Can students with low vision maintain sustained reading rates?

Bevan, Jennifer D., Barltrop, Glenn, Evans, Tyra, Deece, Bradley, Kolstad, Kris, & Carkeet, Andrew D. (2009) Can students with low vision maintain sustained reading rates? In Proceedings of 12th Scientific Meeting in Optometry, Optometrists Association Australia, University of Auckland, Auckland.

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Purpose: Students with low vision may be disadvantaged when compared with their normally sighted peers, as they frequently work at very short working distances and need to use low vision devices. The aim of this study was to examine the sustained reading rates of students with low vision and compare them with their peers with normal vision. The effects of visual acuity, acuity reserve and age on reading rate were also examined. Method: Fifty-six students (10 to 16 years of age), 26 with low vision and 30 with normal vision were required to read text continuously for 30 minutes. Their position in the text was recorded at two-minute intervals. Distance and near visual acuity, working distance, cause of low vision, reading rates and reading habits were recorded. Results: A total of 80.7 per cent of the students with low vision maintained a constant reading rate during the 30 minutes of

reading, although they read at approximately half the rate (104 wpm) compared with their normally sighted peers (195 wpm). Only four of the low vision subjects could not complete the reading task. Reading rates increased significantly with acuity reserve and distance and near visual acuity but there was no significant relationship between age and sustained reading rate. Conclusions: The majority of students with low vision were able to maintain appropriate reading rates to cope in integrated educational settings. Surprisingly only relatively few subjects (16 per cent) used their prescribed low vision devices even though the average accommodative demand was 9 D and generally, they revealed a greater dislike of reading compared to students with normal vision.

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ID Code: 31463
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The abstract of this paper was published in "Clinical and Experimental Optometry", Vol. 92, no. 1, pp.51-69. [please see DOI].
DOI: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2008.00341.x
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2010 22:17
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2010 16:58

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