Preparing materials for people with sight loss

A lot of information in churches is purely visual – such as weekly notice sheets, notice boards or projector screens. Here are some practical ideas on how to make the documents you print and the screens you use more accessible to people with sight loss.

Print

Printed text should be in a bold, clear font like Tiresias (free font downloadable from Torch’s website) or a sans serif font such as Arial or Trebuchet, sized to suit the reader. We recommend four sizes of large print font which will help people with varying degrees of sight loss: 17 Point, 20 Point, 25 Point, 30 Point.

A good colour contrast is important, so black print on white or cream paper works best.

Making the print bold can help to make the words stand out and easier to read.

Try to keep everything left justified so it is easy to find the start of a new line, indentations can cause confusion. Using blank lines (spacing) after the paragraphs  clearly show the paragraph divisions.

If using bullet points, use square ones as they help to line the text up across the page.

Think about reducing the content before reducing the font size.  Don’t try to squeeze too much information in.

Use solid lines, dotted lines are more difficult to see.

Use a neat, consistent, uncluttered layout and allow adequate spacing between lines of text, paragraphs and columns.

Printing over pictures or photos can make words difficult to read.

 

Braille

There is a small minority of people with sight loss who may use braille. If you want help or advice about braille please contact us on 01858 438260 or email info@torchtrust.org

 

Projector screens

As with printed text a good colour contrast is important, white writing on a black background or yellow writing on a blue background work well.

Use a clear sans serif font such as Arial or Trebuchet. Tiresias doesn’t work so well on a screen but is an option too.

Make the font as large as possible. Having fewer words on a slide can help in making the font larger. It may mean having more slides.

Pictures or videos behind the text can make reading from screens difficult, so it’s best to avoid this where possible.

Using fading transitions between slides can be difficult for people sight loss, quick solid movements work best.

With most projector software there are apps that can be downloaded on to a tablet or smart phone, which allow a ‘stage display’ to be shown on the device. The stage display will only show text, normally white text on a black background, regardless of what is on the main screen. This can be a great help for people with sight loss. Some of the apps will need to be paid for but it is normally a one-off payment.