Accessibility Guidelines for Print Materials

People with low vision may require materials provided in large print. Large print documents can easily be produced using a scalable font from any good word processing program and printer.

Using these instructions, one page of print (11-12 point type) will equal approximately three pages of large print (16-18 point) depending on the density of the text. To obtain the best results:

  • Use 16-18 point type
  • Use standard 8 ½ x 11" paper. Larger paper may be used, but care should be taken that a document does not become too bulky, thus making it difficult to read and carry.
  • Use of off-white, very pale yellow or cream-colored non-glossy paper, such as paper that is used for photocopying purposes, results in the best contrast with the least glare. Do not use dark colors or shades of red.
  • Use 1" margins. Lines longer that 6" will not track well for individuals who use a magnifier.
  • Double-sided copying (if print does not bleed through) will produce a less bulky document.
  • Use upper and lowercase letters.
  • Use a simple serif font such as Times New Roman.
  • Avoid condensed or compressed fonts and italics, as they are difficult to read.
  • Use only left margin justification to maintain uniform spacing across lines.
  • Avoid centered or indented text. It can be difficult to track because only a few words will fit on a line. All text should begin at the left margin.
  • Spacing between lines of text should be at least 1.25" because many people with partial sight have difficulty finding the beginning of the next line while reading.
  • Replace tabs with two spaces.
  • Page numbering should be at the top or bottom left.
  • Avoid columns. If columns are absolutely necessary, use minimum space between columns.
  • Use dot leaders for tabular material.
  • Graphics should be included, but placed on a separate page from the text. It is important to describe the graphics and pics in the text for those individuals with low vision who are unable to read them.

Excerpted with permission: June Isaacson Kailes, Accessibility Guidelines for Speakers, Edition III, July 2000