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What are the Guidelines for Large Print Documents?

Guidelines for Large Print

As millions of baby boomers continue to age, the number of individuals who have low or limited vision increases. The increase in individuals with low vision brings with it the need for more readily available large print materials and documents. Large print documents allow for greater ease in education and communication and they increase a person’s ability to consume information. The ability to read and consume information enhances a person’s ability to be independent.

What are the Large Print Guidelines?

According to the American Council for the Blind, the four most important features that have the greatest impact on readability for large print documents are font size, font style, spacing, and contrast. The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) formed a committee to develop best practice guidelines for large print materials. The following large print guidelines and best practices were created by persons with low vision who require large print documents for reading.

Best Guidelines to Follow for Large Print Documents:

  • Font size of 18 point or greater
  • Sans serif fonts such as Verdana, Helvetica, Tahoma, Arial, and Futura
  • Use bold text, asterisks, or dashes to emphasize a section of text
  • Line spacing of 1.5 or greater
  • Text should contain both upper and lower case letters
  • Titles and headings should be in a larger font and aligned left
  • Bulleted items should be double spaced
  • Page numbers should be in the same font and size as the body of the text
  • Paper used for large print documents needs a matte or dull finish
  • Do not use colored text or italics
  • Use saddle stapling or spiral binding to bind large print documents
  • Include explanatory captions for charts, graphs, and images
  • Opt for the highest color contrast between background and text colors (i.e., black text on a white background
  • The enlargement feature on copy machines is not an acceptable format to create large print documents

Compliance with Accessibility Regulations

“The ADA requires financial institutions, accountants, lawyers, doctors, and other businesses to provide auxiliary aids and services that are necessary for effective communication. In the case of blind and low vision individuals, auxiliary aids include qualified readers, assistance in filling out forms, and written materials provided in alternate formats, such as braille, large print, audio recordings, or accessible electronic formats such as e-text or accessible HTML.” Source

The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and that includes people with limited or low vision. Businesses must ensure their information is accessible and available in readable formats such as large print for the growing number of consumers and patients with low vision.

T-Base has developed and refined its production of large format documents due to direct consultations with large print users and the leading low vision organizations that represent them. Over many years of development and refinement, T-Base has incorporated this valuable feedback on usability and readability preferences.

T-Base is the leader in the design, production, and delivery of information in formats fully accessible to, and preferred by, individuals who are blind, deafblind, or who have limited or low vision. Contact T-Base today to learn more about large print document production.

Jeff Jullion

Author Jeff Jullion

Manager of Education Accessibility Communications  at T-Base Communications Inc.

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