User Research Survey on
Changing Text Display for Easier Reading

This page provides information about an online Survey on Changing Text Display for Easier Reading.

Page Contents

Survey Overview

The survey asked for perspectives on how important it is to be able to change or "customize" specific aspects of text display, such as text size. It applied to all kinds of electronic text:

There were two parts to the survey:

  1. Part 1: About You for people with low vision, dyslexia, or any other condition that impacts reading — specifically, people who can see and can read, but have difficulty reading normally-formatted text, and need to change the way text is displayed in order to read effectively.
  2. Part 2: About Other People for occupational therapists, vocational rehab providers, accessibility specialists, and others who understand how people need to customize text display in order to read effectively.

Survey Questions

This section explains most of the survey content. The full survey will be posted in 2016.

None of the questions were required. Most questions included a "prefer not to answer" or "I don't know" option as appropriate for the question. Within pages and questions, aspects were randomized as appropriate.

Part 1 and Part 2: Changing text display

The main question in the survey was about changing text display. The introduction to the question included, "Think about how you would like to change the way the text is displayed, to make it easier to read . . ."

Question: How important is it to be able to change the following:

Three additional aspects were separate questions because they needed more explanation for many respondants to be able to understand them:

Answer choices:

Part 1: Reading questions

Question: Do the following conditions impact your reading?

Answer choices:

Question: What happens when you read "normal" text, such as a newspaper, or text on a computer that is not displayed how you like it,
such as a pale text on a bright background?

Answer choices:

Question: Do you quit reading information from the computer (such as an article on the web or instructions in PDF) and not finish it, just because the text is too hard to read comfortably?

Answer choices:

Question: Do you change the way text is displayed so that you can read it more easily? Select all that apply below.

Answer choices (multi-select):

Part 2: Text customization needs

Questions: How much do you know about the text customization needs of...

Answer choices:

Question: How do you know about people's needs to customize text display? Check all that apply.

All: About you and comments

Questions on word processing knowledge:

Demographic questions:

Survey respondents



Part 1 (About You)


Do the following conditions impact your reading?

Significantly Somewhat Slightly Not at all (prefer not to answer)
Aging/Ageing (issues related to getting older) 30 65 48 90 5
Visual impairment (such as blurry, clouded, tunnel vision; central field loss; light sensitivity. from birth, aging; macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, etc.) 106 48 26 55 2
Dyslexia, cognitive impairment, neurological impairment, or other perceptual issues 36 35 16 142 8
Other conditions or situations that impact your reading: 27 28 30 113 7



[Note: Comments include non-age-related visual impairments.]

