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A. Dependence of Reading Rate on Visual Acuity

A. Dependence of Reading Rate on Visual Acuity

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x

x

x



7 Results of the Research



T1S

T2S

T3S

x



T1/2S

x



T2/3S

x



T1/3S



Total sum of

reading rate

( x wpm)

VA

VA

higher lower

215.9 110.8

243.0 146.4

271.4 195.0



Efficiency

(%)



Range

(X max - X min)



VA

higher

100

117.4

131.3



VA

lower

100

120.5

148.0



VA higher



VA lower



77.2 – 30.3

78.8 – 44.5

90.7 – 51.2



40.5 – 18.5

48.2 – 29.2

58.0 – 40.0



Arithmetic

average

(n = 4)

VA

VA

higher lower

54.0

27.7

60.8

36.6

57.9

48.8



33.2



35.6



15.4



32.1



14.2 – 4.0



15.2 – 1.7



8.3



8.9



26.4



48.8



12.2



44.9



9.8 – 2.3



19.2 – 9.8



6.6



12.2



55.5



84.4



27.6



76.2



20.9 – 6.3



34.4 – 12.0



13.9



21.1



Fig. 7.36 Comparison of the measured values of average reading rate in the subcategories of the

visual acuity (VA) variable (refer under Fig. 7.31)



x



Total sum of

reading rate

( x wpm)

Young

Older

er

group

group



Efficiency

(%)

Youn

ger

group



Older

group



T1S



236.9



187.6



100



100



T2S



250.9



220.4



117.5



121.3



T3S



290.5



250.5



140.2



138.7



T1/2S

T2/3S

T1/3S



24.1

33.5

54.2



32.8

30.0

63.0



10.1

14.2

24.3



17.5

16.0

33.5



Range

(X max - X min)

Younger

group

88.0 –

18.5

89.7 –

29.2



Older

group



61.5 –

30.3

65.2 –

44.5

71.3 –

100 – 40.3

51.2

10.7 – 4.0 14.2 – 3.7

11.1 – 2.3 9.8 – 6.1

21.8 – 6.3 20.9 – 9.8



Arithmetic

average

(n = 4)

Younger

group



Older

group



59.2



46.9



62.7



55.1



72.6



62.6



6.0

8.4

13.6



8.2

7.5

15.8



Fig. 7.37 Comparison of the measured values of average reading rate in the subcategories of age

variable (refer under Fig. 7.31)



Part 2 of the ERP: The obtained results relating to the influence of VA on educational

potential in the category of reading rate showed that persons with higher level of VA

had achieved the average value of increase in reading rate by x 6.6 wpm (12.2 %),

while those with lower VA had increased their reading rate by x 12.2 wpm (44.9 %).

The difference in the efficiency of the two subcategories is 32.7 % for persons with

lower level of VA.

The overall efficiency of the ERP: The subcategory of persons with higher level

of VA showed an increase in reading rate between the pre-test and post-test by x

13.9 wpm (27.6 %). In the subcategory of persons with lower level of VA, reading

rate increased by x 21.1 wpm (76.2 %). The difference in the efficiency of the

entire programme in terms of reading rate is 50.5 % for persons with lower VA.



7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance



215



Discussion

Visual acuity is the intervening variable which affects reading rate. Without professional

support, persons with lower VA reached only half the speed of reading than persons

with higher VA. A professionally led rehabilitation programme has a potential to

support visual performance in reading rate. As shown by the results, the higher

potential of increase in performance was observed in persons with lower level of VA

and was related to both parts of the ERP. The comparison of the overall results

shows that the completion of the programme clearly contributed to reducing difference

in the performance of both subcategories.

Adaptation and modification of external conditions proved to be more effective

in persons with lower level of VA. We believe that the modification of conditions

contains a higher potential of improvement for persons with lower VA. Their performance is more dependent on the quality of conditions. A related problem was

addressed by Leat, Fryer, and Rumney (1994) who came to the conclusion that

without an intervention aimed at counselling and the support of environmental

adaptation in homes, only 35 % persons belonging to the target group (low vision

patients) use prescribed optical devices permanently.

In terms of the impact of education and training of reading skills on reading rate,

the obtained results indicate the existence of dependence on VA. Persons with lower

VA possessed a significantly higher rate of capacity for further growth in reading

rate because of education and training. The comparison of measured values showed

that the educational part of the programme achieved by 32.7 % higher efficiency in

persons with lower VA than in persons with higher VA. Education and training are

positive means of increasing performance especially in persons with lower VA.

It can be concluded that the realized research showed the correlation between VA

and the capacity of education to increase performance in reading rate. These findings are in agreement with the results of Moravcová’s research (2004, 208) which

reached statistically verifiable conclusion that ‘persons with lower level of VA need

increased participation in professional intervention through vision rehabilitation

both in the area of environmental adaptation and in the area of training in special

techniques of visual ability’.

The difference of measurement results in the two subcategories in relation to the

completion of entire programme indicates the significance of VA for reading rate.

