Introduction

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These online documents will propose, through guidelines, good typographic practices for displaying type on the screen for those with low-vision. These guidelines are based on practical experience and trends of visual communication in 20th Century Graphic design.

Low-vision is sight that cannot be satisfactorily corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery. Low-vision can results from an eye disease such as glaucoma or macular degeneration, which is typically related to age. An estimated 180 million people worldwide have visual impairment. Of these, between 40 and 45 million persons are blind (World Health Organization 2001). Advances in science and technology are allowing for people to live longer now than ever before and there is a direct correlation between aging and vision loss. Understanding how to design for older adults is becoming exceedingly important.  The authors suggest that implementation of these guidelines will improve screen access for this aging group, not in the least because screen reading is substantially slower (by as much as 25 to 30%) than paper reading resulting in fatigue and mistakes (Designing Web sites, Guidelines for usability 2001).

The following guidelines were developed during work on the Universal Web Project. The typographic focus of this paper is on aspects of the letter and the word.  The Universal Web project is a research project headed by Professor Hans van Dijk of the Rhode Island School of Design, supported by a grant from the Markle Foundation.

( Note: The Universal Web project includes research on a larger set of guidelines including aspects of general layout and page design, image and color perception, content structure, navigation and interface design as well as cognition.