  • not yet would be the more appropreate answer :)
  • I answered slightly as I am visually impaired This means it is difficult for me to see the changes that are perhaps are occurring due to age
  • My condition is getting worse with age
  • My vision is declining and I'm getting cataracts
  • Have worn glasses for 30 years. Mostly frustrated trying to read the fine print on food ingredient labels. However, typically it is other conditions that influence difficulties more than this (aging).
  • the eyes change as we age--part of the natural aging process
  • after 30-th birthday my eyes are weaker each year
  • I have age related macular degeneration
  • Ageing: only the need for reading glasses for vision though arthritis is becoming very annoying considering I am just 58
  • On top of my vision impairment, I also have age related vision loss, which makes reading sometimes difficult.
  • Cataracts, floaters and macular degeneration
  • I am 86 years old. I believe I am lucky to have reached that age.
  • Well, I am 65. Cataracts are just starting to form. I also have myopic macular degeneration, which is not caused by aging but caused by being severely sear sighted.
  • I have age related macular degeneration. Vision in one eye is distorted and is reduced in the other.
  • I'm in my 40's so my vision condition is worsening w age
  • I assume cataracts and macular degneration have some connection to aging
  • Born with congenital cataracts but developing glaucoma during late 50s.
  • As for most people, eyesight generally declines as you get older.
  • I have macular degeneration which is related to ageing.
  • glaucoma has caused my vision loss,which I have had since age 26. Age isn;t helping!
  • I'm 63
  • I am 63, have RP OU, worse OS (mostly grays, IOL for about 23 yrs.); also have nystagmus and a central cataract OD; no history glaucoma, AMD; no diabetes
  • I am extremely nearsighted - this is getting worse with age.
  • vision is deteriorating as I age
  • Pixels are becoming harder to read than hard text due to floaters and bright backgrounds. I have had cataract surgery on both eyes.
  • I now have to wear bifocals, need more light to read books/magazines
  • I am 75 years old.
  • Every year I find it harder to read small to medium font. Labels on supplements and food ingrediants are the worst! Websites and phone apps that don't adjust are hard to impossible to read.
  • Vision is slowly declining with age.
  • After having had 20-10 vision all my life, the intense reading demands English teachers experience began to affect my "near" vision, and I set foot on the lowest rung of the "reader" ladder, at about a 150 correction. I'm in my 60s, now, and only use prescription glasses for driving. It's interesting to me that I cab still use one"reader" for reading, another at the computer, and a third for watching TV. But the eye doctor isn't the least bit mystified, thank goodness. As a lifelong reader, and one who cares deeply for other people, and especially for those I taught, I want to cooperate with you and your survey in any way I can. Thank you! On to the rest. . . .
  • Genetic and age related glaucoma
  • visually impaired from a young age and now aging is beginning to impact on the remaining vision
  • I'm old but I can still read
  • My close vision is deteriorating with age. I can no longer make out fine details, and I need reading glasses to read most standard text, books, etc.
  • I wear reading glasses due to age related visual changes
  • Effectiveness of trifocals varies throughout the day. Eyes just don't adjust the way they used to.
  • Becoming far sighted
  • As I get older it is far more difficult to distinguish thin letters, and especially vowels like "a" and "e" that appear the same on the screen.
  • Short sightedness
  • am having difficulty reading small print at certain distances. I have monovision, having had laser surgery to correct for distance several years ago. Do not want to wear reaading glasses yet that is inevitable
  • visual acuity
  • Had cateract implants 35 years ago. Due to retinal disease, no one wants to replace them or clean them. The last time they did, it caused scarring.
  • I don't take to technology as much as a younger person to be able to make changes in font size, etc.
  • I have presbyopia as well as myopic macular degeneration so it can be difficult to read at times
  • Have Dry Macular Degeneration with geographic atrophy both eyes. Have difficulty differentiating some characters (both numbers and letters.) Must have increased light as have no central vision in low light, and must have high contrast.
  • I have reached the stage of excepting the condition after having it for 16 years.
  • Multiple pairs of glasses!
  • I am still young.
  • There is not significant impact that I notice compared to my disability at this stage in my life.
  • I'm getting older by the second! It's natural!
  • I have to enlarge the font on the computer to see better. Pages that don't let me do this I just pass by.
  • My eyes haven't started to get worse because or age
  • I am in my late 50s, but have been visually impaired from birth. Getting older does increase certain visual difficulties.
  • do not retain as well as when younger
  • According to my doctors, my reading problems are not due to age.
  • As my vision shifts from near- to far-sighted, eye strain becomes an issue - even with glasses.
  • I can't see smaller print now - it makes reading jars/instructions for cooking difficult.
  • diabetes and cataracts
  • This is not a challange at this time for me.
  • I can't read small print anymore. I need to be in good light. I now realise how the quality of the paper, print font etc can make reading less easy
  • My eye condition is degenerative.
  • I think prior knowledge becomes better so your understanding improves. But with age if your vission becomes blurry that would have adverse affect on your ability to read.
  • My vision loss is not related to ageing.
  • Optic neuritis w
  • older you get your eye changes
  • Reading glasses only
  • I have diabetes, so the vision is affected enough to notice.
  • My job requires a lot of time on computers & iPads. By the end of the day my eyes are sore, & it becomes more difficult to read.
  • Not aging in itself but as the cause for the next point.
