[Athen] Text readability: can you tell the difference between "rn" and "m"?

Christine Robinson crobinson at ggc.edu
Wed Jan 24 13:42:50 PST 2018

Thanks, Karen. Your input is always invaluable to me.
Now you've got me thinking, I should explore the possibility of presenting this type of content to our students, through our Office of Disability Services... hm... hm...
Christine Robinson | Technical Trainer/Writer | Center for Teaching Excellence
Georgia Gwinnett College | 1000 University Center Lane, L-2158 | Lawrenceville, GA 30043

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Karlen Communications
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 2:45 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Text readability: can you tell the difference between "rn" and "m"?

As someone with a visual disability I depend on the ligatures of a serif font to read text. Sans-serif fonts take me longer to read because I can't distinguish some letter combinations when they are close together. I do know that sans-serif does work better for some of us with visual, learning or cognitive disabilities.

This is why I created the how to tutorial on creating Style Sets in Word. If you are an alternate text production centre and need large print, you can create a large print Style Set...or a Style Set for a specific student. As long as the Word document does not use direct formatting and the Style Set accommodates for the scaling of Headings based on the "new" font size, text scales nicely.

I just noticed that the tutorial isn't on my website. I've attached it but will also add it to the Office for Windows web page. It is for an older version of Word, but the steps still work...Style Sets are now found on the Design Ribbon in Word 2016.

You might also want to look at the Immersive Reading Tools/Learning Tools in Word 2016. They include tools for changing the column width, spacing, the background colour of the document, breaking words into syllables and a Read aloud tool. You can find the Learning Tools Ribbon by using Tell Me (Alt + Q) and typing Learning Tools. The Learning Tools Ribbon will stay open as long as the document is open.



The tools are available in OneNote as well and, if you have a SharePoint based Office 365 subscription, in the Web apps...I think. I went to try the web apps Learning Tools but couldn't seem to access them. I was in a hurry (of course) so will try again. :)

Cheers, Karen

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Susan Kelmer
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 1:37 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Text readability: can you tell the difference between "rn" and "m"?

Personally, I default to a serif font. There are mixed opinions about whether sans or serif is better, but for general readability, serif works better (and there's a logical reason for that - it leads the eyes). Serif fonts RARELY show this issue with rn or other combined characters. But most sans fonts have some issues in this area.

This is also why it's important for us to be providing documents that people can change to their liking, whenever possible. A word file - you can always change the font if you don't like it. PDF, not so much.

Just my 2 cents.

Susan Kelmer
Alternate Format Production Program Manager
Disability Services
University of Colorado Boulder

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