1. How can I ensure that paper-based resources are accessible for learners?
Font style and size
- Use sans serif fonts such as Arial (Helvetica) or Comic Sans. Other suggestions include Verdana, Georgia, Tahoma and Trebuchet MS.
- Use a minimum of text size 12pt or 14pt.
- Avoid underlining except where it represents a hyperlink
- Avoid all-capitals as they are much more difficult to read
- Keep to left aligned, and avoid justified text as it causes uneven inter-word spacing, which can create ‘rivers of white space’ for some dyslexics.
- In word processing documents limit lines to 60–70 characters. Lines that are too long or short can put strain on eyes due to increased physical movement.
- Use line spacing between paragraphs to break up text.
- Avoid dense blocks of text by using short paragraphs.
- If appropriate use bullets or numbers rather than continuous prose.
- Don't hyphenate words that are not usually split in order to fill up line ends, e.g. "continua
- The space between lines is important. Research suggests a leading (space) of 1.5 to 2 times the space.
- For a series of worksheets, use a consistent layout e.g. a space to write the learner name on the top right, learning objectives in a text box at the top of a page etc.
- Use headings and wide side margins.
- Use boxes for emphasis or to highlight important text.
- For dyslexic learners printing onto cream/ yellow paper can help.
- Do not make colour an integral part of the worksheet activity as this will require colour printing.
- Use pictures to support text and self-explanatory icons to support instruction e.g. a question mark next to a tip or a help section.