Paper Tools for Assessing Visual Function

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Instruments for assessing visual function are valuable tools for optometry, ophthalmology, vision science, education, and public health. Inspired by my observations in the Teller lab, with Dobson, on the process of developing a useful clinical tool from laboratory work, I present four examples of functional vision tests that are made of paper and currently used in the field: the Amsler Grid, the Pelli-Robson Contrast Sensitivity Chart, the Teller Acuity Cards, and the Developmental Eye Movement Test. All are characterized by ease of use and rigorous design. All are either being used with children or have the potential to be so. Each tool is reviewed in terms of its development, with a view toward similarities in the steps or process taken. The goal is to encourage the further development of the functional vision assessments already in existence, and to urge scientists and clinicians alike to consider ways in which their own work can be translated into clinically useful, simple paper tools.

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