This site is in the middle of a major expansion.
It was originally designed as a resource for vision professionals who wanted to better understand how to care for patients with vision impairments.
I'm now reworking the site with content for the general public — people with low vision and people who want to know more about low vision. Once that section is complete, I'll rework the section for vision professionals to better integrate with the general public section. Keep checking back to see how it's going, and if you find the content helpful please consider contributing to support the effort.
So, we’ve established that in order for a patient to read fluently and quickly they need to be reading print with a size, contrast and brightness such that it would fall within the patient’s Optimal Visual Volume instead of just their Visual Volume. How do we do that?
In principle, the problem is just the same as with spot reading, except that the gap between the source print and the target point is greater. It’s a tougher job, because we need to get the point into the OVV instead of the VV, and that volume is much smaller (sometimes very-much smaller).
We just need to apply larger vectors of magnification, improved illumination and contrast enhancement, either by themselves or in combination, such that the point is shifted further, to reach that new point within the OVV.
But, surely it couldn’t be as simple as ‘give them a stronger magnifier’?
You’re right, it’s not. Or at least, not often. If it was that easy, it wouldn’t be low vision’s Hard Problem.
The complication is magnification itself. Magnification is a double-edged sword. At the same time as we make the print larger so it’s easier to read, the very act of using a magnifier introduces factors that make it harder to achieve reading fluency. Managing that tension is the real art of low vision, and that’s what we’ll spend the next few pages on.
This site is a labour of love, developed in my spare time. When it’s finished, I hope it will be a resource that helps people with low vision (and their families and friends) better understand what the problem is with their vision, and how to find the most efficient ways to work around their impairment to maintain their best possible quality of life.
Part of that is a recognition that one of the most helpful things a person with vision problems can have is the care of a skilled vision professional that really understands vision impairment. So the other mission of this site is to improve the knowledge of optometrists, opticians, ophthalmologists and orthoptists all around the world, most especially in countries that don’t have access to high quality training in low vision.
The information in this site is (and always will be) free to access. If you’ve found value in what I’m doing here, please consider making a donation to support ongoing development of the site.