ERIC Number: ED086204
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Educational Evaluation of the Optacon (Optical-to-Tactile Converter) As a Reading Aid to Blind Elementary and Secondary Students. Interim Technical Report. Phase I.
Weisgerber, Robert A.; And Others
Research sought to test the utility of the Optacon (an optical-to-tactile converter, which enables the blind to read ink-print materials), to identify predictors of success with the Optacon, and to observe the Optacon's effect on student attitudes. Matched groups of blind students in grades 4 through 8 and 9 through 12 received instruction individually or in groups of three. Results showed that after 24 hours of instruction, students read with high accuracy but only limited speed (6.3 words per minute). Elementary and secondary students and individuals and groups performed equally except for superior accuracy for the older students and groups. Intelligence and tactile ability predicted reading speed and accuracy; grade level, spelling ability and attitude toward education appeared predictive of accuracy. About 40% of the students could use the Optacon to read in a variety of situations, and this flexibility correlated with intelligence, tactile ability and the number of years for which the person had sight before becoming blind. No significant attitude changes were noted. It was concluded that accurate reading was possible with only limited training on the Optacon and it was hypothesized that reading speed and flexibility would increase during phase II of the project as students acquired more experience with the Optacon. (Author/PB)
Descriptors: Blindness, Braille, Educational Research, Electromechanical Aids, Elementary Education, Equipment Evaluation, Handicapped Children, Reading, Reading Ability, Reading Instruction, Reading Programs, Reading Research, Secondary Education, Student Attitudes, Tactile Adaptation, Visual Impairments
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA.