How can I accommodate students with low vision?

Date Updated

To accommodate students with low vision, use large print for text and handouts. While size will depend upon the needs of the individual, large print is usually defined as 16 to 18 point bold type depending on the typeface used. A standard Roman typeface, using upper and lower cases, is more readable than italicized, oblique, or condensed fonts. To enlarge print from standard 12 point original text to 16-18 point, use a 150-165% enlargement setting on a copier or printer.

Additional ways to accommodate students with low vision include:

  • Use a Roman type standard serif or sans-serif font, size 16- or 18-point. These fonts tend to have more space between letters (i.e., non-condensed).
  • Print text using the highest contrast possible. Light or white letters printed on a dark background are more readable than dark letters on a white background. High contrast can be difficult to achieve with colored type on a colored background. It is important to check with the student to see what type of contrast he prefers.
  • Allow extra line space between the lines of text. The spacing should be at least 25-30% of the point size. For example, when using a 16-point font, there should be at least four spaces between the lines of text.
  • Extra-wide margins and the ability to open a printed document flat are helpful if the document is bound.
  • Use paper with matte finish, which is easier to read than a glossy finish.

Remember, the student is the best source of information about preferred text characteristics.