Patients With Vision Loss Read Again Using iPad

For the millions of people who lost the ability to read, along with their eyesight, to disease, an iPad may be able to help bring

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People with moderate vision loss due to diseases like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy found reading to be a possibility again with the iPad, according to a study presented Sunday at the American Academy of Ophthalmology‘s annual meeting. The study, which looked at a variety of electronic readers, found that the iPad outperformed them all, even the Kindle. Using an iPad, readers gained 42 words per minute from print, compared with the 12 words per minute gain of the Kindle.

Electronic readers are superior to print for people with vision loss because of a variety of factors, including font size, which was set at 18-pt for the study. But even more importantly are the backlight and the ability to adjust contrast, both of which are readily available on an iPad. It is worth noting that researchers used the original Kindle, which has no backlight capabilities, for the study, so that most likely contributed to its more modest gains.

For somebody like my grandma, a former librarian with macular degeneration, not being able to read is something like torture. Print books became impossible for her

a year ago, and audio books put her to sleep in five minutes flat. A tablet makes reading a possibility again.

Claire Perlman

Claire Perlman is a senior at UC Berkeley who covers Technapex's higher education beat. She is majoring in English literature and worked at her college’s student newspaper, The Daily Californian, for two years as a science reporter and news editor. She is currently working at UC Berkeley’s Mark Twain Project transcribing Twain’s letters and unpublished manuscripts.

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About Claire Perlman

Claire Perlman is a senior at UC Berkeley who covers Technapex's higher education beat. She is majoring in English literature and worked at her college’s student newspaper, The Daily Californian, for two years as a science reporter and news editor. She is currently working at UC Berkeley’s Mark Twain Project transcribing Twain’s letters and unpublished manuscripts.