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A picture of a teacher and a low vision student

MagnaFLyer for Educators


A New Kind of Service for the Child with Low Vision


For any school child the experience of learning is a process of exposure to something new, understanding what it is and then placing it in a context that helps them to remember it. For a child struggling with a visual deficit every part of learning is more difficult. The very act of obtaining information from a written source is a daily challenge. The practice and repetition necessary to build literacy is inhibited and this has far reaching implications as they continue their education.

 

If we looked at reading in slow motion we'd see a constant process of moving, adjusting, and focusing our eyes for each word we read. Word after word after word. No wonder reading is a laborious process. For those with low vision or a neurological deficit reading can be exhausting.

 

In studies related to reading speed conducted at Johns Hopkins and other major institutions they discovered that by placing words in the center of the screen in a consistent location (similar to the way we see a movie), reading speed was dramatically accelerated. The requirement of saccadic eye movement across a page clearly had a negative impact on reading speed. By removing that requirement through reformatting the reading experience, the subjects reading speed was increased many fold without any impact on comprehension.

 

The MagnaFlyer Display Eliminates Visual Clutter

 

The MagnaFlyer display inherently eliminates the need to move the eyes to locate the next word. In this way visual acuity is assisted with a fixed position of the text. Because of the single word presentation RapidReader can deliver the content to a clean, uncluttered screen with lots of clear space. The fonts are up to 800% larger than standard 12 point type. The word presentation is a soft yellow text on black to help prevent “halo effect” and reduce eyestrain.

 

MagnaFlyer is Both Magnification and an Automated Reading Display

 

This change in the display and manner in which we "arrive" at the words has particular benefit for those with visiual deficits. MagnaFlyer took that research from the lab and applied it to every day use on a computer. The MagnaFlyer software automatically re-formats the way the text is displayed to optimize it for a variety of low vision conditions. This new display inherently helps to accelerate reading because it places the text optimally in a consistent location using a much larger font than would other wise be possible. There is no physical manipulation of materials or scrolling needed. The student simply sits back and watches the screen.

 

MagnaFlyer in the Classroom: An Inexpensive Assistive Technology

 

In the educational setting MagnaFlyer functions as an unobtrusive assistive reading technology requiring only a standard laptop computer. It's an all purpose tool which combines magnification with the power of the computer to help over come the mechanics of reading.

 

Other older technologies provide only part of the solution for low vision reading. For instance CCTV type solutions are expensive, can be cumbersome to use and require the reader to physically move the material into the viewing area. For the most part they are best used for "spot reading". The inherently slow reading speed of only 30-40 words per minute can also negatively impact comprehension.

 

Software magnifier programs, while somewhat less expensive, are designed to enlarge the size of everything on your computer screen for easier visibility. However when you use it for reading, the effect of the text expansion is that fewer characters can be displayed at a time. This in turn requires manual navigation across the screen in order to read. Even though the text is now visible, the trade off is a reduction in your reading speed to somewhere below 40 wpm.

 

MagnaFlyers automated text display actually accelerates reading speed rather than slowing it down. For the first time an assistice reading technology allows you to select your own reading speed from 100-950 wpm.

 

    Average reading speed on a computer for normally sighted individuals is 100 wpm

    Typical reading speed with magnification software or CCTV is about 30 wpm

    Typical reading speed with MagnaFlyer 300-500 wpm

 

 

A Word is a Picture: Improving Literacy Through Repeated Exposures

 

As we learn to read, phonological decoding is useful for words that are new to us. However, once there is a fixed visual symbol of a given word associated with a particular meaning the process of "sounding out" is in fact redundant. Simply put a word is a picture. The collection of words we recognize from their symbol is our "sight vocabulary". We no longer need to verbalize to decode them from their phonemes. We can just SEE them and immediately we know what they are. In fact symbol recognition is literally almost instantaneous. Think of something like a STOP sign. When we see a stop sign we don't have to sound it out in our heads to know that we should put on the brakes. By eliminating the sounding out process, "removing the middle man" reading speed improves for every one. This is especially important for those with visual or processing difficulties. For those individuals the problem isn't the understanding of what the word means it's the "input" mechanism required to obtain the image.

 

Recommended Age Group: Reading Proficiency

 

MagnaFlyer is recommended for children with a third grade reading level and above. MagnaFlyer is not designed as an early reading tool where phonological instruction is a primary component. After a brief initial training using the materials included in the MagnaFlyer program package, the student should be able to use MagnaFlyer on their own for reading any electronically available content.

 

Easy to Implement for Classroom or Homework

The audio visual staff would be able to configure the computer for appropriate access for the student. Once content is available to the screen it can be read using MagnaFlyer. This can apply to "smart boards" in the class room as well as reading assignments at home. Any thing that can be read on screen can be assisted with MagnaFlyer.

 

MagnaFlyer comes with a complete training program which can be administered by school staff in a brief orientation session as part of the normal services provided to the student. In this case, the exercise protocol is not used as a medium for vision therapy but a way for the student to become familiar with the unique nature of the display and the software. As they become acquainted with the reading experience, they will also learn how to customize the software and change the display speed to best suit their reading.

 

Leveling the Playing Field for Your Students

 

In the educational setting MagnaFlyer functions as an unobtrusive assistive reading technology requiring only a standard laptop computer. An inexpensive way to help "level the playing field" RapidReader offers an easy to use tool that's available with a single click whenever reading compensation is wanted. It provides benefit for those with phonological processing deficits, neurological disorders as well as visual perceptive challenges. Simply put, MagnaFlyer's combination of ease of use, reading comfort and accelerated speed can immediately compensate for a range of low vison diagnoses with just a little help from the computer.

 

Quick Facts About MagnaFlyer Assistive Reading Technology

 

  • One-Click integrated support for MS Word, Web pages, PDF files and MS Outlook Email*
  • User selectable large font and text position
  • Patented Human Cadence™ reading display
  • No Scrolling-- Comfortable "Lean-Back" Reading Experience
  • User selectable reading speed from 100-950 words per minute
  • Search Tool
  • Create and Add Your Own Notes
  • Text Highliter
  • "Dog-ear" Bookmarking Tool
  • Save web pages and documents with your markup intact for offline reading
  • Support for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X,



 

Please Click Here for more information about the science behind the MagnaFlyer displayVisit the Science Behind MagnaFlyer


 

Please Click here for Pricing Information Visit the Science Behind MagnaFlyer


 

 

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