People with low vision are unique, being neither fully sighted nor totally blind. Visual acuities vary greatly, as do individual needs. This is especially true regarding the wide range of criteria and guidelines that are used by printing houses and publishers to produce "large print" documents for the low vision community.
In order to eliminate the confusion surrounding the production of large print documents, the Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI) formed an ad hoc committee to identify, review, and evaluate a variety of large print documents currently available. (See Appendix) After having done so, the committee has developed the following "Best Practices and Guidelines for Large Print Documents used by the Low Vision Community." Simply stated, these guidelines were compiled by persons with low vision to assist in the production of the large print documents that they, themselves read.
The following are best practices and guidelines for large print documents. The order in which these items appear does not denote any ranking or relative importance.
The intent of this review and summary of large print information is to provide a one-stop, comprehensive resource for producers and consumers of large print documents. This document is a summary of the most important large print issues. Attention is also called to the many documents listed in the Appendix, which contains sources of additional information on this important subject.
While developed specifically for use in large print documents, these best practices are not exclusive to this medium. Many of these guidelines can easily be applied to other formats, such as: printed labels for a variety of uses, signage of all sorts, a wide range of computer applications, and many others. The proper mix of spacing, font size, style, and contrast, can enhance the readability of any printed material used by the low vision community.
The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International (CCLVI), an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), has been an advocate for issues that are specific to the low vision community for decades. Since our members and others have a wide variety of eye conditions, we welcome opportunities to develop best practices and guidelines such as these, to help us all "stay in the game." ##
Approved July 12, 2011
Compilation of Large Print Experiences by Donna Pomerantz, 2009, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Effective Color Contrast" from Lighthouse International by Aries Arditi, 2010.
"A Guide to Making Documents Accessible to People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired" for the American Council of the Blind (ACB) by Jennifer Sutton, 2002.
Large Print Schoolbooks Power Point Summary, presentation at Getting in Touch With Literacy Conference by Joan Hudson-Miller, Todd Lewis, and Jane Vogel, 2009.
"Making Text Legible" from Lighthouse International by Aries Arditi, 2010.
Printing Guidelines from the Xavier Society for the Blind.
"Psychophysics of Reading in Normal and Low Vision," Chapters 1, 3, and 4, by Gordon E. Legge, PhD, 2007.
Reader's Digest World Specifications used to produce Reader's Digest Large Print by Joyce Altman, 2010.
"Reading Materials in Large Print: a Resource Guide," National Library Service (NLS), issued in 2005.
"The Structured Low Vision Exam" by Bruce P. Rosenthal, 1991.
A Summary of the National Association for the Visually Handicapped (NAVH) Standards that are followed by Random House Large Print by Jane Ramsburg, 2010.
Tiresias Large Print Font - a typeface for large print publications, from www.tiresias.org/fonts/index.htm.
Type Size Chart - 2 - 010; Supplemental Info and Summary of Data - 2009 from Library Reproduction Services (LRS) by Joan Hudson-Miller (retired).
Typography, Gotham Type Face from www.typography.com.
US Postal Service Publication 347 - Mailing Free Matter for the Blind and Visually Impaired Persons, 1998.
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