easy to

grow if given just a little

water and weeding. The

flower is about 7” across

and the stems are 30”

tall. When the blooms

are spent, a nice mound

of straplike foliage stays.

slide22

Lines and Grayscale

Color graphics are preferred, but in their

absence black and white line drawings are

much easier to see and understand than

grayscale.

Student Survey of Large Print; Kitchel, Elaine &

Evans, Will

slide26

LARGE PRINT GUIDELINES:

1 Each large print user should have access to large

print that is at least 18 points in size;

2 Each large print user should have access to print

that has x-height and t-heights of at least 1/8 inch;

3 Each large print user should have access to print

that is in a typeface without serifs; APHont has been

constructed to embody characteristics identified

through research, to promote readability in persons

with low vision.

4 Each large print user should have access to print

that allows spacing between lines of print of at least

1 ¼ spaces.

slide27

5 Large print headings and subheadings should

  • be larger and bolder than regular large print text.
  • 6 Paragraphs in large print should be block style and
  • use 1" margins. The left margin should be justified
  • and the right hand margin should not be justified;
  • there should be no indentations to delineate
  • paragraphs.
  • 7 Where possible, columns and divided words should
  • be avoided;
  • 8Large print should appear black on white, ivory,
  • cream or yellow paper with a dull finish so as not to
  • promote glare.
slide28

9Large print should not be used over a background

  • design or other graphical material.
  • 10 Large print users should have access to graphics
  • that are enlarged AND maintain the same contrast,
  • clarity, and appropriate coloration as those prepared
  • for their sighted peers.
  • 11 Highly graphical large print materials such as maps
  • graphs and charts, should adhere to type size, font
  • and other large print guidelines.
  • 12 When color is not possible, high-quality, black,
  • line drawings are preferred over gray scale.
slide29

13 Each large print user should have access to large

      • print books that weigh no more than 32 oz.
  • 14 Each large print user should have access to large
  • print books that are no larger in dimension than 9” x
  • 12” x 2 ¼ “.

This guideline document is a working draft.

It is subject to revision and addition.

slide30

These illustrations cover only a few of the constructs

necessary for accessible large print. More mysteries of

low vision and typography to be revealed .

thank you

Thank You

Elaine Kitchel, M.Ed.

American Printing House

for the Blind

1839 Frankfort Ave.

Louisville, KY

(800) 223-1839

© 2002

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