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Shannon K Riley, Aaron Johnson, Walter Wittich; Apple iPad and CCTV reading performance comparison in persons with low vision. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):5169.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Patients with low vision have traditionally received training in the use of CCTVs or handheld optical magnifiers to improve reading performance. The introduction of tablets, with functions that enlarge text and provide contrast options, make them a viable alternative. Studies have investigated the use of the Apple iPad as a reading assistive device in low vision, but did not control for factors known to affect reading rate, such as word count, complexity of text or comprehension. In this study an improved methodology, developed by collaboration between Concordia University and the University of Montreal, in Canada, to a sample of low vision participants in the United States.
16 participants (mean age=53, range 18–100; mean VA in better eye=20/94, range 20/69–20/174) completed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, The Visual Function 14 (VF14) Questionnaire, in addition to questions about education, experience with CCTV/iPad devices and reading habits. Reading texts were taken from the International Reading Speed Texts (iRest). Participants were asked a multiple-choice comprehension question following each text and to rank their preference of the iPad, CCTV and a magnification device, if any, typically used at home. Participants were asked to provide their reasons for the rankings. Reading rates were compared between the Apple iPad, CCTV, and a magnification device, if any, typically used at home.
As indicated by the VF14, 80% of participants reported having moderate difficulty, a great deal of difficulty, or being unable to read normal sized text. Based on preliminary analysis, low vision participants read faster using the iPad when compared to baseline, CCTV and home use devices: iPad (Mean CWPM = 94.78, SD = 34.24, 95% CI [78.00 – 111.56]); Baseline (Mean CWPM = 76.42, SD = 33.10, 95% CI [59.09 – 93.76]); CCTV (Mean CWPM = 73.75, SD = 30.51, 95% CI [58.80 – 88.70]; Home Device (Mean CWPM = 74.97, SD = 30.17, 95% CI [52.61 – 97.32]. When asked which device they would most prefer for reading, 56% of participants ranked the iPad highest, followed by 31% preferring the CCTV.
Based on preliminary findings, use of the iPad results in faster reading rates for people with visual impairment, as compared to a CCTV. This, in combination with a higher preference rating of use for reading, indicates that the iPad is a viable option to currently used technologies for improving reading rates.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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