Accessibility Tip of the Week

A font of wisdom.

  • Summary: No perfectly accessible font exists, but the fonts you choose can improve or reduce readability.
  • Who it helps: People with low vision and reading disabilities.
  • Additional benefits: Readable fonts help convey your message and engage your audience.

Whether you are creating a letter, brochure, website or sign, making the right font and font-formatting choices improves readability. The wrong choices can negatively affect reading and comprehension, especially for people with disabilities impacted by reading or language processing skills. While there isn’t a perfect font, choosing the correct one can increase the appeal of your content and improve your brand and message.

What can I do?

Select 1-3 fonts for your branding and use them consistently. For example, you might use Calibri for your headings and Arial for your text. We don’t recommend using more than 3 fonts on a page, as each additional font adds additional complexity to read or skim your content.

Use common fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, and Helvetica when possible. If you are using less common fonts, consider readability when selecting the fonts you use. The table below gives you some examples to consider:

GuidanceExample
Minimize the occurrence of “imposter” letter shapes designed to be very similar to other letter shapes.Uppercase ‘I’, lowercase ‘L’, and the number ‘1’ should have a notable difference.
Minimize the occurrence of purely mirroring letter shapes.Letters such as d and b, or q and p, should be unique.
Have letters that are easily distinguishable from one another.Letters such as lowercase ‘o’, ‘c’, ‘e’, or ‘a’ should be easily distinguishable.
Have adequate letter spacing.Letter combinations such as ‘ol’, ‘lo’, or ‘vv’ can appear joined when the letter spacing is too tight, even for people with mild visual impairments.
Have a visible difference between capital height and ascenders.Letters such as capital “i” and lowercase “L” should be easily recognizable by their height differences.

Learn more about fonts at ta11y.org.

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If you are promoting accessibility within your organization or community, sending out easy-to-understand tips can be a helpful addition to your strategy. You are welcome to share the tips here under the mentioned Creative Commons license, as long as you cite Accessible Community as your source.