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Re: Accessibility and Web Fonts

From: Michael A. Peters <mpeters@domblogger.net>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 15:43:05 -0800
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <66ee3d03-824b-cb7d-dd19-6a28c1fb02f2@domblogger.net>
Okay I believe the issue with SVG fonts over WOFF/WOFF2 was something I 
mis-interpreted. I had read something on an Opera developer blog that 
gave me that impression but I can not find it. I suspect it was a 
mis-understanding on my part.

What I did find however is that people with dyslexia often have an 
easier time with sans-serif fonts, fonts with good distinct ascenders / 
descenders, fonts where b and d are not mirrors (or close mirrors), same 
with p and q, fonts with spacing so that 'modern' doesn't look to 
similar to 'modem', fonts where I l and 1 are distinct, and many seem to 
prefer a rounded g.

What would be cool is to see peer reviewed research into font 
characteristics and how they impact dyslexia so that web designers can 
either use fonts that are good with dyslexia or offer an alternate style 
sheet that only uses fonts good for people with dyslexia.

Some kind of a standard API where the browser could inform the server of 
the preference would also be nice (header) but would be yet another 
browser fingerprint metric so maybe that's not a good idea, but maybe 
what could be done is something could be done with @font-face in CSS 
where the declared webfont can be different if the user has their 
browser set up to prefer dyslexia friendly fonts. e.g.

@font-face {
   font-family: 'primaryFont-Regular';
   src: url('/webfonts/argent-cf.woff2') format('woff2'),
     url('/webfonts/argent-cf.woff') format('woff');
   dys-src('/webonts/somethingelse.woff2') format('woff2'),
     url('/webfonts/somethingelse.woff') format('woff');
   font-weight: normal;
   font-style: normal;

That way if someone tells their browser they are dyslexic, with webfonts 
it could look for dys-src (or whatever) and use that if present, falling 
back to src when it isn't present.

dys-src would only need to be used when the font in src is problematic 
with dyslexia.

One issue I found is that many fonts that reportedly help people with 
dyslexia (anectodal evidence though) made text harder for me to read, 
which is why I am thinking dys-src (or whatever) may sometimes be better 
than just using it as the primary font. That though would have to be 
brought to the W3C.


On 11/24/2016 11:18 PM, Michiel Bijl (list) wrote:
> Hi Michael,
> This is the first time I’ve heard of SVG font’s being used in that way.
> Especially considering SVG fonts have been removed from SVG 2.0 and
> considered a deprecated feature. For example, they were removed from
> Chrome 37 onwards. Some people with dyslexia that I know replace web
> fonts altogether, whether that be SVG, OTF. WOFF, or something else
> doesn’t matter.
> Cheers.
> —Michiel
>> On 24 Nov 2016, at 19:29, Michael A. Peters <mpeters@domblogger.net
>> <mailto:mpeters@domblogger.net>> wrote:
>> I usually don't do more than specify the broad type of font (e.g.
>> sans-serif) but for a project I am currently working on, I am making
>> use of web fonts.
>> Commercial web fonts came with woff, woff2, and svg
>> However in converting some FLOSS fonts to webfonts - I only made woff
>> and woff2 versions.
>> It was suggested to me that making SVG fonts available is of benefit
>> to people with certain types of dyslexia, apparently they can be
>> rendered in a way that make the dyslexia less of an impact.
>> Is that really the case or do ttf repackaged in woff/woff2 work just
>> as well? And if woff/woff2 do not work just as well, is there anything
>> special that needs to be done when preparing the svg fonts and/or
>> making the client aware they exist?
>> I'm having trouble finding information on it.
>> Thank you for anyone who knows, and happy Thanksgiving to those of us
>> in the United States :)
Received on Friday, 25 November 2016 23:43:37 UTC

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