  • I recently had retina surgery from diabetes. I am waiting for the second surgergy. In the meantime I cannot use my glasses and must increase the side of my text to 125, 150 and in some cases 200. I am reading this survey at 125. I started out at 150 which is better but I have to scroll back and forth. This condition is temporary but lets me know that I need something to get through the day without too much touble going back and forth with increasing the text side. For Word I have to use size 22 to clearly see it on the screen
  • The need to wear glasses when I have not had to before
  • I have low vision due to eye disease not aging
  • I have scars in the macula (both eyes). My eyesight has not improved or worsened since I was born. I have about 10 % vision.
  • While I do have macular degeneration in one eye, my reading-related vision difficulties were a pre-existing condition.
  • Little perceptable change, but I am less tolerant of small or poor quality print, poor contrast and poor ambient ligh. This is in addition to my lifelong condition resulting from congenital cataracts.
  • My eye condition began at birth.
  • I have Autoimmune Retinopathy and cannot see well. Everything is very gray and blurry. I have central field loss.
  • "I have been near-sighted since early childhood.
  • At age 50, my distance Rx was R: -5.75 and L: -6.75 with +2.25 for near vision on both eyes.
  • My vision is currently correctable with progressive lenses. However,
  • my vision IS changing pretty frequently, so I need to zoom websites quite a lot."
  • I have "wet" macula degeneration in my left eye and have lost the middle vision - I do have peripheral vison in the left eye. I have had a cataract removed from the right eye and can do most everything except read for which I have prescription glasses
  • near-sighted
  • I"ve been legally blind all my life so aging has had no impact on my vision.
  • Being already legally blind and then turning 40 years old didn't help any. My vison changed dramacially.
  • Even though I am legally blind, eye fatigue and screen display themes make a difference in what I can see and read.
  • legally blind from Macular Degeneration
  • light sensitivity esp. with energy saving bulbs
  • I need strong glasses for reading and computer work and less strong glasses for driving and distance. My sight deteriorated after having UV treatment for Polymorphic light sensitivity
  • Menopausal migraine, causing additional light sensitivity
  • The older I get, the more light sensitive my eyes become
Visual impairment:
  • I have binocular dysfunction which causes the eye muscles to tire easily. The more stress, the less vision. Small print is very difficult -- the larger the print, the more able I am to function as a professional.
  • My low vision impacts my ability to track a line of text, which then interferes with my ability to comprehend the text and understand the greater meaning of written text. I cannot read standard print for long periods of time and the larger the print, the better for eye fatigue but it takes longer to get through the text.
  • Left and rigth field loss are slight, but uneven, causing a pull to the right for attention. In other words, I notice things on the right side of the screen before the left side.
  • Approximaatly every 2 weeka I have a siege of fogginess which lasts about 3 days. It gradually disappears within about 3-4 days. At the peak of this period I have no central vision and my vision for distance is just like being in a fog. Right now I am on the 2nd day of this cloudiness and am using a large magnifying glass to complete thissur vey.
  • AMD with central vision loss in right eye--can't read with that eye anymore. Left eye is better but still need assistance with low contrast, small type. Have double vision and use an eye patch to minimize. Use a handheld magnifier for newspapers, books, etc. and need extra light for pictures.Despite all this, left eye still corrects to 20/20--just shows that acuity isn't everything.
  • I have lost most of the sight in one eye and suffer from chronic inflammations that have reduced my vision in the other eye. There can also be variations depending on whether an inflammation is active, whether I have a migraine and how tired my eyes are. I also seem to be experiencing myopic degeneration.
  • blurriness varies through the day and from day to day
  • I was borne blind with cateracts and other conditions so find it hard to read. I have diferent levels of vision in o=both my eyes
  • low vision since birth (40%) due to nystagmus as the effect of albinism. since birth
  • Stargardt's disease
  • legally blind from birth, both central and peripheral vision is impaired
  • X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, premature cataracts
  • decreased vision since birth
  • My vision loss is from malformed optic nurves since birth. I have 20/200 OS and 20/400 OD. I require things to be magnified for me to be able to read text or to see pictures clearly.
  • From the birth i have nystagmus that goes worse after 30-th birthday. I see things more blurry and my eyes are more light sensitive..
  • Congenital birth defect impairs my ability to read.
  • Born with congenital cataracts, I now have L:6/24 R:6:36 - I generally use a computer with full screen magnification (Was using Zoomtext, now use Windows 7 magnifier) at around 3x or 300% and using reverse colours.
  • I have congenital cataracts and other birth defects of both eyes. I am at the top end of the legally the blindness spectrum. I use visual aids very competently
  • Monocular vision from birth. myopia that has worsened with age.
  • I have albinism. My vision corrects to an acuity of 20/120. I have nystagmus and strong sensitivity to light and glare.
  • I am a robella baby. I was born with cataracts. After 30 years I developed Glaucoma. My cataracts were removed when I was 2 1/2 years old. I had 7 surgeries for Glaucoma. I developed Cornia adema and I have had 2 cornial transplants. The last one left me blind in my left eye.
  • lost my vision at birth it sucks
  • Glaucoma since birth. Had lenses removed at birth to remove cataracts. Limited field of vision. Right eye was willingly surgically removed to do pain caused by glaucoma and corneal transplant rejections.
  • I have visual impairment from birth due to cataracts then later had detached retinas, glaucoma and cyst on optic nerve which has caused me to have tunnel and it significantly impacts my vision
  • Irlen
  • Stargaardts's disease
  • Congenital nystagmus 20/200 pax6
  • I am legally blind
  • blurry vision sometimes.
