QualityMall.org - Complete Product Information
Use the FILE menu on your web browser to print this information or save it to your computer.
Close or minimize this window to continue using QualityMall.org.

In Other Words: Communicating Across a Life Span

Authors: Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR/L


This article is about the principles of Universal Design and using them in Print and Web-based Communication. The article reviews how Universal Design can aid in the creation of clear messages and effective communication and offers a well-thought out list of suggestions that will produce printed and web-based material that is more accessible to a broader range of abilities.

The article covers the following topics:

Identify the team that will be involved in the design of your communication;

Include user/experts who represent the consumers for whom you are designing;

Balance opposing needs of various users;

Focus on the following components:
Font--Choose a font that is not overly stylized and does not vary too much from what people are used to seeing;

Type size--For regular text, use a type size between 12 and 16 points;

Line length--People with low vision may have difficulty when there are too many words on a line, and people with cognitive impairments may have difficulty when there are too few words per line. In general, most people find it comfortable to read 7 to 12 words in a line of continuous, or running text;

Pictures--Choose pictures that have sufficient contrast between foreground and background;

Paper finish--Glossy paper has a glare that can be difficult to see by people with impaired vision. To increase legibility, use matte paper for all your printed material;

Slide Design--To ensure that overhead slide presentations, such as those created with Power Point, are easy-to-see and easy-to-understand, use a sans serif font as you would for presenting text on the Web. And have no more than 5 lines of text on each slide with no more than 5 words on each line.

Contact Info:
Name:Helen Osborne OR Valerie Fletcher at Adaptive Environments
Organization:Health Literacy

Web Links

Access to full article

Adaptive Environments website that gives additional information

This information was found at www.qualitymall.org