Positive results were achieved in both categories. In persons with lower level of VA,

a higher degree of efficiency of the experimental rehabilitation programme was

found (by 50.5 %), which reflects the correlation between the level of need of rehabilitation programme and the degree of VA. The results confirm Bäckman’s study

(1979), which considers VA one of the most important determinants of reading performance. In persons with very low vision who did not undergo any rehabilitation

programmes, the resulting measured speed was less than 40 wpm, which corresponds

with the data collected in this study. Those who completed a rehabilitation

programme achieved an average reading rate of 40–80 wpm. This result was also

confirmed by our study.



216



7 Results of the Research



‘A sufficient reading performance represents in contemporary society one of

the most basic skills for acquiring information, study, employment, relaxation’

(Greer in Lueck, 2004, 210). As such, it requires attention. Especially in case of

persons with acquired visual impairment, who were accustomed to read before the

reduction of quality of vision, it is essential to ensure effective support services to

help overcome this disability. Rehabilitation activities are an important means of

support enabling to retain existing reading competences (or minimize the loss in the

quality and quantity of reading performance) (Růžičková, 2005, 2015).



B. Dependence of Reading Rate on Age

To monitor the dependence between increase in reading rate and age, a typology

with two subcategories was created during the experiment. The subcategory of

younger persons included probands under the age of 60: A, F, I, J (the average age

of 38). The subcategory of older persons (aged over 60) is represented by the probands B, C, D, E (the average age—68 years). The purpose of comparison was to

document an expected correlation depending on age. Typological research samples

always contained four extreme cases (n = 4) for numerical operations.

Results and Discussions Concerning Intervening Variables: Age

Input performance: In the pre-test, difference between the achieved average reading rates in both groups was x 12.3 wpm. Persons from the younger age group

achieved in the pre-test the average reading rate 59.2 wpm. The older group

achieved the reading rate of x 46.9 wpm. Also in other tests, the younger persons

achieved a higher performance than the older ones (Fig. 7.37). The measured

results are consistent with the conclusions of Carver’s research (1990 in Lueck,

2004), which on the basis of monitoring reading rate in older adults argues that

with increasing age, reading pace is reduced. The result corresponds with the

general knowledge about human development in terms of ageing process. In this

target group, even a relatively lower achieved reading rate will meet the individual’s

needs.

Part 1 of the ERP: The subcategory of younger persons achieved on the basis of

modification of external conditions the average increase in reading rate by 6.0 wpm

(10.1 %). The subcategory of older persons achieved the average increase in reading

rate by 8.2 wpm (17.5 %). The difference of reading rate values in both age groups

achieved due to the first part of the experimental programme was 7.4 %.

Part 2 of the ERP: There were no substantial differences in the results achieved

by the group of younger persons and the group of older persons in the educational part of the programme. Younger probands achieved the average increase in

performance based on education by 8.4 wpm (14.2 %), the subcategory of older

ones showed the average acceleration by 7.5 wpm (16 %). The difference in

increase in reading rate based on the educational and training part of the programme

was only 1.8 %.



7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance



217



The overall efficiency of the ERP (T1/T3): Depending on the entire ERP, a

significant improvement in reading rate was achieved in both subcategories: by

13.6 wpm in the subcategory of younger persons (24.5 %) and by 15.8 wpm in the

subcategory of older persons (33.5 %).

Discussion

The older persons, compared to the younger persons, achieved a slightly higher

improvement based on the modification of conditions (by 7.4 %). These findings

confirmed the principles established by practice, specifically that the elderly find

themselves more frequently in situation in which their external conditions for neardistance visual tasks remain unadapted or their adaptation is not sufficient

(Moravcová, 2004; Skalická, 2007; etc.). Realized investigation confirmed the

assumption that persons belonging to the category of older persons represent a risk

group concerning their independence in environmental adaptations for visual activity. During the implementation of rehabilitation interventions, it is appropriate to pay

more attention in this particular target group to the quality of home environment and to

the adaptation and modification of conditions for visual tasks.2 Identical conclusions

were published by, among others, Greer, 2004.

From the earlier data it is evident that although the generally accepted rule states

that with increasing age, the learning ability and adaptability to new conditions

decreases, there are also other influences within the area of study causing that the

educational and training part of the programme shows a slightly higher efficiency

for older persons (by 1.8 %). The reason can be seen especially in the lower level of

self-education skills in older adults without professional intervention. Inevitably

then the professional intervention in this subcategory delivers more significant

results, but they correspond with a lower level of ability to learn. A number of

related researches from other countries also point out the significance of rehabilitation programmes for reading skills for older persons with reduced quality of vision.

If such a programme is well chosen, even older adults can achieve in most cases

speed comparable with their peers without visual impairment. It has been confirmed

that ‘reading rate decreases with age in general population; and lower results,

obtained on a sample of 186 persons with low vision who had completed a rehabilitation programme, corresponded with the results of healthy older adults of similar

age’ (Goodrich in Lueck, 2004, 428).



C. Dependence of Reading Rate on Previous Reading Experience

Dependence between reading performance achieved through the rehabilitation

programme and reading experience was verified through the comparison of two

different subcategories based on a data analysis of case studies. The subcategory

experienced readers included the probands who used to read all types of texts

2



Nevertheless, it is necessary to consider individual cases for which the result is not valid.



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