Digital Reading: Equity Through the Use of Resources


With the increase in smartphone dependency and the increased reliance on digital communitication and resources, it is nececcary to ensure that our students have access to materals that are equitable and accessible. I invite you to review the webinar on readability in digital texts from World Education with guest Kathy Crowley and rick Treitman as they explore tools to use with digital text.  

  • What stood out when watching this webinar?
  • What action steps will you begin to take? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Kathy Tracey


Kathy, thanks for posting this. This is very exciting! I haven't been feeling the love for Adobe as they never answer their support requests on some products, but the fact that they are creating a readability lab, and making it possible for anyone to customize the font, font size, space between lines, space between letters, etc. and that this allows reader to read up to 50% faster is very impressive. It's one of those things that sounds so intuitive once you hear it that you wonder why we haven't always been doing it. For right now this is only on the mobile app, but they seem to be committed to this endeavor. 

One thing that stood out for me was that the font you like the best isn't necessarily the one that will help your reading the most. On their readability lab site they have a short test you can take (5 min.) to find out the best font for you. This could really be helpful to some learners, not to mention to teachers and everyone else in the world! I found out that I prefer fonts where there is a tiny bit more space between letters.

I was most interested in the data indicating how quickly students improved their reading scores, when the only change made was the readability of the font/text. Some amazing gains for both the lowest and highest level readers in the sample group. It makes me think that not only should we be providing text to students in ways that they can best read it, but also makes me wonder: what else could we be doing for our students that is as simple and practical as this, but we just haven't thought of if yet?? 


One of the most common fonts in academia is Times New Roman, a serif typeface. This typeface has a decorative stroke at the stem of every letter where a typeface without those decorative strokes is called sans serif.  

  • Serif fonts inlclude: Times New Roman, Garamond, Baskerville, Georgia, and Courier New.
  • Sans serif fonts include: Arial, Helvetica, Proxima Nova, Futura, and Calibri.

As someone with a learning disability, I prefer sans serif. It is easier for me to read - and edit, so being able to work with typeface through Adobe was exciting and would make my life so much easier. 


Okay, I did NOT 'have time' for all that 58 minutes... but I did anyway... fascinating!!!  *And* they're looking for partners to pilot it ....