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UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0: Research Evidence

Checkpoint 1.1: Offer ways of customizing the display of information

I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation



The experimental studies on providing options to customize the display of information are focused on the advantages of flexible typography, layout design, color representation, and large print. However, the experimental research on this topic, at least with learning as the outcome, is limited. There are few studies exploring the advantages of flexible size of text and images, of flexible amplitude of speech and sound, of contrast between background and text or image, of color, etc. due to the fact that the advantages of such flexibility are generally considered self-evident. The scholarly reviews and opinion pieces provide more classroom-based perspectives on the advantages of customizable display. Relevant Web Accessibility Guidelines are also included in this listing.

udlcenter [at] cast [dot] org (Do you have additional evidence to support this Checkpoint? Tell us! )

Experimental and Quantitative Evidence:

Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Eaton, S. B., Hamlett, C., Binkley, E., & Crouch, R. (2000). Using objective data sources to enhance teacher judgments about test accommodations. Exceptional Children, 67(1), 67-81.

Hughes, L., & Wilkins, A. (2000). Typography in children's reading schemes may be suboptimal: Evidence from measures of reading rate. Journal of Research in Reading, 23(3), 314-324.

Hughes, L. E., & Wilkins, A. J. (2002). Reading at a distance: Implications for the design of text in children's big books. The British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72(2), 213-226.

Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2000). Incorporating learner experience into the design of multimedia instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(1), 126-136.

Knowlton, M., & Woo, I. (1989). Functional color vision deficits and performance of children on an educational task. Education of the Visually Handicapped, 20(4), 156-162.

Koenig, A. J. (1992). The relative effectiveness of reading in large print and with low vision devices for students with low vision. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 86(1), 48-53.

Koenig, A. J., & Ross, D. (1991). A procedure to evaluate the relative effectiveness of reading in large and regular print. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 85(5), 198-204.

Schwan, S., & Riempp, R. (2004). The cognitive benefits of interactive videos: Learning to tie nautical knots. Learning & Instruction, 14(3), 293-305.

Sloan, L.L., & Habel, A. (1973). Reading speeds with textbooks in large and in standard print. The Sight-Saving Review, 43(2), 107-112.

Scholarly reviews and expert opinions:

Abell, M. M., Bauder, D. K., & Simmons, T. J. (2005). Access to the general curriculum: A curriculum and instruction perspective for educators. Intervention in School and Clinic, 41(2), 82-86.

Banks, R., & Coombs, N. (2005). Accessible information technology and persons with visual impairments. In D. Edyburn, K. Higgins & R. Boone (Eds.), Handbook of special education technology research and practice (pp. 379-391). Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin: Knowledge by Design, Inc.

Bergman, O. (1999). Wait for me! Reader control of narration rate in talking books. Reading Online, Retrieved October 31, 2008, from

Brinck, T. (2005). Return on goodwill: Return on investment for accessibility. In R. G. Bias, & D. J. Mayhew (Eds.), Cost-justifying usability (2nd ed., pp. 385-414). Boston, MA: Elsevier.

Caldwell, B., Cooper, M., Guarino Reid, L. & Vanderheiden, G. Web accessibility guidelines 2.0: Guideline 1.3 Adaptable: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout ) without losing information or structure. Retrieved October 31, 2008, from

Caldwell, B., Cooper, M., Guarino Reid, L. & Vanderheiden, G. Web accessibility guidelines 2.0; guideline 1.1 Text alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language. Retrieved October 31, 2008, from

Colenbrander, A., Liegner, J. T., & Fletcher, D. C. (1999). Enhancing impaired vision. Ophthalmology Monographs, 12, 49-60.

Griffin, H. C., Williams, S. C., Davis, M. L., & Engleman, M. (2002). Using technology to enhance cues for children with low vision. Teaching Exceptional Children, 35(2), 36-42.

Hoffman, B., Hartley, K., & Boone, R. (2005). Reaching accessibility: Guidelines for creating and refining digital learning materials. Intervention in School & Clinic, 40(3), 171-177.

Holzberg, C. S. (2004). Web site accessibility. Technology & Learning, 24(3), 48.

Lang, M. (1993). Increasing access to information through use of color contrast. EnVision, 1, 1-2.

Medlow, N. (1993). Lighting for children with impaired vision. EnVision, 1, 5.

Simpson, R., Koester, H., & LoPresti, E. (2007). Selecting an appropriate scan rate: The ".65 rule". Assistive Technology : The Official Journal of RESNA, 19(2), 51-8; quiz 59-60.

Stahl, S., & Aronica, M. (2002). Digital text in the classroom. Journal of Special Education Technology, 17(2), 57-59.

Strangman, N., & Hall, T. E. (2003). Text transformations. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum.

Last Updated: 02/01/2011

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