The value of Tablets as reading aids for individuals with central visual field loss : an evaluation of eccentric reading with static and scrolling text. / Walker, Robin; Bryan, Lauren; Harvey, Hannah; Riazi, Afsane; Anderson, Stephen J.

In: Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, Vol. 36, No. 4, 07.2016, p. 459–464.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



  • Accepted Manuscript

    Rights statement: As the paper was funded by the ERSC, there are 2 options: 1. Publish the article as OA and pay the APC of £2000, but reduced to £1500 as we have a pre paid account with Wiley. The request for the APC will need to be made on the usual survey: The details of the paper plus the relation to the ESRC grant will need to be added to Pure. We would also strongly encourage the deposit of the author’s accepted manuscript into Pure within 3 months of the date of acceptance. 2. Add the details of the item onto Pure and deposit the author’s accepted manuscript into Pure within 3 months of the date of acceptance. This will have a 12 month embargo placed on it. Both of these options are REF and RCUK OA eligible so you have the 2 options. I hope this helps Regards Nicola

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Technological devices such as smartphones and tablets are widely available and increasingly used as visual aids. This study evaluated the use of a novel app for tablets (MD_evReader) developed as a reading aid for individuals with a central field loss resulting from macular degeneration. The MD_evReader app scrolls text as single lines (similar to a news ticker) and is intended to enhance reading performance using the eccentric viewing technique by both reducing the demands on the eye movement system and minimising the deleterious effects of perceptual crowding. Reading performance with scrolling text was compared with reading static sentences, also presented on a tablet computer.

Twenty-six people with low vision (diagnosis of macular degeneration) read static or dynamic text (scrolled from right to left), presented as a single line at high contrast on a tablet device. Reading error rates and comprehension were recorded for both text formats, and the participant's subjective experience of reading with the app was assessed using a simple questionnaire.

The average reading speed for static and dynamic text was not significantly different and equal to or greater than 85 words per minute. The comprehension scores for both text formats were also similar, equal to approximately 95% correct. However, reading error rates were significantly (p = 0.02) less for dynamic text than for static text. The participants’ questionnaire ratings of their reading experience with the MD_evReader were highly positive and indicated a preference for reading with this app compared with their usual method.

Our data show that reading performance with scrolling text is at least equal to that achieved with static text and in some respects (reading error rate) is better than static text. Bespoke apps informed by an understanding of the underlying sensorimotor processes involved in a cognitive task such as reading have excellent potential as aids for people with visual impairments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459–464
Number of pages6
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number4
Early online date7 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 26181386