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Portable Devices for Vision Enhancement in Older Adults


  • Aaron Johnson (Psychology, Concordia University)
  • Walter Wittich (School of Optometry, University of Montreal)
  • Julie-Adreen Marinier (School of Optometry, University of Montreal)
  • Laura Walker (Envision Research Institute, Kansas)
  • Elliott Morrice (Psychology, Concordia University)


  • FRQS (Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé) 
  • Vision Research Health Network

Can the Apple iPad be used as a vision rehabilitation aid?

Electronic tablets, like Apple’s iPad, are experiencing a surge in popularity with the public at large, but also with individuals with visual impairment. The iPad’s characteristics make it an appealing choice for low-vision reading: a large screen, programmable font size, and the option to invert contrast. Moreover, its ubiquity may decrease the stigma commonly associated with using a traditional reading assistive device.

How effective is the iPad in terms of reading speed and accuracy when compared to traditional assistive devices? And will iPad users prefer the tablet to these traditional devices? Too few studies have been conducted to answer these questions. Our research group is presently engaged in generating reliable data using rigorous methodology to provide answers that will help rehabilitation providers to better answer the needs of their evolving clientele.

Recent outputs

Morrice, E., Murphy, C., Soldano, V., Addona, C., Wittich, W., Johnson A.P. (2021). Assessing Optimal Colour and Illumination to Facilitate Reading: An Analysis of Print size. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. 41(6): 1209-1221. doi/10.1111/opo.12885

Morrice, E., Murphy, C., Wittich, W., & Johnson, A.P. (2021) Assessing Optimal Colour and Illumination to Facilitate Reading. Opthalmic and Physiological Optics. Mar;41(2):281-294.

Morrice, E., Soldano, V., Addona, C., Murphy, C., Johnson, A. P. (2021). Validation of the International Reading Speed Texts in a Sample of Older (60+) Canadian Adults. Optometry and Vision Science. 98(8): 971-975. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001746

Morrice, E., Hughes, J., Stark, Z., Wittich, W., & Johnson, A.P. (2019). Validation of the international reading speed texts in a Canadian sample. Optometry and Vision Science, 97(7), 509-517. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001538

Martiniello, N., Lehane, C., Eisenbarth, W., Johnson, A.P. & Wittich, W. (2019). Exploring the use of smartphones and tablets among people with visual impairments: Are mainstream devices replacing the use of traditional visual aids? Assistive Technology. 7: 1-12.

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