June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
Evaluating the impact of customized low vision simulator glasses for parents of children with visual impairment
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Catherine Kerr-Niermann
    University of Missouri-St Louis, St Louis, Missouri, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Catherine Kerr-Niermann None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 2567 – F0521. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Catherine Kerr-Niermann; Evaluating the impact of customized low vision simulator glasses for parents of children with visual impairment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):2567 – F0521.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose : Parents of children with visual impairment often express frustration in their lack of clear explanations of what their child can see. Customized simulator glasses created from low vision rehabilitation evaluation measurements may offer a low cost, personalized, and effective method to satisfy this inquiry. This study utilized a quantitative survey to gauge the impact of customized simulator glasses on parental understanding of children’s visual impairment.

Methods : Forty-three families received customized simulator glasses as standard of care in a non-profit clinic between April 2021 and October 2021. The simulators layered various filters on clear safety glasses to represent a personalized range of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, central and peripheral vision fields following a comprehensive low vision rehabilitation evaluation. An emailed link to an IRB approved survey was sent to one parent or guardian per family. Seventeen surveys were completed (44% responded of 39 email addresses collected).

Results : Survey results indicated that parents use multiple sources of information in attempt to understand their child’s vision including consulting with optometrists or ophthalmologists (88%), searching the internet (77%), asking their child directly to explain their vision (71%), interpreting eye reports (59%), and using standard (non-customized) simulator glasses (29%). Of those surveyed, 94% agreed that the customized low vision simulator glasses provided were helpful for understanding their child’s vision (76% strongly agreed and 18% somewhat agreed). The vision simulated was largely worse than parents expected (82%).

Conclusions : Customized low vision simulator glasses are an effective tool to help parents understand their child’s visual impairment. Parents actively seek multiple sources of information in attempt to understand what their child can see. Most parents who received customized simulator glasses following their child’s low vision rehabilitation evaluation found them to be helpful and most parents reported the vision simulated was worse than expected. This study raises important questions regarding the validity of simulators, the feasibility of implementing customized simulators as standard of care, and the implication of children’s adaptability as a potential contributing factor in the discrepancy of what a child can see compared to parental perception.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.