  • I have no center vision in one eye, due to myopic macular degeneration.
  • Loss of central vision
  • The only useful vision I have is peripheral vision.
  • I have no central vision which makes reading extremely difficult.
  • I have no central vision (visual accuity 20/1000)
  • No central vision juvenile macular degeneration
  • Colour blindness issues, contrasts issues and sight not able to be 20/20 even with glasses or contact lenses
  • blurry vision now and light sensitivity always
  • I cannot read a newspaper or a book without magnification. Bright lights or sunshine blind me. I can no longer drive.
  • Macular degeneration, light sensitivity, lousy vision...good eye vision has a 4 magnification for reading. Have problems getting a good enough light to read by,
  • My low vision is occult MD. With the present available treatments I have received, I am satisfied--I have had one Avastin and two Lucentis. However, with deep blue eyes, glare bothers me.
  • High myopia; problems seeing details; colour blindness and light sensitivity
  • I have achromotopsia so the more light there is, the harder it is for me to read.
  • I have sever myopia and very sensitive to light.
  • Glasses since age 13 years short sighted and light sensitive
  • light sensitivity since birth
  • I've sensitivity to light - since a child. Blurry vision or troublesome vision at times - people put it down to too much onscreen reading but I wonder if it is scleritis
  • ultra light sensitivity, clouded, botched surgery, cataracts and diabetes
  • Light Sensitivity, outside sunlight, ultraviolet inside lighting, glare, color blindness,
  • Light sensitivity means I have to wear tinted lenses for reading and where possible I change the colour background so it isn't white. I have trouble with strip lights and glare
  • In addition to light sensitivity, I am very near sighted and have a 6th nerve palsy in my left eye which changes over time. My 3d perception is impaired sometimes more than others and I sometimes have double vision.
  • I have vision impairment resulting from congenital cataracts. I am very light sensitive so contrast is critical. I can only read with one eye. Numbers are particularly difficult.
  • I do have light sensitivity and need sunglasses when outside
  • tunnel vision slows the reading process and glare affects the eye comfort or reading
  • blurry vision, tunnel vision, light sensitivity from retinitis pigmentosis. Need high contrast sometimes black on white and sometimes white on black depending on the light. Protein crusted cateract lense implants. Like looking thrugh Vaseline. Very small field of vision due to uunnel vision. Need to be able to use a text to speech reader at times.
  • I have nystagmus , astigmatism, RP. The results are tunnel vision (2 degrees central vision OU blurry IOL OS central cataract OD light sensitivity Only gray OS reduced color discrimination OD Eyes never work together
  • Tunnel vision with clouding makes thin text impossible to read. Currently my browser is set at Arial Rounded MT Bold 14 point with No Squint at 135%, and many sites, as well as all newsletters are difficult to read. At this setting, most pictures takes two screens to scroll from top to bottom. Word documents are also written in Arial Rounded MT bold 14 point font and editing has to be done at 200% (with a background color). Even then, distinguishing between periods and commas is unlikely.
  • leber's optic atrophy central field loss
  • significantly
  • Have wet AMD with blurred vision and also some glaucoma with some side vision loss. Have had Fuchs dystrophy with transplants in both eyes. Transplants are fine at present.
  • AMD, Stargardt's, Fuch's Dystrophy and some rubella components
  • Central vision loss from myopic macular degeneration as well as blurry vision at times due to vitreal macular traction
  • Dry Macular Degeneration with central vision loss in low light
  • I have diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, which has effected my vision.
  • Around 10% vision in one eye only
  • Reduced acuity and some peripheral field loss
  • I suffer from stargardts which is juvenile macular degeneration. Was diagnosed at the age of 15.
  • Because of macular degeneration, my near vision has been impaired. I can still read large-pring books, but I don't know how long I will be able to .
  • See above for diagnosis. Blurry, field about 2 degrees OU, trouble focusing and tracking, good, scanning, astigmatism, both eyes never work together, use OD almost exclusively, extreme light sensitivity, no night vision, stil have color perception somewhat OD, far-sighted, read 24 pt. sans serifv bold print w/ 12x high index magnifiers that have deep plum tint; contrast sensitivity at 0.04.
  • extreme nearsightedness since youth, detached retina 2 years ago
  • Iritis is mid-twenties has progressed to pan-uveitis. We don't think this is age related, although it has progressed through the years.
  • macular degeneration in left eye with severe central field distortion, retinal tears.
  • Ageographic polymorphous corneal dystrophy- the cornea of my eyes i crinkling up and this affects the way light disperses across my retina. There are areas of my cornea I can't see through. My brain "fills in" the missing information, in the same way that it compensates for everybody's "blind spot".
  • Reading involves use of your visual acquity ofcourse if there is impairment it will be affected.
  • I have a blind spot in my left eye. So I have trouble reading without glasses.
  • I have low visual accuity and am very sensitive to glare and colour contrast. I use a high contrast scheme built into Windows that presents information on a black background with yellow text. I also use at the same time a screen magnifier program that increases everything on the screen, usually between 5-6 times.
  • I wear glasses, but my vision is fine.
  • Presbyopia, astigmatism
  • Macular hole => like degeneration
  • Advanced retinitis pigmentosa.
  • Need prescription to see as far in the distance as I used to, when driving, especially at night. Taking a gradual approach to diving in to other corrections. Found "read in the sun" sunglasses at CVS last summer, and they were great! Use the readers, about 275 to 300 for task-specific needs, as explained. Don't need glasses all the time, or for walking about, but must take a pair to see price tags when at grocery store or doing other shopping.
