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Enlarging Isn’t Always Best

Tips to create accessible worksheets for students with low vision

The day has finally arrived and you have a student in your class who has low vision. It is common to go on and enlarge a printed worksheet and present it to the student. Not so fast! What should you do? Here are some “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to consider.
No materials except pre-planning and common sense are needed.

List of “Don’ts”

  1. Don’t assume larger is better. Copying print can create enlarged documents that are fuzzy and hard to read.
  2. Don’t assume doubling the size of the print will work.

List of “Do’s”

  1. Do consider obtaining information from the TVI.
  2. Do consider asking for a Functional Vision Assessment.
  3. After 1 and 2 are accomplished, do consider re-formatting the worksheet to fit the visual needs.

How to re-format a document (based on knowledge of font size)

  1. After you have determined font size, say 24 pt., create a document that is 24 pt and with a good font like Arial to create high contrast.
  2. Format a document that contains the same information as the original document, but is not cluttered with differing contrasts or too many pictures.
  3. If this is your first stab at re-formating, present the finished worksheet to your student and have them critique it for you. In this way, you will give the student advocacy skills and you will become a teacher who can meet visual needs.

Each grade level can benefit from this re-formating; however, with students who are younger, removing most of the clutter from the worksheet and creating high contrast documents will ensure better success in accessibility.

worksheets collage

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