Visual Acuity Test Helps Determine Vision Problems in Young Children, the Intellectually Impaired

When people cannot express in words what they see, it is difficult for health care professionals to determine the nature of visual problems they may have. That’s why Professor Maggie Woodhouse, Ph.D., at the Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, with university funding, designed the Cardiff Acuity Test.

Announced in 1993, the Cardiff Acuity Test measures acuity in toddlers ages one through three, as well as individuals with intellectual impairment.

Historically this is considered a hard-to-test group because these individuals cannot communicate well enough to describe the familiar symbols and images they are shown.

Children do not need to name, or even recognize, the images used during the test. Instead the observer relies on the technique of “preferential looking” and records the subject’s eye movements to determine how much of the image is actually being seen.

The Cardiff Acuity Test comes in a simple, quick, durable, and easy-to-use format, which is important when dealing with toddlers and individuals with intellectual impairment. Users find it is easy to interpret the results.

To date about 2,100 test kits have been sold in the United Kingdom and the United States. The royalty income has allowed Woodhouse to develop the Cardiff Near Test and the Cardiff Contrast Test. Find more information, here.

This story was originally published in 2007.

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