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RE: Font accessibility

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@levelaccess.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2018 13:10:33 +0000
To: Wayne Dick <wayneedick@gmail.com>, "info@karlencommunications.com" <info@karlencommunications.com>
CC: "gian@accessibilityoz.com" <gian@accessibilityoz.com>, W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CY1PR03MB220424553230288F4C9D4E52F1740@CY1PR03MB2204.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
  *   Jon likes a thick sans-serif font

Actually that’s not quite what I said.  I don’t like thin fonts.  I like standard/normal font weights.  As mentioned thicker too bold fonts lose the character shape and so I don’t like thick fonts.  I think there is a balance in the middle that works best for me.


From: Wayne Dick <wayneedick@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2018 4:23 PM
To: info@karlencommunications.com
Cc: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@levelaccess.com>; gian@accessibilityoz.com; W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Font accessibility

Hi Again,
I would like to reinforce Jon's observation. Legibility is an accessibility issue because it is completely defined by perception, one of  POUR.

I really think choice is the key issue. Karen likes serif because of conflict pairs that occur more frequently with sans-serif fonts. I like sans-serif with thinner letters because it is clean and I can detect the differences in letters better. Jon likes a thick sans-serif font. If you have not looked at the Low Vision Requirements<https://www.w3.org/TR/low-vision-needs/> doc from the Low Vision Task force you might find it interesting.

When we formed the low vision task force we invited lots of accessibility experts with low vision. Once in a meeting we each described our preferences for accommodations.  Of the eight members with low vision no two had the same preferences.

Here are some good practices:

  *   Since fonts people need can vary in width by a factor of 1.2 and letter-spacing can be increased by an additional 0.12em, make sure to enable change when the length of text changes. Text boxes and hard wired positioned fields are a problem with this.
  *   When you use icon fonts use the ARIA parameter "role='img'".
  *   If any other unusual use of font family where the exact font family is critical to the meaning, again use "role='img'". Example: Mathematical alphabets fall in this category. The capital "N" used to express the natural numbers comes from a special alphabet. The "N" I used would not be appropriate if I didn't define "N stands for the natural numbers".  The font family should never be changed in these cases. Each letter is an icon for a concept. Setting "role='img'" will say to the assistive technology that this font family must be seen exactly as it is, because the font family conveys meaning.
People like me are working on browser extensions to enable people to change font family to suit their individual needs will require information like that.

That's probably TMI, Sorry,


On Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 5:32 AM Karlen Communications <info@karlencommunications.com<mailto:info@karlencommunications.com>> wrote:
I can chime in – I have difficulty reading sans-serif fonts because I can’t distinguish letter combinations like dl – to me it appears as a single letter if the ligatures are not present. I also find thin fonts, even if serif, difficult to read. Visually, they seem to blend into the background too much. It is kind of like trying to see a twig in the grass versus a branch.

Cheers, Karen

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@levelaccess.com<mailto:jon.avila@levelaccess.com>>
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2018 11:09 PM
To: Gian Wild <gian@accessibilityoz.com<mailto:gian@accessibilityoz.com>>; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: RE: Font accessibility

I can’t provide you proof but I can speak from personal experience that thin line fonts are much harder for me to read.  Overly bold fonts are a problem as well because the shape of the letter then is harder to distinguish.


From: Gian Wild <gian@accessibilityoz.com<mailto:gian@accessibilityoz.com>>
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:59 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: Font accessibility


Does anyone have some research or evidence about the accessibility of different fonts? We have come across a very thin-lined font and we have been asked for proof that it is harder to read than normal font.


(Sorry for cross-posting)

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Received on Saturday, 23 June 2018 13:11:01 UTC

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