In consultation with a team of differently-abled individuals, Sweet Bloods was designed to accommodate the full scope of abilities.

Diabetes can cause many medical complications, including damage to the nerves, eyes, feet, skin and hearing. Since Sweet Bloods is a book of stories about living with diabetes, it made sense to design the book for all people living with physical impairments, including the ones that diabetes can cause.
Book Design
Our design is square-shaped, and the cover has a velvety finish, which makes it easy to handle.
Decorative Elements
We used as few decorative elements as possible: the test-readers on our team approved a right-justification for chapter titles, and the first word of every chapter in uppercase. The chapter titles are not much bigger than the rest of the text, since too big of a contrast between typefaces was also problematic.

Mainstream books often include larger first letters, graphics or icons, or even large numbers, at the beginning of a chapter, and the chapter title is sometimes in a different font. These elements can make the rest of the text harder to read.
Most traditional designers believe that fonts with serif are easier to read. The typeface on a standard page is often serif (and sans serif is used for titles, captions, even footnotes).

However, inside Sweet Bloods and on most of the cover, we use the Verdana typeface, which was chosen for its legibility. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) suggests Arial and Helvetica, but our test-readers overwhelmingly preferred Verdana. We also used generous spacing between lines, and generous margins, gutters and centrefolds compared to mainstream books.
Throughout the book, indents are one consistent, deep size. Usually, mainstream books will have hanging indents or shallow indents, which are not very visually distinctive, so the text is harder to read for people with visual impairments.

Widows and orphans (words left over at the bottom of a paragraph or the top of a page) weren't an issue for our test-readers. In fact, we found it was more important to make sure there is enough space to make sure everything is legible. Having clear space between words was much more important than ensuring there were fewer widows and orphans.
Thanks to our team of differently-abled readers, the second edition of Sweet Bloods was designed using real-world research. Starting from a basic design using a combination of CNIB guidelines and mainstream book design, we gathered feedback, re-designed, then re-tested several times to arrive at a final, accessible version approved by our team of test readers.

If you have your own feedback to share on the accessible design of Sweet Bloods, please get in touch.