  • If the print is too small, I canīt even read with my glasses. I need to use a mgnifying glass on top of my glasses. It is very annoying not to be able to make the letters bigger in websites and some apps.
  • Require magnified text, reading on the compuer is more simple than trying to use a handheld magnifier and reading paper - easier to follow along lines etc., need good contrast - easier to read white on black for example.
  • Unable to read smaller test
  • I am legally blind, completely blind in one eye and about 25% of the vision remaining in the other eye.
  • From Birth - permanent vision impairment (legally blind), Light Sensitivity - due to my vision impairment, Aging - due to age related vision loss on top of my vision impairment.
  • I was born legally blind and because of a detached retina many years ago, I now only have partial vision in one eye. In that eye, I've suffered from cataracts and corneal adema. The cataract has been removed, but I still struggle with a cloudy cornea from the adema. I have congenital glaucoma as well.
  • I am low vision. Characterized by significant nearsightedness and sensitivity to light. I am legally blind as a result of a blockage of the optic nerve.
  • Legally Blind due to a congenital condition, Ocular Albinism with (rapid horizontal) Nystagmus.
  • Legally blind in center vision. Have side vision. Diagnosed with Rod/Cone Dystrophy.
  • Cataracts operation
  • Central retinal occlusion in left eye 2009
  • I have retinitis pigmentosa. My vision has been reducing continually for over 25 years. My ability to see text is in decline.
  • As my glaucoma gets worse, I am needing more use of technology to assist me in reading
  • Limited cataract in one eye does not affect need for changing text display.
  • central field loss in one eye and scotomas in the other eye from macular degeneration and cataract in one eye. I had the cataract removed from the other eye.
  • I have to enlarge text and also have good contrast -- probably largely from cataracts but macular dengeration might also be a slight factor?
  • Blurry and clouded vision due to aging and macular degeneration.
  • aging. Older eyes, harder to read small font.
  • My problems rewsult from aging and macular degeneration though I have had poor vision since birth.
  • I am not visually impaired, tough I have very beginning of cataracts. They still do not affect me
  • Extreme nearsightedness due to congenital cataracts.
  • Low vision; Malformed, mostly blind left eye; Macular degeneration and severe floaters in both eyes
  • Genetic and age related glaucoma
  • Retinal Degeneration, and have recently developed Cataracts
  • "My vision is currently correctable with progressive lenses.
  • I've noticed increasing blurriness, so need to schedule an appt. w/ opthalmologist.
  • Family history = everyone has had cataracts sometime past 50 yo."
  • See explanation above
Dyslexia, cognitive impairment, neurological impairment, or other perceptual issues:
  • Dyslexia and cognitive issues often make it difficult to utilize a page when text styles and fonts change from one paragraph to another, along with kerning and colors.
  • I have dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, executive function disorder, and an auditory processing disorder, which are all types of cognitive or learning disabilities. Reading large bodies of text or certain fonts and font sizes on a computer screen remains challenging and is a primary part of my job. Otherwise, through extensive tutoring in my childhood and high school years, my learning disabilities do not greatly affect me.
  • I have dyslexia which means that reading required a greater amount of focus, especially when typography is not optimal for me
  • I'm dyslexic & find the letters move about. I use a coloured filter when I'm read technical information
  • I've always had very mild dyslexia; I sometimes need to stop and re-read something to make sure I haven't accidentally swapped letters.
  • Diagnosed with dyslexia at around aged 9. Reading/writing can be problematic and extremely difficult in certain situations.
  • Dsylexia- my brain has trouble interpreting the images sent to it by my eyes, and accompanying Meares - Irlen syndrome.
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyslexia confuses many words, and agents think I don't have enough sense to be a published writer because I can't see the difference between words such as "trial" and "trail". I have great difficulty pronouncing words greater than two syllables. Reading longer words can also be nigh impossible. Some days are better than others.
  • Dyslexia impacts greatly with my ability to read
  • Dyslexia, diagnosed in graduate school in 1962 by Dr. Sofins while I was at Western Michigan University, doing work to teach special education and learning disabilities. No midpoint, I can read and write backwards and forwards, and used to read upside down..which drove my high school students insane! No depth perception, but progressive lenses have given me some, so I get lost..and things stay a bit out of focus.
  • Dyslexia, memory
  • Dyslexic
  • I am a bit dyslexic and I have learned to overcome it but I will reverse numbers and sentences.
  • I don't suffer from any of these, but my son had d Dyslexia.
  • I have trouble with some with b, d, p, and q. I always get less that and greater then mixed up.
  • I'm dyslexic, diagnosed in early education
  • often reverse numbers and / or letters
  • Rarely. My father is quite Dyslexic. ADD makes it hard to concentrate when reading.
  • There's dyslexia in our family. I certainly learn differently from others, though I've not had this assessed.
  • Very mild dyslexia for literacy matters, troubled more in numeracy and in general working memory i.e. day to day remembering.
  • ADHD, visual perceptual distortions,
  • Answer slightly on this question. I have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Unknown if it is related to my vision problems.
  • Depending on the early intervention programme and its effectiveness and the degree of impairment
  • dyslexia mild
  • have always had trouble with comprehending what I am reading. have trouble with math, handwriting, directions, etc.
  • Have had seizures
  • I have problems with reading relating to colours and fonts. My reading accuracy is poor, particularly for proof reading. I find it very tiring to read difficult text accurately and it takes a long time to read.
  • I notice at times that I transpose numbers or letters
