A study of the effect of letter spacing on the reading speed of young readers with low vision

  • Mcleish E
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Abstract

The aims of this study were two-fold: firstly, to establish a method of applying consistent letter spacing to docu- ments using MS Word, and secondly, to investigate the effect of increased letter spacing on the reading speeds of readers with low vision. Tests on 14 readers with low vision showed that increased letter spacing benefited their reading speed and also reduced the critical print size of the majority of subjects tested. These findings could have a significant impact on the format of modified large print material used by low-vision readers in main- stream schools and lead to more inclusive practise in the class- room. Additionally, a simple to follow table has been produced to quantify the effect of increased letter spacing in MS Word. Although MS Word is almost universally used in mainstream schools to modify teaching resources, for low-vision readers, the method of applying letter spacing and its effect are not clear.

Author-supplied keywords

  • children
  • education
  • low vision
  • reading

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Authors

  • Eve Mcleish

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