How to make text in documents easier to read at school or university when experiencing visual stress

How to make text in documents easier to read at school or university when experiencing visual stress

In his paper entitled “Visual stress and dyslexia for the practising optometrist.” Prof Arnold Wilkins from the University of Essex states that between 30 –40 % of people with dyslexia experience ‘Visual Stress’, a condition that distorts the view of text and makes reading uncomfortable. The condition is often confused with dyslexia as in the past it has often been thought of as the signs of dyslexia.

The British Dyslexia Association describes the experience of visual stress as the following:

“Visual difficulties

Some people experience visual discomfort or disturbance when they read. Common symptoms that may significantly impair reading ability, or make reading very tiring, include:

Headaches and eyestrain associated with reading and/or other near work,

Text appearing blurred or going in and out of focus,

Text appearing double or alternating between single and double,

Difficulty keeping place in text,

Difficulty tracking across lines of text,

Discomfort with brightness of the page or contrast between text and background,

Text that appears to shimmer or flicker.”

Source -

One strategy to help with overcoming some of these reading challenges is to work with electronic documents and books and access the text using software that supports reading difficulties.

Here at Aventido, Mary has been showing students how to make text easier to read especially when they are experiencing difficulties with visual stress by using TextAid, a text-to-speech web app, to reformat the text into a format that is more comfortable to read.

Check out the video below to see Mary explain how students can read more easily and enjoyably using TextAid.

If you are experiencing reading challenges due to problems with visual stress, it may be that TextAid could be a useful tool in helping you to enjoyably read more and unlock learning and productivity.

Click below to contact Mary for more information.

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