  • It takes a while to understand what I have read. I sometimes have to read multiple times.
  • Mental health issues
  • My condition is called Achromatopsia
  • near-sighted
  • neurological impairment
  • Poor spelling and text creation due to dyslexia
  • seizure disorder, perceptual issues
  • significantly
  • Text Blurs, I find it hard to track.
  • I have M.S. also with some cognitive loss -- plus unknown if the M.S. may also effect vision
  • See above.
  • I have Cerebral Palsy, reading large chunks of text is hard at times because my eyes pull words/rest of the line/phrases from lines above/below the current line I am on. There is no rate that can be identified of this happening, but of course the more tired I am, the more often it occurs.
  • Fatigue and stress
  • Fatigue affects my reading and often causes some nystagmus.
  • Eye fatigue, glare, size of print, contrast of print on page or screen
  • headaches, allergies, sinus problems, glare, low contrast,fluorescent lighting
  • constant headaches; significant allergies to dust, grass, & who knows what else; sinus problems
  • Very dry eyes and chronic headaches
  • probably need to have my eyes tested again as reading too much on the pc gives me bad headaches
  • Stress, lack of sleep, fatigue, headaches, migraines, thyroid symptoms
  • Stress, in stressful situations dyslexia becomes more of a problem
  • Work environment provides for longer than optimal work days. Stress and fatigue amplify isses as the day progresses.
  • Both conditions above are affected by environmental issues e.g. light levels, noisy surroundings.
  • Distracting noises
  • Working in a noisy environment - open plan offices kill my concentration
  • Noisy environments are a problem for me
  • ADHD, Stress, Anxiety, Frustration, If I feel rush, under pressure and not given enough time to re-read what ever it is I need to read about 3 to 5 to 8 times. Depending on how long the document is or how tired my brain feels.
  • Attention Deficit
  • I have trouble with comprehension or reading what is really there. I have to stop and slowly read directions over and over again.
  • If it is bright outside it gets difficult to recognize letters on mobile devices
  • The light can effect my ability to read or if I have a headache
  • glasses are a help but also an incovenience. There always seems to be an "in-between" area somewhere, where glasses don't work well, and neither do the eyes--forcing us to pay more attention to out lighting needs, manipulating contrast, opening or closing wondow coverings, etcc.
  • I have very deep blue eyes; glare from lighting and sun bother me a great deal.
  • I am blinded by bright lights or direct sunlight.
  • environmental issues - lighting, glare, etc
  • I can be very light-sensitive.
  • eye strain, lighting
  • lighting, contrast and eye fatigue significantly impact my reading
  • indoor lighting
  • Too much light or not enough light. I use to be able to read in strong light or low light but as I get older it is harder to do.
  • I need more light
  • much more affected by ambient light, contrast and brightness than when younger
  • lighting, contrast
  • Light sources, size of letters or color of texts
  • Because I have to hold my eye so close to what I read, white backgrounds make it difficult to read. Also, it's extremely difficult to read in dim light.
  • backlit screens seem to make it more difficult for me to read for any length of time. Especially true when type is 10 pt or smaller and very compact.
  • contrast of presented material, how much light is in the room
  • Lighting and color and size of text impacts the text and detail of pictures that I can see
  • lighting and background color
  • Lighting, font size, foreground/background colors
  • vadly designed colour graphics - e.g. pale grey text on a pale blue background, etc
  • The different colors of the screens bothers me. I know programs to change them, but I don't always know how the screen is going to look or the effects after using the screen for awhile.
  • size of font, dimness of situation, font, length of word
  • I was asked to take an online course. It was not ADA and I could not change the font size or cut and paste in word and resize. It's important when I am working on things that I can cut and paste into a program that I can read the text.
  • Most books and online texts are too small for me to read.
  • "Websites that don't zoom 'properly'. One example would be a website that zooms the text, but then loses the context / page layout.
  • For example, take a look at LinkedIn, using different browsers!"
  • small fonts...sites tested for accessibility do not necessarily consider tbeir use of small texts even EU funded activities who seem to think tthat accessibility testing meets alll their needs..strangely EU consumer sites were amongst the worst
  • low light levels, size of print, font (e.g. curly), all block capitals 'hurts' justified text is less accessible, print that is too big, off white paper and darker grey print is best for me.
  • Regarding reading print: affected by color, size, type of font. Also, have difficulty reading slick, shiny surface papers.
  • neurological impairment from strokes 6 years ago
  • Meniere's, allergies, intollerances, hypersensitivities, and illness seem to require range of adjustment from no adjustment at all and very clear vision (with corrective lenses), to significant adjustment up to almost impossible to deal with text/screen.
  • Irritable bladder, bone and joint problems that require me to get up frequently.
  • Depth perception has been compromised since cataract surgery. Only interfers with functioning every so often.
  • "Occasional Hyperglycemia (from Type 1 Diabetes).
  • High blood sugar levels can affect eyesight"
  • I have allergies and those sometimes cause dry eye, which can make it harder to read on a computer than usual.
  • Cannot read signs at a distance or even announcements on the TV from my normal sitting position.
  • Slow reader, but it is likely related to having low vision.
  • Corneal transplants for Fuch's dystrophy, several years before AMD, did not return vision to 20/20. Did get it back to about 20/30 or40 for several years,
  • I have had astigmatisum (sp?) since birth.
  • Dry eyes due to lack of ability to produce enough tears.
  • Multiple Sclerosis as it relates to my optic nerve.
  • I have Irlen Syndrome
  • Irene Syndrome
  • brain sees words on the page but processes them at a painstakingly rate.


