An optical device, which will help millions in the treatment of reading difficulties
such as Dyslexia, has been awarded "Millennium Product" status by the Design
Council. Christened the 'Visual Tracking Magnifier' (VTM), the new device is the
result of many years research by Ian Jordan, who is well known for his pioneering
work in designing equipment that can effectively measure and treat visual dyslexia.
The device was created in conjunction with CTP COIL, a specialist in optical
moulding, which manufactures what Jordan believes to be the highest quality
magnifiers in the UK.
Many visual dyslexia sufferers are confused by 'pattern glare' which causes whole
blocks of text to merge and swim above the page to make reading extremely
difficult. Jordan has combated this problem by creating a device that modifies the
way one's eyes approach the print.
The VTM sits on a page and can be easily tracked backwards and forwards across
the text. It consists of a high powered magnifying glass, with a central viewing strip
about one centimetre wide. Above and below this strip are two semi-circular,
transparent, patterned areas that remove any distortion of the surrounding text. As
a result, a high proportion of visual dyslexics, together with those suffering from
cataracts, age-related maculopathy and retinitis pigmentosa, can read text much
more easily. Perhaps the greatest benefit from the new device will be found in
school classrooms, where Jordan believes the VTM will help an estimated ten to
fifteen percent of pupils in an average class, but with even greater numbers
benefiting in lower achievement groups.