Authors
Stepien-Bernabe, Natalie N. BA; Lei, Daisy BA; McKerracher, Amanda PhD; Orel-Bixler, Deborah OD, PhD, FAAO

The Impact of Presentation Mode and Technology on Reading Comprehension among Blind and Sighted Individuals

publication date
January 20, 2019
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

SIGNIFICANCE 

Technological advancements have made distributing reading materials in audio formats more common. Investigating how presentation mode impacts comprehension among sighted and blind individuals will inform the distribution of information to enhance comprehension.

 

PURPOSE 

The aims were (1) to investigate the hypothesis that reading comprehension is enhanced by increased physical engagement and cognitive effort through text or braille and (2) to explore how assistive technology impacts comprehension for blind individuals.

 

METHODS 

In a within-subjects design, 31 sighted and 34 blind participants read and listened to scientific passages and verbally answered free-response questions about what they read and heard. For sighted participants, passages were presented in text and human voice actor recordings. For blind participants, passages were presented with hard-copy braille, a refreshable braille display, voice actor recordings, and a screen reader.


Conclusion/Results

RESULTS 

Comprehension scores were analyzed using mixed-effects regression and pairwise comparisons on the estimated marginal means. In study 1, the comprehension difference between text or hard-copy braille and the voice actor formats was assessed to address the first aim. Sighted participants had better comprehension with text (mean, 74.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 70.5 to 79.1%) than with a voice actor (mean, 69.7%; 95% CI, 65.4 to 74.0%; P = .02), and blind participants had superior comprehension with hard-copy braille (mean, 70.4%; 95% CI, 63.3 to 77.5%) than with a voice actor (mean, 61.9%; 95% CI, 54.7 to 69.0%; P = .03). In study 2, the comprehension differences among blind participants between the four formats were investigated to address the second aim. Comprehension was better with hard-copy braille (mean, 70.6%; 95% CI, 63.4 to 77.7%) than with a screen reader (mean, 60.7%; 95% CI, 53.5 to 67.9%; P = .02) and better with a braille display (mean, 69.7%; 95% CI, 62.5 to 76.9%) than with a screen reader (P = .04).

 

CONCLUSIONS 

Study 1 supports the hypothesis that more physically engaging tasks enhance comprehension, and study 2 suggests that listening to scientific materials using a synthesized voice may reduce comprehension ability compared with hard-copy braille and braille displays.


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Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.


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Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.


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Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

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When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!


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