Do you change the way text is displayed so that you can read it more easily? Select all that apply below.

Answer Options Responses
I sometimes change text using word processing software
(such as Microsoft Word).
I sometimes change text size using Zoom in a web browser
(such as Internet Explorer or Firefox).
I changed the way my web browser displays text on all web pages
(through the Preferences, Options, or other settings).
I have a user style sheet that changes the way my web browser displays text. 14
I changed the way my operating system displays text
(through Accessibility Settings, Windows Control Panel, or other).
I sometimes use screen magnification software
(such as Zoom Text, MAGic, SuperNova).
Other: 40

Part 2 (About Others)


How much do you know about the text customization needs of...

A lot Some A little None
... people who are older? 69 89 19 8
... people who have visual impairments? 110 65 6 4
... people who have dyslexia, cognitive impairment,
neurological impairment, or other perceptual issues
65 71 38 10
... people who have other conditions or situations that impact reading? 48 69 42 22


How do you know about people's needs to customize text display? Check all that apply.

Individual - I have helped a friend, relative, or other individual change his/her
software or hardware settings to make text easier to read.
Training - I help older people or people with disabilities know how to use their
hardware and software to make text easier to read.
Research/Studies- I do research, usability testing, or other studies to understand
how people with disabilities read electronic text.
Other: 54


