Skip to main content
Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Elliott Morrice, Psychology

The Effects of Light, Colour, and Print-Size on Reading Speed in the Visually Impaired

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 (all day)

This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Daniela Ferrer



When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.


Reading is an essential component of daily life, and it can be one of the most difficult tasks faced by individuals with low vision. A variety of factors, e.g., magnification, print-size, lighting, and colour, have been shown to improve reading speeds in the visually impaired, but there is no gold standard measure that can be used to assess optimal colour and illumination to facilitate reading. Increased print-size and luminance have consistently been shown to improve reading speed, and improved lighting has also been shown to improve the overall quality of life of the visually impaired. Conversely, colour manipulation, e.g., different coloured lighting, lens filters, plastic overlays, are controversial in their utility as there is contradictory evidence for their efficacy at improving reading speed. Additionally, there is a lack of research in the field examining at how both lighting and colour can be manipulated simultaneously, at various print-sizes, to examine their impact on reading speed in both the visually and non-visually impaired. Consequently, improved luminance and increased print-size are standard practices in low vision rehabilitation (LVR), however, the use of colour in LVR is likely to be more nuanced, individualistic, and/or not adequately assessed. Unfortunately, in the field of LVR there is no accepted and validated gold standard measure that can be used to determine optimal colour and illumination to facilitate reading at various print-sizes. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to examine the effects of colour, illumination, and print-size on reading, and to compare/contrast the efficacy of novel assistive technology devices that may be used in the context of LVR to determine optimal colour and illumination to facilitate reading.

Back to top Back to top

© Concordia University