The ability to read is the most affected functional skill of an individual with visual impairment. Occupational therapists are to optimize an individuals functionality on an everyday basis. This includes reading the newspaper, reading medication bottles, reading a favorite book, reading signs within the community, paying bills, etc. Therefore, OTs should address and improve an individuals ability to use their remaining vision for functional reading. Occupational therapist will work closely with an optometrist to address ones reading abilities and visual acuity is a big factor and only an optometrist is able to evaluate and recommend appropriate assistive device (glasses, magnifying glass).
The occupational therapist will then evaluate the environment and context where the client performs most of his or her reading. Is proper lighting? Is there a table that will facilitate proper posture while reading? Home modification play a major factor in improving reading in clients home environment.
Changing font characteristic (type of font, size, contrast, spacing between characters, and spacing between lines) when printing out reading materials can also assist in optimizing an individual of visually impaired to read. Font such as Times New Roman and Arial are found to be effective (Scheiman et al., 2007). Additionally, figuring out the distance where vision is most efficient can also assist in improving reading abilities.