  1. Over 30 years in the vision rehab field. Currently working as an activity assistant for seniors with memory impairments at an assisted living residence.
  2. I have 15 years experience providing direct services to consumers who are blind or visually impaired.
  3. I am currently an Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Specialist who works individually with people with a variety of disabilities. I have also worked as a Special Education Teacher with young children many different disabilities and have worked with youth and adult emerging readers with and without disabilities.
  4. I worked with the Assistive Technology Team in my school districts to apply our findings to individual solutions for accessing educational and community environments, including communication, through low/intermediate/high technologies and training.
  5. I assess peoples needs in the workplace
  6. I am a rehabilitation teacher for the blind and visually impaired with a Masters Degree in Mental Health
  7. I employ 17 people with disabilities who all have different requirements and sometimes even for the same conditions.
  8. I am a Disability and ADA Coordinator
  9. Reading Specialist-help students who have dylexia
  10. I am davis Facilitator.
  11. I develop mobile apps to help people with visual impairments, dylexia, and old age, read books. I also work with a researcher in a University in Spain. Our research is on improving Text Readability/understandability for people with Dyslexia
  12. I am a DSA needs assessor ...
  13. I am in contact with Irlen Clinic Directors around the world.
  14. I am a teacher for blind and visually impaired students. I have low vision students who use the computer for research and their assignments. I have had some inservices and worked with the assistive tech person in my school district to help my students.
  15. I train students and consult with faculty and staff
  16. Training developers, teaching university courses
  17. Head a training facility
  18. I work in a position where I accommodate people wit disabilities in the workplace.
  19. I am an Orientation and Mobility instructor for people who experience vision loss
  20. I deal with my wife with low vision, tunnel vision and night blindness. She complains about font size and lack of bold letters in regular publications as well as some websites on internet.
  21. I am an official of the French administration in charge of reading development for print disabled people.
  22. The Department of Rehabilitation informs and provides low- vision software to me.
  23. I have done usability testing and my job is in research related to visual impairment and computer use. I have helped a relative change her software settings for low vision. I have an habit of reading in dark or mobile situations.
  24. I do user testing with people who have a range of disabilities. Also I have undertaken several research project into how older sectoins of the population use the web.
  25. Disability Adviser in Higher Education; doctorate in disability and education
  26. member of Communications Consumer Panel and Advisory Committee for Older and Disabled People
  27. I am a librarian in a National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Network Library.
  28. I have been a profssional in the fields of blindness and low vision for over 35 years.
  29. I work with people with vision impairments through a local not-for-profit Community Benefit Organization which is part of a statewide network of agencies serving the visually impaired
  30. Designing software applications for persons with visual impairments. Procuring assistive technology products to address the needs of persons with visual impairments.
  31. I'm a low vision expert in the netherlands
  32. Low vision optometrist
  33. I worked in the Visual/Print impairment industry for 14 years
  34. I work with seniors who are blind and visually impaired on low vision skills.
  35. I advocate for access to information (in accessible alternative formats) for people who are blind, vision impaired or deafblind or people who have print disabilities.
  36. I check all of the above
  37. Children/Students too!
  38. while being visually impaired myself, I also work with consumers who are VI and recommend assistive technology for them as well as help customize the settings when needed.
  39. I'm an assistive technology trainer
  40. I am a teacher of specific learning difficulties and have assessed pupils with coloured overlays.
  41. Atp
  42. Years of experience in the field, reading, contact with vendors and manufacturers, working with an AT team
  43. I am dyslexic and I'm an Assistive technology researcher and trainer
  44. I do web accessibility testing for organisations.
  45. I teach people without disabilities who create content about making that content easier to read and understand.
  46. My work in web technologies - hands-on web development, technical standards
  47. Accessibility specialist/test
  48. I create content and then have it reviewed. I also assist people who are consuming print and web content.
  49. I do usability and accessibility work for a large non-profit.
  50. Accessibility specialist and tester
  51. I am an accessibility specialist who teaches office workers how to better format word processing files and web pages.
  52. I provide Accessibility and Assistive technology services.
  53. I am an accessibility expert ... and quite old myself !
  54. I'm a web designer, highly concerned by accessibility issues, mainly for old people
  55. I am a human factors specialist, I have knowledge of the factors that affect text readability for both printed and on-line documents, generally. I also have a reasonable knowledge of some of the vision impairments that are commonly considered in design - e.g., color deficiency, visual acuity issues, vision impairments that affect Field of View, etc. So, I know some of things that may need to be customized, but certainly not all of them, as my own research area is more in the cognitive and/or auditory areas.

All respondents (Both Part 1 and Part 2)

Age Range Number
18 to 34: 49
35 to 39: 34
40 to 44: 31
45 to 49: 42
50 to 54: 46
55 to 59: 39
60 to 64: 30
65 to 69: 19
70 to 74: 8
75 to 79: 5
80 or older: 12

Survey Results

A little of the data from this survey is incorporated throughout the TAdER website, including:

About the numbers: None of the questions were required, and some respondents skipped some questions. Most questions included a "prefer not to answer" or "I don't know" option as appropriate for the question, and those answers are not include in most of the data on this website. Therefore, the numbers won't always add up to the total who answered each part. The data on the website includes relevant answers from respondents who did not complete the whole survey.

The survey data was used to refine the Text Display Aspects that Users Need to Customize, which includes wording from some of the survey questions.

More data and analysis is planned for publication in 2016.

For more information

Shawn Henry

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